VISITORS will have a chance to peek behind the scenes at Flagstaff Hill as part of a summer tour series.
Each Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday evening over the summer months the doors to the village will be opened for tours that will explore varying themes and highlight the work that usually goes unseen.
Warrnambool City Council’s tourism services manager Peter Abbott said the idea to make use of the twilight hours between the village closing and the Shipwrecked sound and light show at 9pm came from the village staff.
“We have done behind- the-scenes tours in the past which were very successful,” Mr Abbott said.
“It gives people a chance to get a different perspective and shows that it isn’t just a tourist attraction — it is actually Victoria’s largest maritime museum, housing the largest collection of maritime and shipwreck artefacts in the state.”
He said the tours would have a different theme each night and give visitors access to areas such as the historic book collection and conservation area, where staff preserve the extensive collection.
“The Lady Bay lighthouses will feature and other tours will cover areas including what life was like on board ships in the Victorian era, and myths about the high seas,” he said.
Mr Abbott said the tours were part of a huge summer program at Flagstaff Hill.
“It’s probably the biggest program we have ever had,” he said. “And it fits in well with the city council’s summer program as well.”
Council-backed activities include the Invasion exhibition at Warrnambool Art Gallery, a school holidays program, Wednesdays on the Wharf at Flagstaff Hill, Arts on the Grass at the Civic Green, Funtastic Fridays and Super Sundays at AquaZone, tours to Middle Island, the annual New Year’s Eve on the Hill fireworks spectacular and Australia Day at the Gardens.
Tours leave Flagstaff Hill reception at 6pm and 7pm every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday from December 30. Cost is $6.50 per person with under-fives and members free.