New walking tour highlights Warrnambool history hot spots

Walking historians: Friends of Flagstaff Hill volunteers Ron Sproston and Carole and Bryan O'Meara share information about Warrnambool history hot spots on a new tour. Picture: Madeleine McNeil
Walking historians: Friends of Flagstaff Hill volunteers Ron Sproston and Carole and Bryan O'Meara share information about Warrnambool history hot spots on a new tour. Picture: Madeleine McNeil

Did you know that where the T&G clock tower now stands in Liebig Street was formerly a place of worship?

Residents and visitors can learn about historic buildings’ past lives and stories on a new walk around the city. 

Memories will be sparked on the tour of 42 locations which includes churches, hotels, town halls, banks, schools and homes.

The former police station, residence, stables and jail in Gillies Street erected from 1883 – 1888 are points of interest.

Friends of Flagstaff Hill volunteers Carole and Bryan O’Meara lead the four kilometre tour which begins in the village car park and takes about two hours. 

Volunteers in costume also share stories of days gone-by at different locations. Mrs O’Meara said a lot of people don’t realise the city’s rich past. “We wanted to get the history of Warrnambool out there and it is a way of fundraising (for the group),” Mrs O’Meara said. 

“We’ve done historic tours in other places and saw the old buildings. We thought it’s a chance for people to see buildings in Warrnambool.”

The couple based the tour around photos of past and existing buildings, including structures from the 1800s which remain today. 

“Warrnambool was first declared to be a town in 1846 and 250 acres were set aside from Henna Street to Japan Street and from Merri Street to Lava Street. That was the original township.” 

She said businesses established themselves in Fairy Street in the 1850s and 60s with the intention of making it the main street, a title that Liebig Street now holds. The tour is on Thursday and January 18 at 6.30pm.