The extended long weekend delivered a major boost in numbers for Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum - double expectations.
The council said last week they were expecting more than 1000 visitors to Flagstaff Hill over the four-day break, but more than 2000 turned out between September 22 and 25.
It was the busiest four-day period in recent memory that wasn't tied to a major event such as New Year's Eve with 2054 people walking through the doors.
This is more than double the corresponding period in pre-COVID times with 982 people visiting in 2019 and 837 in 2018 - but they were three-day weekends rather than four.
A nationwide public holiday to mourn the passing of The Queen turned the traditionally busy grand final break into an even bigger weekend for tourism in the city.
Saturday was the busiest day with 656 visitors, making it the biggest day since at least 2014 outside of New Year's Eve and Easter Day on the Hill celebrations.
The Tales of the Shipwreck Coast sound and light show sold out for all four nights over the long weekend too.
The Visitor Information Centre was also busy with enquiries on par with the already busier-than-usual Easter period this year.
This continues a trend of increased visitation numbers at Flagstaff Hill in recent times.
It's good news for the site which has struggled to turn a profit in recent years, and is under review by the council.
A feasibility study on Flagstaff Hill is expected to be completed within the coming months.
Warrnambool mayor Vicki Jellie said that it was great to see so many people learning more about the museum's rich collection of shipwreck artefacts and exploring the village.
"The four-day long weekend was incredibly busy for Warrnambool, which was terrific news for our local businesses across the hospitality, retail and tourism sectors especially," she said.
"Looking at Flagstaff Hill not just this weekend, but over the past year, visitation is well and truly up, even on pre-pandemic levels.
"It's a credit to the hardworking staff and volunteers at Flagstaff Hill and the Visitor Information Centre who provide an experience that is really valued by visitors to Warrnambool - Flagstaff Hill has an average rating of 4.5 out of five stars on popular travel website TripAdvisor based on over 900 reviews."
Cr Jellie said staff had been working hard on research and cataloguing the museum collection.
Flagstaff Hill has been shortlisted for the Victorian Collections Award for Excellence in Museum Cataloguing, which was a great achievement, she said.
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