Koroit is a historic, picturesque, quaint town with great food and wine, the famous Mickey Bourke’s Koroit Hotel, the ever popular Izzy’s Restaurant, Little Thai House, Koroit Country Bakehouse, Commercial Hotel, as well as a number of cafes and takeaway options, all within walking distance of Birch House. There are a number of antique shops in Koroit and surrounding areas. Killarney Beach and Tower Hill are just minutes drive away, as are Warrnambool and Port Fairy.
Koroit is nestled on the northern slopes of the dormant volcano Tower Hill. Tower Hill is believed to have first erupted about 30,000 years ago. It was declared Victoria’s first National Park in 1892. Home to koalas, kangaroos, emus, echidnas, wombats, many bird species, and much more, with a number of walks, picnic areas and public facilities, it makes for a great and interesting place to visit.
Koroit Heritage Trail
The town’s Heritage Trail highlights many of Koroit’s beautiful old buildings. The trail can be walked, cycled or you can drive your car to view the 30 places of interest. Brochures are available at Birch House and Birch Studio.
Sightseeing and Winery Tours
Seeall Limousines of Warrnambool can arrange tours from 1 hour to an entire day. Tours include:
- A full day touring local wineries
- Tours of the Great Ocean Road
- Tower Hill Nature Reserve
- Hopkins Falls
- Historic Koroit
- Port Fairy
Koroit’s Botanical Gardens
Designed by William Guilfoyle in the late 1800’s, the gardens now form part of a large recreational area.
Koroit Art Gallery
The owners of the Koroit Country Bakehouse have built a second storey above the existing bakery and café to accommodate the gallery. It features works of local artists and is well worth visiting.
Mickey Bourke’s Koroit Hotel
The famous Mickey Bourke’s Koroit Hotel has been trading as a hotel for over 150 years. This historic Irish hotel is also one of the first examples of Art Noveau architecture in Australia.
Known throughout the country, the pub was in the Bourke family from 1922 until 2000 and has affiliations with Hal Porter, Henry Handle Richardson and Frank Hardy.
Old Railway Station
The rail first came through Koroit in 1889 and provided new opportunities for many, and the brick building that currently stands, replaced an original timber structure in 1907. Train services ceased to Koroit in 1977, however the building lives on and is currently being restored to its former glory by the Koroit Historical Society.
Port Fairy – Warrnambool Rail Trail
The Port Fairy to Warrnambool Rail trail, passing through Koroit is a delightful ride, cycle or walk through the countryside, taking in picturesque rural scenes at a leisurely pace. The Koroit Railway Station is a mid point on the trail and is just a few doors from Birch House.
Koroit Tourist Drive
The Tourist Drive is a 12 kilometre scenic tour of Koroit. Cycle or drive and take in the views of Tower Hill from the top of the crater. In the distance, you will see Killarney Beach and Port Fairy. Quite spectacular!
Tower Hill Cemetery
Tower Hill Cemetery is situated on the outskirts of the village. It is the final resting place for many well known people and pioneers of the area, including a Nobel Prize winner.
Flagstaff Hill Warrnambool
Wander through a fascinating 1870’s maritime village and museum with interactive displays, lighthouse, cannons, plus relics and treasures from shipwrecks including the famous Loch Ard Peacock. At night, see “Shipwrecked”, a breathtaking world class sound and laser show which dramatically tells the story of the sinking of the Loch Ard in 1878.
Lake Petrobe Adventure Playground
Lake Petrobe Adventure Playgound is a kids paradise which features giant slides, flying foxes, a maze, boat rides and much more. Lovely sheltered bbq & picnic areas.
Mahogany Walking Track
A 22 kilometre beach walk, approx 6 hours with a gentle grade. This track starts at Warrnambool and finishes in Port Fairy. The walk passes the last known resting place of the Mahogany Ship, thought to be a Portugese caravel that was wrecked in the early 1500’s. It later vanished under drifting sands in the 1890’s. The area is home to echidnas and lots of bird life. In winter or spring, you might even catch a glimpse of a southern right whale! Shorter walks can be taken along this route by entering at several access points along the way.
Hopkins Falls are located 13km north east of town. They are particularly splendid after good rain, however, they are always good for picnicking, fishing & walking. There are bbq’s and toilets on site. To get there, head north (from Warrnambool) off the Princes Highway into Jamieson St which eventually heads north-east out of town as the Hopkins Highway. About 2.7 km from the Princes Highway there is a signposted right turn into Wangoom Rd. Simply follow this until you see another brown-and-white sign directing you into Hopkins Falls Rd.
Lady Julia Percy Island – Seal Colony
A fascinating island lying off to the west of Port Fairy, Lady Julia Percy Island is Australia’s only submarine volcano. The lava flows have created an unusual flat top and almost vertical cliffs surround the island. The island has become home to the largest colony of fur seals in the Southern Hemisphere. Boat trips to the island are available subject to fine weather.