What is Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village?

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Australia's Largest and Most Awarded Maritime Heritage Precinct

What Will You Experience?

The Shipwreck Coast of Victoria has a rich maritime history. The spectacular coastline is the final resting place of over 180 wrecks along our beautiful and wild coastline. 

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village is a maritime museum and outdoor village with Australia's richest shipwreck collection, all contained in an 1870's village located on a state heritage listed overlooking Lady Bay. The village provide a glimpse into the maritime lifestyles and trades of the 1870's era, the peak of Australia's maritime heritage.

Extensive indoor galleries and the outdoor maritime heritage precinct make for a highlight of your journey on the Great Ocean Road.

Winner of 5 Victorian Tourism Awards in the last 6 years - you are sure to learn something new, something old while you thoroughly enjoy Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village.

Museum Accreditation Program

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village allows you to experience this dramatic part of our history.

  • Begin your voyage of discovery through a multi screen theatre that takes you on a voyage in the late 1800's through the roaring southern ocean

  • Explore the Great Circle Gallery museum area that displays our state significant shipwreck artefect collection

  • Be amazed at the personal stories linked to the Victorian Heritage Registered Minton  Loch Ard Peacock, Australia's most valuable shipwreck artefect (Valued at $4m)

  • Walk through the streets of our village and see the many trades and lifestyles of a maritime village in the 1870's period

  • Meet some of the 120 volunteers that work in the various buildings and research areas to learn more about the history of our region

  • Climb the heritage listed Lady Bay Lighthouses Open Daily

  • See special exhibitions of our rare collection pieces - Now Showing Little Shipmates from the Australian National Maritime Museum

  • Take in beautiful views over Lady Bay whilst enjoying old fashioned Devonshire Teas in our Stella Maris Tearooms

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village - A Community Lead ProjectMuseums Australia Accreditation Program

In 1974 the Warrnambool Chamber of Commerce held a public meeting to float the idea of creating a new tourist attraction for Warrnambool. The lease to the Lady Bay Lighthouse had become available and the meeting proposed that the Warrnambool community take over the site and develop a new maritime museum.

Through a range of projects the village has been created and the dream of 1974 has now emerged to be the award winning Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village that welcomed its 2 millionth guest in 2009.

Now managed by Warrnambool City Council the 'village' is a focal point for tourism, heritage and collection management for Warrnambool.

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village receives no recurrent Federal or State Government funding and we therefore rely on the gate receipts and commercial operation of the village to maintain our heritage listed site and artefacts.

What is Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village?

VISION

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village is the Great Ocean Road's premier tourist attraction and cultural heritage centre, presenting the regions social and maritime heritage in a uniquely educational and entertaining way.

MISSION

To present through a range of precincts and interpretative methods the Warrnambool and districts maritime, social, industry and environmental heritage and its links to the development of the state of Victoria.

OBJECTIVE

  • Provide visitors with an experience that is unique, exciting and fun.

  • Clearly define to guests the experience we offer through different elements of the precinct and its links to the development of the Great Ocean Road region of Victoria.

  • Maintain the integrity of the village area that defines our maritime heritage to the 1840's to 1942 period.

  • Provide a high quality custodial repository for Warrnambool's artefacts and oral histories.

  • Support further development of the site as a desirable tourism venue with the long term aim of financial
    self sufficiency.

  • Operate in a financially responsible manner that fosters staff and volunteer development, safety and innovative interpretative techniques.

  • Support the development of the site as an education resource for a range of topics linked to our heritage values.

  • Support a range of other custodians of Warrnambool and the regions heritage.

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village Museum Collection

As Victoria's most active maritime museum and village we hold Australia's most significant shipwreck artefact collection.

A key feature is the priceless Minton statue, the Loch Ard Peacock. Australia's most valuable shipwreck artefact (Currently valued at $4m) the Loch Ard Peacock was being transported in 1878 from England to Melbourne aboard the clipper the Loch Ard, bound for display at Melbourne's Great International Exhibition of 1880.

The ship ran into the cliffs at what is now known as Loch Ard Gorge, with the peacock being washed ashore two days after the wreck. Permanently housed at Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village it forms the centrepiece of the Great Circle Gallery that houses our rich maritime heritage.