Wonthaggi is a town of about 6,000 people in South Gippsland, Victoria, Australia, 128 km from Melbourne. It is on the Bass Highway, a few kilometres from the Bass Strait coast and east of Phillip Island. The town developed because of the coal mines around and below the town and in the 1920s it was one of the biggest towns in Victoria.
From Melbourne it can be reached in less than 2 hours via the Bass Highway which turns off the South Gippsland Highway. It is 20km past the Phillip Island turnoff. From the east it can be approached on the Bass Highway via Inverloch. It can also be reached on route C437 from Korumburra, another coal mining center.
Coach services depart from Melbourne's Southern Cross station, changing services at either Dandenong or Koo Wee Rup to arrive at Wonthaggi. Paper tickets must be booked online at the V-Line website. A full list of services is available here. Coaches arrive at the 1 Wonthaggi Bus Interchange.
Car rental is available in Wonthaggi, and if you want to travel to Wonthaggi and around, a car is a good way to do that.
- 2 Hertz Wonthaggi Downtown, 305 White Road, ☏ . M-F 8:30AM-12noon & 1-5PM, Sa 9-12noon.
- 3 Wonthaggi Car Rentals, 346 Bass Highway, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 8:15AM-5:30PM, Sa 9AM-1PM. Car from $65-$70 a day.
There are three bus services connecting areas and suburbs of Wonthaggi. All of these services begin at the Wonthaggi Bus Interchange. There are services for North Wonthaggi, South Wonthaggi and Dudley. A map of all services in Wonthaggi and the greater Bass Coast area is available here.
- 1 State Coal Mine, 19-37 Garden St (off Billson St, the street that leads to Cape Patterson), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 10AM-4:30PM. Despite its prosaic, Soviet-sounding name, this is actually an interesting historical attraction because of the guided tour 60 meters underground in the coal mine in addition to the above-ground exhibits. The site is part of an historic reserve managed by Parks Victoria. Mining ceased here many years ago and the site reopened as a tourist attraction in the 1980s. Restoration of mining infrastructure is on-going. On entry to the site you are free to wander around the above-ground exhibits which include the main museum room, a powder magazine, lamp room and a locomotive. One-hour underground tours commence at 10:30AM, 11:30AM, 1PM, 2PM and 3PM. Extra tours are offered during holidays. An introductory film screens in the entrance building 30 minutes prior to tours. For the tours, wear footwear suitable for uneven, damp ground and on warm days take extra clothing as the underground temperature is 16 degrees C. A hard hat is provided. The attraction is enlivened by the presence of a pit pony. Snacks are available from the gift shop and barbecue facilities are available. In addition to the mine on Garden St, there are 6 other sites in the reserve. Pick up a copy of the Parks Victoria visitor guide to the reserve. It shows walking trails around the remnants of mining activities just to the west of the town. The trails also go into Baxter’s Wetland Reserve. Adult $21, child $10.70, family $52.40.
- 2 ArtSpace Gallery, 1 Bent Street, ☏ . 10AM-4PM. Located in the Centennial Centre alongside the tourist information centre. Not-for-profit art gallery.
- 3 Wonthaggi Union Community Arts Centre, 96 Graham Street, ☏ . Tu-Sa 10AM-4PM. This centre contains a cinema, live theatre, music, and other community arts events. Check the website for current events.
- 4 Railway Station Museum, Railway Precinct (next to the Woolworths on Murray Street). Sa 10AM-2PM (winter 11AM-1PM). This museum is located at the site of the former Wonthaggi railway station, and it is operated by the Wonthaggi Historical Society.
- 1 Jeronimos Pizza, 84 Graham Street, ☏ . Pizza restaurant.
- 2 Youki's, 46 McBride Avenue, ☏ . Mo-Sa 10AM-3PM or until when sold out. Japanese restaurant serving fresh sushi. Only 5 customers in the store at once. $2.50-$14.50.
- 3 Connells Bakery, 33-35 Murray Street, ☏ . M-F 6AM-4:30PM, Sa 7AM-2PM. Bakery that serves coffee, pies, pasties and other treats.
- 4 Nyojo's Pizza, 163 Graham Street. W-Su 4:30-8:30PM. Pizza restaurant. $11-$20.
- 1 Wonthaggi Motel, 40-44 McKenzie Street, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2PM-8PM, check-out: Before 10AM. 20-unit motel.with free wifi.
- 2 Wonthaggi Park Lane (Coalfields Caravan Park), 245 Graham Street, ☏ . Caravan park with cabins, BBQ and laundry facilities, and an indoor pool. Pets welcome.
4G coverage is available across Wonthaggi on the 3 major telephone coverage networks, however it may be spotty out of town (unless you're with Telstra).
- Cape Paterson is a beachside town about 10 minutes away from Wonthaggi and accessible by car or bus.
- Phillip Island is a popular coastal destination featuring motorsports and fairy penguins, as well as a variety of attractions.
- Wilsons Promontory is a great place for hiking and camping.
|Routes through Wonthaggi|
|Kilcunda ←||W E||→ Leongatha → Morwell|