Picturesquely located on the banks of the Barwon River, Winchelsea is a rural town steeped in history and surrounded by the fertile farmland of Victoria’s Western District.
Winchelsea’s historic origins are clearly visible in town, with some grand buildings including the National Trust property Barwon Park, built in 1871. The magnificent building and grounds are on the town heritage trail, as is the Winchelsea Railway Station which houses a steam-hauled passenger train.
As you’d expect there are a collection of antique, gift, art and craft stores in town, and traditional and contemporary fare can be found in tea houses and cafes in town.
The Historical Records Centre boasts a collection of written material, photographs, maps, oral history tapes and posters relating to the history of Winchelsea and its district. Special features include an extensive array of Marjorie Lawrence memorabilia, local indigenous artefacts and microfiche collections of former Shire of Winchelsea notebooks and cemetery lists. The Society’s rooms in the former Shire Office are usually open every Wednesday afternoon 1:30 – 5:00 pm or by appointment (best to call ahead and check); entry is free. Ph: (03) 5267 2494.
Winchelsea Hotel was first constructed in 1864, and operated as a store and stables until at least 1903. Remnants of the original Victorian building remain inside and a rear outbuilding which is virtually unchanged since its construction c.1920 currently serves as the Hotel’s Function Room. In the late 1920’s a large part of the original building was destroyed by fire. However, it wasn’t until the 1930’s and 40’s that alterations and additions gave the Hotel subtle Art Deco overtones. Few changes were made to the building until a long and extensive overhaul of the Winchelsea Hotel began in 2005. Victorian Lead light doors and windows now add a warm glow to the timber interior. Recycled Jarrah and Redgum make for an impressive centrepiece of the interior. The Hotel, now known as The Winchelsea Tavern, has been painstakingly restored to an eclectic mix of its historic past with an added modern touch.
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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawuurung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Ancestors, past present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.