About the listing
The Tower Hill Reserve was declared Victoria's first National Park way back in 1892. The area is the site of a volcanic formation known as a nested maar and it is the largest example of it's type in Australia. In 1855 colonial era painter Eugene von Guerard painted Tower Hill and this magnificent painting was to become so important a century later. In the 19th century the reserve was cleared for grazing purposes, the animals and birds moved away and the land became degraded. Then in the 1960s many volunteer groups banded together and started to replant native trees and understorey plants, they did this by using the magnificent von Geurard painting to identify the appropriate plant species. The trees and plants have now grown and matured, the birds and animals are back and the reserve has several walking trails that criss cross the park. It is one of the best places in the region for spotting koalas and there is a huge mob of kangaroos that can often be seen at dusk grazing in the paddocks on the side of the reserve.
A dormant volcano and fascinating geological landform that will take you back some 25,000 years in time to the active volcanic era in the region, the different layers of rock and ash can easily be seen as you enter the reserve. The crater edge of Tower Hill provides excellent viewing areas of the lakes and cones within the crater and a picturesque, sweeping view to the nearby coastline.
Tower Hill is now home to more than 150 bird species, koalas, grey kangaroos, and emus. There are established walking trails, an educational information centre and a variety of different natural attractions. Koalas are in abundance and in the late afternoon you can usually spot a small mob of kangaroos. The cheeky emus show no fear of humans and will steal a sausage from the barbecues given an opportunity. However, the rangers ask that you do not feed any of the animals. There are no rubbish bins in the park, mainly so that animals will not tip the bins over looking for food and we ask that you take all rubbish away with you. There are excellent facilities for visitors.
A visitors centre designed by architect Robin Boyd is open daily. The local indigenous people the Worn Gundidj, who have a special connection to Tower Hill have display of local cultural products in the visitors centre and also conduct themed walks through the reserve. These can be booked by ringing 5565 9202. There are excellent barbecue and picnic facilities as well as toilets. Entry to the park is free with the entrance easily located on the Princes Highway, midway between Port Fairy and Warrnambool. The park is open every day, dogs (or pets of any kind) are not permitted in the park and there is no camping permitted in the reserve. The park can be closed unexpectedly on days of extreme fire danger.
The Tower Hill Visitor Centre is open Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm, Weekends & public holidays, 10am - 5pm