Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village & Shipwrecked! Show Review

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village is waaay too well-kept a secret in the city of Warrnambool! I vaguely remembered a Shipwreck tourist centre a long time ago, but it has since developed into a really fantastic tourist attraction – and until we’d hit Port Campbell, we’d never even heard it referred to! Luckily, a friendly local in Port Campbell had told us how Warrnambool had a really great olden-time shipwreck village, otherwise we may have missed this gem.

Dockside at the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village

Dockside at the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village is a step-back-in-time experience – an 1800’s Maritime fishing village. You can walk through the village along cobblestones and check out the old buildings, see people walking about it period costume – it’s all great fun! The kids absolutely loved inspecting everything – especially petting the live animals about the place!

The locals at Flagstaff Hill were very friendly!

The locals at Flagstaff Hill were very friendly!

So when we heard that they not only had an evening sound-and-light show, but that it was a recreation of the sinking of the Loch Ard – the ship we had been listening to the story of on the car’s CD player, and that we had stopped and viewed the actual site of the sinking of – we were incredibly eager to see it.

Inside the Steam Packet Inn - it's possible to go in a lot of the buildings at Flagstaff Hill

Inside the Steam Packet Inn – it’s possible to go in a lot of the buildings at Flagstaff Hill

The Sound and Laser show didn’t start until 9pm so that it was properly dark when it began. We all met up at the entrance, and were handed our “boarding passes” to the Loch Ard! The scene was effectively set! My two were the only children, being that school holidays were now over.

The Loch Ard "boarding pass" ticket for the Flagstaff Hill Shipwrecked! laser and light show

The Loch Ard “boarding pass” ticket for the Flagstaff Hill Shipwrecked! laser and light show

Then we were taken down and led through the village by lantern-light (okay, well electric lantern, but still fun!). The kids were allowed to each carry one, which was kid-heaven for Brooke and Samantha – wandering through a dark old cobblestone village carrying a lantern and hearing tales of woe about shipwrecks? It doesn’t get much better than that when you are 7 and 9 years old! But the best was yet to come….

The way to the Shipwrecked! laser sound and light show is along these cobblestones...

The way to the Shipwrecked! laser sound and light show is along these cobblestones…

We were led down to the village dock-side, with short stories told to us each step of the way by our excellent guide. At one point we were even shown the lead “pigs” that had once been in the hull of the Loch Ard – and which had caused her to sink so fast! We touched them in awe, imagining the gloomy depths that they had been hauled out of…and now here they were, right in front of us!

We were then directed into a theatre, and we all took a seat in anticipation. Everyone was warned not to sit in the front row, as they might get wet. On hearing that, both kids immediately wanted to sit there of course!

All ready for the exciting Shipwrecked! laser sound and light show!

All ready for the exciting Shipwrecked! laser sound and light show!

A mini-movie rolled on the large screen with actors playing the parts in the sinking of the Loch Ard. The movie was about twenty minutes long and was absolutely fascinating. It went into realistic detail about life on board an 1800’s sailing ship – the miserable conditions, the awful weather, shelter and food…even for such privileged passengers, it made us very glad not to be them – and that was without their looming disaster!

Tip!  If you go to the light and sound show first you’ll get discounted entry to the Maritime Village the next day

Then the screen and the backdrop curtain raised, and we were looking outside at where dockside lake was, only there was an artificial misty rain falling – this would act as a “canvas” for the laser lights.

Through the rain began a laser light show like no other – it actually recreated the sinking of the Loch Ard ship with laser lights! The sound effects were realistically exciting and scary – the ship was heading for a rocky outcrop island – look out! The Loch Ard laser-light ship met its watery doom, sliding silently into the real lake and taking all but two souls with her – it was quite an effect. We couldn’t tear our eyes away – what a show!

You can take a sneak peak at the Shipwrecked! Sound and Laser show here…

We returned back up through the dark village to the exit, chatting excitedly all the way. Before we left we stopped in at the souvenir shop for books on shipwrecks, little treasure chests and a small Loch Ard sailing ship to remember the night.

If you’re nearby Warrnambool finishing up your Great Ocean Road holiday, do not miss this show, especially if you have children who love a bit of adventure (really, whose don’t?)! It’s more than worth the entry price, especially if you compare it to the Ballarat light and sound show. Plus if you go to the light and sound show first you’ll get a 30%-off-discount on your day-tickets to the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village the next day!

Need-to-know info…

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village

*Prices : Adult $16, Concession $12.50, Child $6.50, Family $39 (2 Adults – 2 or more Children)

Shipwrecked! Sound and Laser show night experience

*Prices : Adults – $26, Concession $23, Child $13.95, Family $67 (2 Adults – 2 Children), Additional Child $9.

Please Note – Child Age 5  – 15, Under 5 Free

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village is located at Merri Street Warrnambool Victoria.
You can call 1800 556 111 or go to the official Flagstaff Hill website to book and get discounts on tickets here
*Prices correct as of February 2015

You can read all of the Let’s Go Mum! Victorian road trip blogs as we meander along the Shipwreck Coast of the Victorian Southern Ocean here.

Have you been to Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, or would you like to go? Comment below!



About LetsGoMum

Hi, I'm Barbara, mum of the Let's Go Mum blog. We'd love to hear from you! You can contact me anytime with ideas on where you think we should go or what you think we should try...just drop me a line at barbara@letsgomum.com.au!
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