Home » Towns » Wonthaggi


Wonthaggi is a popular tourist destination in Victoria. Home to a rich, colourful history associated with the discovery of coal, this gorgeous town offers visitors a wide array of experiences to indulge in.

Coal was discovered in 1826 at Cape Paterson by William Howell, an explorer who was on an expedition from Corinella.

Wonthaggi Accommodation, Beach, Caravan Parks, Hotels & Pool, VIC

The Powlett River Fields is where black coal was mined from 1859 to 1864, and dozens of tons of coal were exported from the Bass Coast to Melbourne during those days. But from the 1870s onward, the lack of safe ship anchorages in the area led to the cessation of mining operations, and Victoria turned to Newcastle for its coal supply.

It wasn’t until the 1920’s that Wonthaggi experienced prosperity, as the local population increased to 5,000. Though the Great Depression affected this, in the following decades the town mainly relied on dairy and beef farms for business.

The most famous historical attraction of Wonthaggi is the State Coal Mine Historic Reserve, where the old coalmining sites have been well-preserved. Begin your exploration at the East Area mine, and unwind in the theatrette as you watch a film to learn about mining history. Tours take place here daily from 10am to 3pm. There are free barbecue facilities and a pit pony for kids is available as well.

Taberners Hotel is another popular landmark. It’s famous for the massive jawbones that you can’t miss on its entrance, with these once belonging to a 74-foot whale that washed up on a nearby beach in 1923 and were later on sold to the hotelier.

Foodies will love exploring the numerous culinary attractions nearby. Less than 15 minutes’ drive away are several renowned dining outlets in Kilcunda, including the Kilcunda Hotel, Udder and Hoe, and the Kilcunda General Store. Wine lovers should check out the beautiful cellar doors at The Dirty Three Wines and Harman Wines.

For food, heritage, history, and wine, you’ll have much to see and do at Wonthaggi. It’s ideal for families and friends enjoying a great getaway.

Click on the links below to explore the range of accommodation, caravan parks, and hotels in and around Wonthaggi, VIC.

About the author

Michael Jones

Michael created and runs the Phillip Island Point website, as well as the Holiday Point travel brand that incorporates a network of 16 location based travel information and attraction websites around Australia, Asia, and around the world.

With 25+ years of online experience and a passion for travel (having lived in Melbourne most of his life and has visited Phillip Island many times), Michael not only researches and writes content for the website, he also tinkers behind the scenes with the website functionality & design.

Please reach out if you have any questions or suggestions.

Do You Have a Question to Ask?

Click Here to Ask a Question

Weather Forecast


Upcoming Events