Tower Hill is an inactive volcano located south west of Melbourne a short distance from Warrnambool and Port Fairy. The area was originally inhabited by the Koroitgundidj people who lived in the area of Tower Hill since before recorded history.
More than 30,000 years ago violent explosions formed the shallow crater where the lake lies and further eruptions created the islands and cone shaped hills that now house the Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve.
Artefacts found in the volcanic ash prove the Koroitgundidj people lived there at the time of the explosion. After the explosion the fertile soils produced a diverse range of vegetation including Manna Gum, Blackwood, Black Wattle, Swamp Gum and Drooping Sheoak. The area was rich with birds and wildlife.
In 1802 French explorer Captain Baudin led the first confirmed sighting of Tower Hill by Europeans. Following European settlement much of the vegetation was cleared for farming and quarrying. In 1892 Tower Hill became Victoria's first National Park but environmental damage still continued until it was made a Game Reserve in 1961.
The view painted in 1855 by Eugene von Guerard
In 1961 revegetation of the area began using an 1855 painting by Eugene von Guerard. Much of the wetlands dry up during drought times but today the area is once again rich with bird life and wildlife making it a great place to visit and take nature walks.
Worn Gundidj Visitor Centre
The visitor centre is operated by Worn Gundidj which was founded in 1992 as a not for profit organisation to foster traditional art and nature based tourism. At the visitor centre you can enjoy the cultural displays and buy Authentic Aboriginal Products.
The centre is open Monday to Friday 9.00 am - 5.00 pm and weekends and public holidays 10.00 am - 4.00 pm.
You can also do a self guided walks in Tower Hill or join a range of tours conducted by the traditional owners.
We also do a 4 day Indigenous Tour which includes Tower Hill