Where a hearty welcome and a genuine Irish community awaits you. Unique and character filled Koroit is one of Australia`s most complete examples of an early Irish settlement.
Nestled on the Northern slopes of the dormant volcano of Tower Hill lies the historic Irish farming settlement of Koroit. This quaint, close-knit village is hailed as one of Australia’s most complete examples of early Irish settlement. Here, Irish charm flows as freely as pints of Guinness.
Koroit is named for the Koroitch Gundidj people who occupied the area for thousands of years. Rich volcanic soils lured Irish immigrant farmers in the 1840s. Many settled here as small grain and potato farmers. Today’s Koroit honours its strong Irish catholic heritage. It flavours every aspect of life, from architecture and hospitality to a proudly close-knit community.
Stroll or cycle along the streets and you’ll find Irish charm at every turn.
Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve sits in a large volcanic crater. It is one of Victoria’s most fascinating and significant geological formations. Volcanic cone-shaped hills rise from the lakes. It’s a short detour from the Great Ocean Road and offers ample walking opportunities for people of all abilities – from easy boardwalks to scenic climbs.
A window to a bygone era. The Koroit railway station began operations in 1889. Though train services ceased in 1977, the building remains a brilliant backdrop to a family-friendly precinct that’s definitely worth making time to explore.
Just for fun: cross the old railway track via the railway signal lights, an authentic tribute to railway nostalgia. Let the little ones run free at the railway-themed adventure playground. For the bigger kids? Head to the outdoor exercise circuit, skate park, basketball half court and BBQ area.
Take a break in the refreshing, green Koroit Botanic Gardens. Meander pathways midst trees and shrubberies, and wonder at the 1857 vision of district surveyor Thomas Watson who allotted 20 acres for public gardens. With its Guilfoyle-inspired plan, the gardens now offer plenty for young and old, including a playground and public toilets. More than 100 rare and unusual trees from around the world will keep you all guessing.
The Festival celebrates all that’s Irish in this little patch of green in southwest Victoria. The festival, hosted around the town, runs for three days at the end of April. The festival host a stack of live Irish music, dancing, the Australian Danny Boy Championship, kids activities and street entertainment.
Koroit has a strong Irish heritage with immigrants lured by the availability of land and the rich volcanic soil to grow crops such as potatoes, onions and wheat. The Koroit Heritage Trail explores Edwardian architecture, gracious public buildings, tiny worker’s cottages and gardens throughout town.
Download the Koroit Heritage Trail or pick up a copy from the Port Fairy Information Centre.
Commercial Road, Koroit’s main street, is home to Irish pubs, local stores and other cafes and restaurants. Hungry? Grab a bite at Mickey Bourke’s, Dukes Commercial hotel or Izzy’s restaurant before heading to Noodledoof, Koroit’s very own brewery and distillery with award winning beverages. Go for a browse in some of Koroit’s local stores, such as The Bookworm Gallery (for your next book choice) and the Crystal Lee Op Shop, where you are sure to find some second hand goods.
Whether you tackle the Port Fairy to Warrnambool Rail Trail on foot or on bike, section-by-section or in one 37km trek, you’ll love the scenery, freedom and knowing you’re tracking a disused railway line that once hummed with freight and passenger trains. Journey through dairy farming landscapes, country towns, native grasslands and wetlands, with seascapes never far away. Koroit is an excellent stop for a well-deserved break, where you can enjoy a bite or two at one of the many local eateries. Or you can start your journey in Koroit, join the trail at the old Railway Station and choose your own adventure towards either Port Fairy or Warrnambool. E – Bike hire is now available from the Port Fairy Visitor Information Centre.
Koroit is located three hours from Melbourne via the M1 inland route and 10 minutes from both Warrnambool and Port Fairy.
Irish charm flows as freely as pints of Guinness in the township of Koroit
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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, 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.