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 rim of Tower Hill State Game Reserve, Koroit is named for the Koroitch Gundidj people who occupied the area for thousands of years.
Rich volcanic soils lured men of the land. In the 1840s and 50s Irish immigrant farmers settled here, many as small grain and potato farmers who ‘took their produce down the slope to Warrnambool’.
The township grew, naturally taking on the lively character and culture of the settlers’ Irish homeland. 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. While dairying has taken over many of the original potato fields, farming is still the mainstay.
Stroll or cycle along the main street, wandering into the side streets, and you’ll find Irish charm at every turn.
Go where the locals go! For toe-tapping live Irish music, home-style Irish food or smooth Guinness on tap, head to Mickey Bourke’s Koroit Hotel.
Established in 1853, and counting a pioneering Scottish carpenter, a local parliamentarian and a family of Bourke’s in its 150-year history, Mickey Bourke’s is the heartbeat of Koroit’s Irish heritage. It’s always been an iconic meeting place and these days it’s dancing room only during events like St Patrick’s Day celebrations, Koroit Irish festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival, and the annual Lake School of Celtic Song, Music and Dance.
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.
Look for friendly community volunteers partnering with the Moyne Shire in a gardens restoration project.
Grab a brochure online or from the Koroit Bakery and treat yourself to a journey through the town’s fascinating history. Take in more than 30 sites of interest including Koroit’s beautiful 19th century buildings and streetscapes. Discover tiny workers’ cottages, gracious public buildings, and lush gardens, all influenced by that Irish heritage Koroit is renowned for.
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. In Koroit, join the trail at the old Railway Station and choose your own adventure towards either Port Fairy or Warrnambool.
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.
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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawuurung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Ancestors, 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.