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 Reserve, Koroit is named after 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 Commercial Road and enjoy local produce, tasty eateries, quirky shops and a drink or two at local watering holes. As you wander the streets, you’ll find Irish charm at every turn.
Discover the mystery and majesty of an ancient volcanic landscape. Nestled in a dormant volcano formed some 30,000 years ago, is a wildlife haven. Meet koalas, emus, kangaroos and many species of waterbirds roaming freely in Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve. Declared Victoria’s first National Park in 1892, Tower Hill is the ideal place for visitors to experience the Australian bush, enjoy magnificent scenery and landscapes while getting up close and personal with some of Australia’s most iconic native birds and animals.
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 south west Victoria. The festival, hosted around the town, goes 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 herritage with immigrants lured by the availability of land and the rich volcanic soil in which 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 littered throughout town.
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 a great 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.
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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.