The Bass Coast
The Bass Coast is a unique amalgamation of unspoiled coastline and picturesque rural hinterland. Less than two hours from Melbourne, it is a popular holiday destination that offers something for everyone. There are charming rural villages, bustling holiday towns with plenty of facilities, rolling hills and renowned surf breaks.
Currently one of the fastest growing areas in regional Victoria, the Bass Coast has a permanent population of approximately 32,000; in peak holiday season however, the population is virtually triple that.
In the early-1800s, coal was discovered in the area and was subsequently mined right through til the early 1900s, when Wonthaggi coal accounted for over 60% of Victorian Railways coal consumption. More recently, the area has become known for its extensive tourism, beef and dairy industries and also the environmentally friendly wind power station and desalination plant.
Wonthaggi is a bustling town, the largest in South Gippsland. The Plaza has major retailers such as Target, Coles and Liquorland, eateries and other services. There is also a Woolworths, Aldi and IGA elsewhere in town. The local Bunnings or Mitre 10 will look after your gardening and hardware requirements, and there are plenty of cafés and restaurants if you don’t fancy cooking. If you fancy local produce and some arts and crafts, the Wonthaggi market is on the second Sunday of the month in the centre of town.
Wonthaggi has a total of 9 bus routes, including a V-line service. If you prefer the train, direct bus to Cranbourne or Southern Cross Station are the prefered methods. Wonthaggi is also located just 45 minutes from the newly proposed Airport at Koo Wee Rup.
Residents of Wonthaggi are spoilt for choice when it comes to sport and leisure facilities. There are two gyms, a heated pool, a large recreation ground where a variety of sports are catered for, an 18 hole golf course, kilometres of beautiful beaches with sheltered rockpools for swimming and snorkelling, 5 boat ramps, and the Cape Paterson surf life saving club. There is also a theatre group, bird watching trails, cinemas, paintball and various other social and special interest clubs.
The Wonthaggi hospital has a recently upgraded emergency department and maternity ward. This major regional hospital has access to a range of visiting specialists. There are also a number of GPs, chiropractors, dentists and natural medicine clinics in the area.
There is a good choice in secondary schools for a small population – Wonthaggi Secondary College, Newhaven College (private) and Mary Mackillop College (private). There are also three local primary schools. Adult education is well catered for with Chisholm TAFE, Bass Coast Adult Education Centre, University of the Third Age Retirees Education Centre and a number of employment/training services.