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The region

South West Healthcare (SWH) is, very proudly, one of Victoria’s most established health services and is the largest sub-regional health service provider in the state.

Our regional footprint spans five local government areas with hospitals in Warrnambool and Camperdown, mental health services in four locations, five community health services and an aged care facility.

111,000 people live in South West Victoria, a vibrant region consisting of the five Local Government Areas of Warrnambool City and the Shires of Corangamite, Glenelg, Moyne and Southern Grampians.


Our major city, Warrnambool, is one of the fastest-growing regional cities in Victoria.  Warrnambool and the South West Region comprise the most liveable regional area in Australia, according to the 2021 Ipsos Life in Australia study. The climate is mild to warm and the region’s rich soil provides the basis for thriving horticulture, viticulture, dairy production, timber plantation/harvesting, cattle grazing and wool production. The world famous Great Ocean Road and attracts thousands of tourists throughout the year and the natural resources of  spectacular coastlines, volcanic craters, lakes and rivers offer a multitude of outdoor activities for all ages.  The area is home to a vibrant arts and culture scene, lively community groups and great hospitality. Family living in the region is enhanced by housing affordability and excellent education, with government and independent options available at primary and secondary level, the region is home to South West TAFE and Deakin University Warrnambool.

The region’s rich soil provides the basis for thriving horticulture, viticulture, dairy production, timber plantation/harvesting, cattle grazing and wool production.

With its spectacular coastlines, mountain cliffs, volcanic craters, lakes and waterfalls the South West region offers a multitude of outdoor activities for all ages.

  • Warrnambool City

    Warrnambool is the largest city in the Great Ocean Road region, located 263km south-west of Melbourne, approximately a 3 hour drive via Geelong on the Princes Highway or Hamilton Highway. Or if you choose to come along the Great Ocean Road, allow approximately 5.5 hours driving time.

    Warrnambool is Victoria’s most liveable city, in Victoria’s most productive farming region. It boasts an enviable mix of seaside location, tourism and family appeal, tidy streets and employment opportunities.

    There are four daily return rail services between Warrnambool and Melbourne’s Southern Cross station and the city is served by a convenient network of bus routes.

    Education needs for all ages are covered. There are kindergartens in all suburbs, 11 primary schools and four secondary schools along with a TAFE campus and a campus of Deakin University.

    Learn more about Warrnambool.

  • Corangamite Shire

    Our coastline boasts kilometres of National Park and the Twelve Apostles – a natural rock formation created by the erosion of the limestone cliffs by the Southern Ocean.  Our lush hinterland has fertile grasslands, internationally recognised wetlands, volcanic cones and rolling hills, and is not only attractive, but also forms the basis of an important agricultural industry.

    The Shire is approximately 4,600 square kilometres.  It extends from the spectacular limestone cliffs at Port Campbell and Princetown to the historic town of Skipton, in the north, near Ballarat.  The Shire’s eastern boundary is the shore of Lake Corangamite, a huge inland lake just north of the Stony Rises, and it extends to the west of Terang.  The name ‘Corangamite’ is said to be derived from the local aboriginal word for ‘bitter’ or ‘salt water’, as it refers to the high salt level of the water, usually about three times that of sea water.

    Learn more about the Corangamite Shire.

  • Glenelg Shire

    Nestled in Victoria’s South West corner, the Glenelg Shire area is known as the Discovery Coast.

    The region boasts rich maritime history, and inspiring natural attractions. The region’s towns include historic Portland, scenic Cape Bridgewater, the quaint village of Nelson and the rural towns of Casterton, Heywood and Dartmoor.

    Rolling hills and rich agricultural land to the north give way to a scenic and secluded river region to the west, pine plantations line the roads through the hinterland, while a huge expanse of coastal beaches and cliffs form the southern perimeter. Whether you’re seeking a land, sea or river experience, or a combination of all three, the Discovery Coast is the place to be!

    Learn more about the Glenelg Shire.

  • Moyne Shire

    From the rolling green pastures that support the dairy industry to the stunning coastline beaten by waves for thousands of years, Moyne Shire is a diverse and exciting region. Moyne is an area where you can feel at home in a spectacular natural landscape, with a strong community spirit and vibrant lifestyle to match.

    Port Fairy is the largest township in the Moyne Shire, a 25 minute drive from Warrnambool. Port Fairy boasts wide streets lined with nineteenth century cottages, great Norfolk pines and old stone churches. Join in the fun of the Port Fairy Folk Festival and buzzing local art scene. It is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the fine food and wine on offer at one of the many great pubs, cafes or restaurants.

    Learn more about the Moyne Shire.

  • Southern Grampians Shire

    The Southern Grampians Shire is a leading, innovative and creative community offering many opportunities with the best of country living.

    With a population of 16,510, the Southern Grampians Shire covers an area of 6,652 square kilometres. Hamilton is the main retail and service centre supported by the nine surrounding townships of Balmoral, Branxholme, Byaduk, Cavendish, Coleraine, Dunkeld, Glenthompson, Penshurst and Tarrington.

    Learn more about the Southern Grampians Shire.

Moving to our region

  • Visa requirements and immigration

    To work in Australia, you need to either be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, New Zealand Permanent Resident or have a valid visa that has full working rights for Australia such as a family-sponsored visa. If none of these categories apply to you then you will require to be sponsored on a Skilled Regional Visa.

    Depending on where you are relocating from and the profession you are in, we have a range of incentives that may be available to you, these may include Visa Nomination/Sponsorship:

    • Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visas
    • Subclass 482 (Temporary Skills shortage) visa
    • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (provisional) (subclass 494) – Employer sponsored stream

    Further detail on Immigrating to Australia can be found with The Department of Home Affairs Immigration Department of Australia.

  • Education

    Pre-School / Kindergarten

    The Victorian kindergarten program is a duration of one to two years prior to entering primary school. Children are eligible to attend kindergarten if they are 4 years of age on or before April 30. Kindergarten placements are generally in high demand and spots are limited, therefore it is important that parents register their child directly through their local kindergarten. Fees for kindergartens vary depending on location and organisation.

    Find out more about Kindergarten in Victoria and find a local program.

    Primary and secondary schooling

    South West Victoria offers a wide range of public and private education throughout the region. In Victoria, secondary schooling begins for children at the age of 12 years old. Public education in Victoria is considered a ‘free’ education, however may still be associated with some costs such as school levy, uniform, excursions and some books. Private schooling throughout the region starts from around $2000 per child, per year.

    University and TAFE 

    Warrnambool offers a range of educational opportunities including university and TAFE programs.

    • Deakin University – Provides undergraduate and post-graduate studies in fields that include: business, medicine, nursing, marine science, education and the arts at the local campus.
    • South West TAFE – Offering over 150 nationally-recognised qualifications and short courses, and all are delivered by people with practical experience and backed by strong industry connections.
  • Housing

    The vast majority of houses for sale or rent are advertised online at or

Page last updated: 15 April 2024

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