En Plein Air at Tower Hill

event date: 
Saturday, 27 November 2021 - 9:30am

A summer’s day to remember in South West Victoria Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve FREE EVENT!


Tickets through Eventbrite
P: (03) 5559 4949
E: gallery [at] warrnambool [dot] vic [dot] gov [dot] au
Admission Free. COVID19 Regulations Apply. Proof of Vaccination Required


Join over 30 of Australia’s leading artists in the majestic landscape of Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve in Victoria’s South West on Saturday 27 November, for a rare opportunity to observe them at work, or paint alongside them. This is a rare opportunity to set up your easel or pull out your sketch book near artists including Rick Amor, Sue Anderson, Philip Davey, Amanda Johnson, Martin King, Carmel Wallace and Joseph Zbukvic.

Tower Hill En Plein Air is a collaboration between the Warrnambool Art Gallery (WAG) and the Worn Gundidj Aboriginal Cooperative at Tower Hill for the Wallawar Festival which will be held in Warrnambool from 26 – November to 5 December.

Tower Hill En Plein Air is free, however there are a range of be paid workshops, art kits, travel options and bushtucker picnic hampers designed by Jay Britton available to buy for those who would like to explore the volcanic landscape. All bookings can be made via Eventbrite [link]. 

Saturday 27 November Visitor Guide
Download Visitor Guide

“A stroll among the gigantic ferns of the valley… a ramble among the cones and craters… the winding path at the foot of the basaltic rises close to the lake… almost tropical reeds rustle in the breeze... leafy shrubs and trees form delightful bowers and alcoves… tender emotion in suitable company” – notes from George Bonwick’s visit to Tower Hill in 1858.


Tower Hill is a dormant volcano and has remarkable geological landscape features visible from lookouts around the reserve and when walking in the park. These include conical hills, large and small craters, basalt outcrops from lava flows, and layers of ash from eruptions long ago.

Getting there

Tower Hill Reserve is located 18 km west of Warrnambool and can be accessed from the Princes Highway.

Parking is limited. Dedicated bus service provided between 9am and 3.30pm on Saturday 27 November: Warrnambool (WAG) to Tower Hill – 20 minutes $5 each way BOOK NOW with your En Plein Air ticket

Departing WAG: 9:00am, 11:00am, 1:00pm, 2:00pm.

Departing Tower Hill:  12:20pm, 1:30pm, 3:00pm.


The picnic area has picnic tables, electric barbecues and toilets. The visitor centre has light refreshments. There are no drinking water taps or rubbish bins available. Staying overnight in campervans, caravans or tents is not permitted.

Bush Tucker Picnic Hampers

Available for pre-order. Pick up at Visitor Centre 12:00-12.30pm $35 BOOK NOW with your En Plein Air ticket

Includes (serves 1 person) Popcorn Chicken Baguettes with Coleslaw and Lemon Myrtle Mayonnaise OR Mountain Pepper Falafels with Tahini Yogurt and Petite Salad with Coastal Greens (vegan). PLUS Saltbush Potato Crisps/Chips | Geraldton-wax Potato Salad | Peppermint Gum choc Fudge Brownie

Art Supplies Pack

Available for pre-order or purchase on the day Pick up at Visitor Centre 10am-2pm $20 BOOK NOW with your En Plein Air ticket

Think you might like to sit alongside some of our artists and sketch? We've prepared some introductory packs to get you started.  Includes sketchbook, charcoals and pencils.

Things to see and do


Tower Hill provides a habitat for many birds and animals and is a great place to view them. You may see koalas, emus, kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, turtles and possums, as well as many waterbirds such as black swans, ducks and spoonbills. Please admire but do not feed the animals. This may cause them illness and pain putting their health at risk, and may cause annoyance, behavioural change or injury to park visitors.

Tower Hill Visitor Centre

Open 10am to 4pm. The Visitor Centre is located near the picnic area and is managed by Worn Gundidj Aboriginal Cooperative. The centre has displays along with light refreshments and aboriginal arts and crafts for sale.

Welcome to Country

9:30am Presented by Worn Gundidj

Guided Tours

10am—12pm AND 1—3pm Worn Gundidj Aboriginal Bush and Nature Tour & Boomerang Throwing $45 BOOK NOW with your En Plein Air ticket

A two hour interactive tour conducted by local guides provides an exclusive opportunity to explore the natural habitat of some of Australia’s most iconic animals. Gain an understanding of traditional Aboriginal lifestyles such as identifying native plants for food and medicinal purposes and learn how to throw a boomerang. The Tour will follow the ‘Journey to the Last Volcano’ en plein air artist trail.

Plein Air Artist Trail – Journey to the Last Volcano

En Plein Air Artists are scheduled throughout the day around the Visitor Centre and along the Journey to the Last Volcano Trail Loop. 1.9km, some steep hills, 1 hour circuit. This moderately strenuous, undulating walk leads up to and around the most recently active volcano crater and provides good views of the park.

10am –12pm: Rick Amor, Sue Anderson, Gareth Colliton, Irene Crusca, Ben Fennessy, Jenny McCarthy, Martin King, Kenny Pittock, Carmel Wallace, Joseph Zbukvic.

12 –2pm: Jimmi Buscombe, Jesse Dayan, Barbie Kjar, Damon Kowarsky, Simon Linardi, Harley Manifold.

2–4pm: Jimmi Buscombe, Levi Geebung, Neil Griffin, Michelle Hamer, Amanda Johnson, Talitha Kennedy, Damon Kowarsky, Rose Lister, Grant Nimmo, Heidi Peters, Ricky Schembri, Deborah Walker.

Drawing Workshop

Location: Von Guérard Lookout 10am—1pm $30 BOOK NOW with your En Plein Air ticket

Artist Madeleine Peters presents an introductory class in interpreting the landscape through drawing. Charcoals, paper and lap-table supplied, please bring own seat and any additional materials. Parking is limited. For dedicated bus service select 'Madeleine Peters Workshop Participants ONLY' under Bus Travel Schedule $10 return.


Gunditjmara Musicians Lee Sonnyboy Morgan, Andy Alberts & Brett Clarke 12-2pm FREE

Growing up as a boy from the Gunditjmara bush with musical talent on every haystack, Lee ‘Sonnyboy’ Morgan learnt from some of the best musicians in the country; performing on (albums & live on stage) alongside some of Australia’s legendary musical talents including Jimmy Barnes, Paul Kelly & Neil Murray, Shane Howard, Archie Roach, Rubie Hunter and Jessica Mauboy.

Andy Albert’s music is a vehicle to celebrate his Gunditjmara culture and tell his stories. Andy's three releases include songs which highlight the need to respect the elders and their ancestors before them (Wisdom Man, Sacred Forest, Old Wise Man, Namatjira) language song (Warran Pookar) political songs (Anthem, Get out of Jabiluka) ‘Life and Land’ country based songs (My Fathers Land, This Town, Back Where I Belong, Water)

Artist, Indigenous cultural educator and musician Brett Clarke’s funk-edged tunes and soulful voice cover an eclectic range of music genres. The Gunditjmara/ Kirrae Whurrong Songman, carries the songs, stories and languages from his grandmother which she kept secret from the government when she was living on the Mission.

Children’s Activities

Koala Masks & Story Time: $5 10:30 –11:15am BOOK NOW with your En Plein Air ticket

Join WAG Education Officer Megan Nicolson for hands on nature-based activities including making koala masks.

Image: Mike Barr, The Master – Yarra Valley, 2021. Oil on canvas, 50x50cm.