Warrnambool shire (1863-1994) was in western Victoria, L-shaped with the lower part adjoining the coastline. Warrnambool city on the Hopkins Rivers where it enters Lady Bay, was separate from the shire.
The coastal part of the shire contained most of the population, having moist soil of mainly volcanic origin suitable for most types of agriculture and dairying. The latter has become the dominant farm activity. The northern, vertical stroke of the L shaded into general grazing and wool growing.