Gutsy the wombat is on Google Maps

Warrnambool Gutsy the Wombat appears on Google Maps

National News
ON THE MAP: Phil Hoye and Jimmi Buscombe with Warrnambool's famous wombat Gutsy, who now appears on Google Maps. Picture: Morgan Hancock

ON THE MAP: Phil Hoye and Jimmi Buscombe with Warrnambool's famous wombat Gutsy, who now appears on Google Maps. Picture: Morgan Hancock

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Warrnambool's famous wombat is now considered a tourist attraction on a popular web mapping service.

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Gutsy the wombat has made it to Google maps.

The wombat mural that went viral in a video last year is now considered a tourist attraction on the web mapping service.

Warrnambool artist Jimmi Buscombe painted the mural under the Otway Road railway bridge in August and it soon became a permanent fixture after his neighbour, former graffiti removalist Phil Hoye decided to clear coat it without telling anyone.

The story was brought to life in a video by the ABC's Emily Bissland, which has since had over 55 million views.

Mr Buscombe said it was "curious" the artwork had landed itself on Google Maps.

"From a two-hour sketch on a wall to over 55 million views and now Gutsy being on Google Maps, it's taken us all by surprise," he said.

"It's a bit crazy."

Mr Buscombe said it was not unusual to see a constant stream of people visiting the wombat.

"Especially over the last two weeks of the school holidays," he said.

"There were a lot of people who pulled up to have a look which is always a bit of a hoot."

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Phil Hoye, who is often seen on his front lawn donning his famous white suit and trademark fur hat, said he had appeared in many selfies since his rise to fame.

"There's a lot of people pulling up to check out old Gutsy," he said.

"I should have started up a visitor book and got people to sign it just to show how many people come here.

"And now that it's on Google Maps, when I'm out of town I can actually tell people where it is and look it up so they believe it actually exists."

Mr Buscombe said he had been flat out in the 12 months since Gutsy shot to fame.

"I do two days a week at Lyndoch Living age care facility painting murals and I have a lot of other inquiries," he said.

"We've also received Pick My Project funding for a project that revolves around the wombat. It's called Wild versus Warrnambool and will depict native fauna and flora on man-made structures throughout the city.

"So we've got the Otway Street bridge, the Simpson Street bridge and there'll be a huge mural on the Jean Jail wall in town as well.

"The past year has just been flat out. I pinch myself all the time."

It is believed Gutsy also appears on the augmented reality mobile game Pokémon Go, alongside another one of Mr Buscombe's murals located at MacKillop Family Services in Lava Street.

Warrnambool Standard

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