About Port Fairy
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Port Fairy: Australia’s Festival Destination
Port Fairy is a historic town with a long fishing and festival heritage. The village on the Great Ocean Road offers a wide range of activities, from swimming and surfing to shipwreck walks and seal watching tours.
Throughout the year, visitors from around Australia come to Port Fairy for iconic music festivals and family-friendly events. The streets can get crowded, but there’s always a secluded beach nearby to escape the hustle and bustle.
Holiday rentals in Port Fairy range from cosy cottages with spacious yards to apartments in the town centre to modern beach houses a stone’s throw from the surf.
Port Fairy Surf & Swim Beaches
As you would expect from a town along the Great Ocean Road, there are several beach areas in Port Fairy. The main surf beach is patrolled, and you can often see surf or paddle boarding lessons taking place here. This is where groups also meet to go on paddleboarding tours and see the coastline from a different perspective. Throughout migration season, keep your eyes peeled for whales.
Head along Ocean Drive to find several sandy patches where locals go to swim and sunbathe. For more complete seclusion, Griffiths Island’s beaches await. The island faces Port Fairy and is connected to the mainland by a causeway, allowing you to cross over on foot.
Fishing, Boating & Cruises in Port Fairy
Port Fairy is a fishing hub, so you will often see fishermen bringing back their haul. Stroll along the wharf to observe them at work and purchase fish and seafood right off their boats. To further enjoy fresh seafood, try one of the restaurants in town, many of which offer dinner accompanied by ocean views.
A number of cruises depart Port Fairy on a regular basis. These include short tours of the bay, half-day excursions to nearby islands and even seal encounter trips. Throughout migration season, whales pass through Port Fairy’s waters, so you can sign up for a whale watching cruise. Travelers can also rent a fishing charter and spend the day deep sea fishing.
History and Heritage in Port Fairy
Port Fairy has retained more than fifty 19th century buildings, which visitors can stroll past to absorb the atmosphere of yesteryear. If you’d like to learn more about the fishing town’s history, you can go for a walk along one of heritage trails.
Start your exploring off at the Port Fairy Historical Society. The centre runs exhibits showcasing the region’s past and offers extra information on the town’s historic buildings. Entry is free for children.
If you’d like to delve deeper into Port Fairy’s maritime past, you can do so while getting your daily exercise. The Port Fairy Maritime and Shipwreck Heritage Walk winds along the Moyne River and oceanfront, with plaques commemorating shipwrecks and important maritime landmarks.
You can also follow the Mahogany Trail, a 22km trek connecting Port Fairy and Warrnambool. Legend has it that a Portuguese ship was lost at sea off these infamous cliffs in the 1500s.
Port Fairy Festivals & Events
Each season brings a different festival to Port Fairy. Make sure you check the events calendar before scheduling your visit, so you know what’s going on.
Music festivals take centre stage, including the Port Fairy Folk Festival, which has been running for 40 consecutive years, and the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, which celebrates a different theme each October. Both events welcome Australian and international artists and are sold out months in advance sometimes, so make sure to book your tickets ahead of time!
Families visiting Port Fairy might wish for their break to coincide with the Moyneyana Festival, which is going into its 69th year. This child-friendly event lasts from the end of December until after Australia Day. Attractions include musical acts, games for kids of all ages, Christmas-themed workshops, pony rides and a full Australia Day calendar of events.
Getting to Port Fairy
The easiest way to get to Port Fairy from Melbourne is by car. It takes a little over 3 hours if you drive inland. If you have more time, go the scenic route and opt for the Great Ocean Road, one of the planet’s most beautiful coastal drives.