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Port Fairy

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Victoria, Australia

Port Fairy
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• Great Ocean Road
• Portland
• Shipwreck Coast
• Warrnambool

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Port Fairy - Cities, Towns and Localities
Port Fairy is an old sea-side fishing and farming village located on the Great Ocean Road, in the south-west coast of Victoria.

As well as the scenic Great Ocean Road, you can get to Port Fairy by the Princes Highway, providing a more direct route from Melbourne.

Positioned along the Moyne River as it flows into the Southern Ocean, just west of Warrnambool, this beautiful coastal town is a great place to make base from which to explore the area, with the added attractions of nearby towns, as well as vineyards, The Grampians and Mount Ecles National Park.

Port Fairy offers beautiful ocean views and river views, has a range of good accommodation, restaurants, cafes and boutique shopping.

When a sealer named Captain James Wishart in the 1820s, found shelter in a bay from a fierce southern storm he named the area Port Fairy, after his small cutter called ‘The Fairy’. By the early 1830s other sealers and whalers from Tasmania were found fishing regularly on the southern coast of Victoria. IN 1835 a ship builder and entrepreneur from Launceston named John Griffiths, was to set up a permanent whaling station just off the coast, on what is now known as Griffiths Island. Others came to settle on the mainland including John Cox of Clarendon also from Tasmania, who built the first store on the banks of the Moyne River in 1839.

In 1843 a Sydney solicitor, James Atkinson, was to receive a grant of land, that totalled 5,120 acres, west of the Moyne River. This was known as a ‘Special Survey’, where the government of New South Wales encouraged development and settlement of the Port Phillip district of New South Wales. Atkinson now owned the area which encompassed the fledgling town of Port Fairy. He was to change the name of the town to Belfast, after his native city in Ireland, surveyed and planned the township, encouraged prominent businessmen and others to settle here, and embarked on a project to encourage migration from England, Ireland and Scotland. Many families came directly to the area, whilst others landed at Portland Bay, Geelong or Port Phillip and travelled overland to Port Fairy. James Atkinson died in 1865, but his estate was to hold title to the Survey until 1885 when the Great Land Sale was held, and all remaining lots were sold. The town reverted to the original name of Port Fairy by a special Act of Parliament in 1887.

Source: The Port Fairy Historical Society Inc

Check out our listing of Port Fairy accommodation, Shipwreck Coast accommodation and Great Ocean Road accommodation. In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.

Information Centre

Port Fairy Visitor Information Centre
22 Bank Street
Ph: 03 5568 2682
Toll: 1300 656 564
Beach Wheelchair Hire at Visitor Information Centre
— Disabled access to Port Fairy's fabulous beaches is easy with free hire of a beach wheelchair available at the Visitor Information Centre.

The wheelchair is designed to go where a typical wheelchair can't, and can be used on soft sand, mud, gravel and uneven terrain. The chair has been provided by Active Oceans, a local organisation that provides opportunities for people with disabilities to experience ocean based activities that once might have been considered too dangerous and adventurous.

Contact the information centre for more information.

Port Fairy Attractions

The Mutton Birds of Griffith Island
• Every summer towards the end of September, Port Fairy witness the arrival of the Mutton Birds (short-tailed Shearwaters), to Griffith Island from their annual migration to and from the northern hemisphere. Their arrival heralds the start of their mating and raising of the young, before they head north again around mid April to spend our winter around the Aleutian Islands near Alaska.

Griffith Island can be accessed via walking tracks and a causeway, providing visitors with an opportunity to explore with the nesting birds and the Port Fairy Lighthouse.
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Port Fairy Events

• Victoria Events
Port Fairy Folk Festival
• PORT FAIRY VIC 3284 • Ph: +61 3 5568 2227 • Email
• March
• Held annually in March is the Port Fairy Folk Festival, offering the best of international and national artists over four days of folk, blues, bluegrass, jazz, Celtic, country, rock, contemporary and other world music. There is the Children's Folk Circus and the Free Festival of the Streets, as well as market stalls, buskers and street events.
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Port Fairy Distance

Distance to Port Fairy
• Following are some approximate distances by road to Port Fairy:
• Apollo Bay 188
• Dunkeld 91
• Hamilton 84
• Lorne, via Apollo Bay 232
• Grampians National Park 137
• Melbourne via Colac 291
• Peterborough 79
• Port Campbell 92
• Portland 70
• Warrnambool 27
Distances given are only approximation, they should be verified with the appropriate maps.
The Australian Automotive Motoring Associations also offer select access to travel trip planners.

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Port Fairy Other Links

• Port Fairy Community/Local Government Links
• Port Fairy Community Links
• Port Fairy Related Links
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