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Portland

Travel VIC Information Destination Guide

Victoria, Australia

Portland
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Nearby VIC destinations
• Great Ocean Road
• Port Fairy
• Shipwreck Coast

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• Great Ocean Road
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Portland - Cities, Towns and Localities
Located on the Portland Bay, the City of Portland is the oldest European settlement in Victoria, Australia. The bay was named by the British navigator James Grant, who having sailed along the Victorian coastline in the Lady Nelson, named the bay in honour of His Grace the Duke of Portland.

The bay offered shelter, fresh water and a safe anchorage for the whalers and sealers of the 19th century who were working the treacherous waters of the Bass Strait. The town was established in 1834 by Tasmanian Edward Henty.

Portland’s historic past, is still evident in the many fine examples of many beautiful buildings that date back to the early 1800s. Some of these buildings can be rediscovered with the 2 hour self-guided historic building walk, brochure available from the visitor centre.
 

Check out our listing of Portland 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

Portland Maritime Discovery and Portland Visitor Information Centre
Lee Breakwater Road
PORTLAND VIC 3305
Ph: 03 5523 2671
Ph: 1800 035 567
Email
Web: www.visitdiscoverycoast.com
Open
Daily 9 am - 5 pm
Closed Christmas Day
Hours may vary, contact visitor centre
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Portland Attractions

Cape Nelson State Park • Cape Nelson Lighthouse Reserve
• With spectacular coastal cliffs, flora and fauna, including the Soap Mallee (Eucalyptus diversifolia) which is restricted to Cape Nelson area in Victoria, the Cape Nelson State Park covers 243 hectares and offers a range of activities from picnics and barbecues, walking trails, and the Cape Nelson Lighthouse Reserve.

Built in 1884 to assist ships sailing west entering Bass Strait, the Cape Nelson Light Station provides a fascinating piece of Victoria's maritime history. Cape Nelson is also the site of the Isabella, shipwrecked in March 1837, whilst on a voyage from Launceston to Adelaide, due to navigational error by the captain.1

Only a ten minute drive from Portland and part of the Great South West Walk, the lighthouse is open for tours. There are spectacular views to be had of the surrounding coastal and inland region from the tower.
Great South West Walk
• The Friends of the Great South West Walk Inc
• Portland is the start of a 250 km long bush walking trail. The walk can be broken up into 2 hour short loop walks, 17 shorter sections all up, making it suitable for most ages and abilities. For the intrepid walker you can do the whole 250 km walk, which begins at the Portland Maritime Discovery and Visitor Information Centre.

The trail winds around three national parks, hardwood forests, the pristine Glenelg River and the township of Nelson. Along the way are aboriginal heritage sites, vast sand dunes, sandy bays, beaches, and the rugged cliffs that overlook the spectacular sound, sight and smell of the Southern Ocean. There are freshwater lakes, the Cape Nelson Lighthouse and the stunning Bridgewater Bay. Of course, the walk brings you close to mother nature with her diversity of natural fauna and flora that include Blue and Southern Right Whales, a mainland Fur Seal colony, Australia’s only mainland Australasian Gannet rookery, just for starters.
Portland Maritime Discovery Centre
• Lee Breakwater Rd, PORTLAND VIC 3305
• The Portland Maritime Museum was built in 1998 and also houses the Portland Visitor Information Centre. The museum is home to the 1858 Portland Lifeboat, famous for its role in the ‘Admella’ rescue of 1859, and is one  of the oldest remaining unrestored intact vessels in Australia. There is also the skeleton of a 14 metre Sperm Whale. The museum has changing maritime-themed displays and other exhibitions.
Ship Wrecks
• The Historic Shipwreck Trail offers a look into our maritime history. Look for the road signs that lead to information plaques describing the shipwrecks, and there location. Several of the wrecks are near the shore, and local scuba diving tours will take you out diving and snorkelling at the wrecks.

There are at least 18 shipwrecks around the Portland area, all of which are currently documented at the Maritime Discovery Centre.
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Portland Distance

Distance to Portland
• Following are some approximate distances by road to Portland:
  Km
• Apollo Bay 258
• Mount Gambier, SA via Nelson 103
• Lorne, via Apollo Bay 303
• Melbourne, via Apollo Bay 445
  Km
• Peterborough 149
• Port Campbell 169
• Port Fairy 70
• Warrnambool 97
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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Portland Other Links

• Portland Community/Local Government Links

Source:
1 Heritage Victoria: Isabella. Retrieved 1st May 2011. http://vhd.heritage.vic.gov.au/shipwrecks/heritage/342
 
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