Delve into local history and get back to nature in Portland, located on Victoria’s Discovery Coast. Explore the rugged landscapes and heritage buildings, enjoy some of Victoria’s finest surfing, sailing and fishing, and tuck into the great local food and wine.
Portland became Victoria’s first permanent European settlement in 1834. Today it boasts more than 200 beautifully maintained heritage buildings and private residences, which can be viewed on the self-guided Historic Buildings Walk. For an insight into Portland’s long seafaring history, visit the Maritime Discovery Centre. Follow it up with a ride on the Portland Cable Tram to see the lush Botanic Gardens and more of the town’s popular attractions.
Visit between June and August for a chance to get within just metres of a mighty southern right whale. Peer out from Port of Portland where the whales often come to play within metres of the Lee Breakwater. Get a glimpse of migrating blue whales from November to May at nearby Cape Bridgewater and look down over Bridgewater Bay to see the large breeding colony of fur seals below.
Portland’s waterfront is alive with activity – see big ships from around the world come in to load up local produce and the local fishing fleet unload its catch. Anglers will love the opportunity to catch a range of fish from the boat or the beach, including King George whiting, flathead, snapper, tuna and mulloway.
The Portland region has some of the best surf this side of Bells Beach. The choice spots are Bridgewater Bay, the Watertower, Blacknose, Crumpets, Yellow Rock, Whites Beach and Murrells.
Beginning and ending at the Portland Visitor Information Centre is the 250 kilometre Great South West Walk. Try one section or tackle the entire walk and see stunning forests, river gorges, capes and beaches along the way.
Portland is 362 kilometres west of Melbourne. Travel by car via the Great Ocean Road, Princes or Henty highways.