We said goodbye to Warrnambool and headed to our next camping location – Cobboboonee National Park – via Port Fairy and Portland. First stop was Port Fairy, and we had high hopes for this town because everyone who we spoke to said it was great.
Port Fairy is 30 minutes west of Warrnambool and was established in 1835 as a whaling and seal hunting town. In 1843, a Sydney solicitor bought the land and renamed the town Belfast after his hometown in Ireland. The original name of Port Fairy was reinstated in 1887 by a special act of parliament.
Points of Interest
We don’t know if this is a particular point of interest, because it wasn’t particularly interesting at all. The island is a conservation area for the local mutton bird colony and exhibits a variety of environmental habitats, but it was creepy, desolate, and smelt of bird poo and rotting seaweed.
There was one thing on the island that made the stop worthwhile. The Griffith Island Lighthouse stands tall on the most eastern point of the island. It was built in 1859 and the lighthouse keeper had a very lonely and isolated life. Surrounding the lighthouse is a small beach covered in black volcanic rock. Pools in the shallows were filled with deep red anenomes, blue star fish and huge barnacles.
We checked it out and it looked like a beach with the same volcanic rock as near the lighthouse. We didn’t even stop the car…
Port Fairy is a little fishing town that many people visit to slow down and drop a line. There are many colourful boats moored at the Marina and it’s a lovely walk along the Moyne River.
Information & Accommodation
- Port Fairy Visitor Information Centre, corner of Railway Place and Bank Street
- Port Fairy YHA – 8 Cox Street, 03 5568 2468