The final destination on the iconic Great Ocean Road scenic touring route, a visit to Port Fairy is almost inevitable. Also the final frontier on the state’s renowned Shipwreck Coast, Port Fairy is home to a wide range of cultural, natural and historic attractions. History can be uncovered in almost every corner of this charming fishing village, beginning with the old stone churches and 19th century cottages that line the wide streets of Port Fairy.
There are some fantastic examples of 1800s architecture to be found in Port Fairy with over 50 buildings now classified by the National Trust. A popular spot for history buffs, Port Fairy is home to a number of historic walking trails that explore a charming range of white washed cottages that have been fully restored to their former glory. Build by seamen and whalers right next to grand public buildings and the Georgian-style homes of the merchants, these cottages are truly a sight to see. There’s also plenty of opportunity to learn about the region’s rich local maritime history with the Port Fairy Maritime and Shipwreck Heritage Walk.
Lined with impressive Norfolk pines, Port Fairy is one of Victoria’s busiest fishing ports, offering some amazing fresh local seafood and some entertaining people watching down at the wharf where you can see the fisherman unloading their catches of abalone and crayfish. The wharf is also the ideal spot to join a guided fishing trip or take a leisurely cruise out to Lady Julia Percy Island’s seal colony. The waters off the coast of Port Fairy are also home to southern right whales, particularly from June to October when the whales come close to shore to mate, birth and nurse their calves.
The town is also home to a vibrant arts scene and if you’re lucky enough to be visiting in March, you’ll be lucky enough to witness one of the largest and most famous music festivals in Australia – the Port Fairy Folk Festival. There’s also plenty of art and craft shops, boutiques and antique dealers to enjoy year round.