Ep. 3 Lock up Portland r 

52 Great Weekends Portland Map 

Delve into history and get back to nature in this city by the sea.

Located a little over 4hrs Melbourne, Portland is well worth the drive. Whether you’re a history buff, foodie, nature lover or adventurer get ready for a great weekend. Wander the beautifully maintained historic streets, dine at the many harbourside pubs and restaurants, visit the nearby 2000 local resident Australian and Fur seals and discover deserted beaches. 

 

 

ITINERARY:  

52 Great Weekends Portland Ep3 HentyBayFRIDAY PM: HISTORY ON HOLIDAY

 

We hit the road early to miss the after-work traffic. Destination, our luxury two-bedroom villa at Henty Bay Lifestyle Holiday Park. If you’re into near private beaches right at your doorstep, this is definitely the holiday lifestyle you’re looking for! 

After checking in and checking out the Henty Bay beach we drove the few short minutes to the Portland town centre. Time to drink in some local history - Portland is the first European settlement in Victoria after all. What better place to do this than at Gordon’s Hotel, Victoria’s longest running pub right on the Portland harbour. Locals and visitors alike filled the grand old rooms and historical photos line the walls – if only they could talk. 

 

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SATURDAY SUNRISE: SEALS, SEA, STONE FORMATIONS AND SNACKS 

After a sunrise coffee on our beach facing deck our first stop was to meet some locals - 2000 resident Australian and Long Nosed Fur Seals. 

 

 52 Great Weekends Portland Ep3 SealsTour52 Great Weekends Portland Ep3 SealsTour2

52 Great Weekends Portland Ep3 SealTour

10AM

The Seals by Sea Tour at nearby Bridgewater Bay, (approx. 20mins drive from Portland) is one of the most popular tours in the area. When you get so close you could pat these cute little ‘sea doggos’ it’s obvious why! In just 3 exhilarating minutes our guide Jo had our zippy Zodiac boat at the seal breeding colony, the only one on mainland Australia. For 45 minutes we cruised the dramatic cliffs in an up-close and personal experience with a small group of fellow nature lovers. The seals love showing off for an audience and we were lucky enough to see lots of playful pups. And playful adults too. 

 

52 Great Weekends Portland Ep3 GreatSouthWestWalk52 Great Weekends Portland Ep3 GreatSouthWestWalk2

11:30AM

It was sad to say goodbye but you can also see (and hear) your new-found friends from our next stop, the start of The Great South West Walk. It 250km long, might save the whole hike for another weekend! We set out for Cape Bridgewater with more than a few camera stops on the way - you’ll want to capture the epic expanse of Bridgewater Bay before continuing to the nearby Petrified Forest, approx. 1hr walk away. 

 

DJI 20210116 165514 96252 Great Weekends Portland Ep3 PetrifiedForest2

12:30PM

Legend has it the Petrified Forest was an ancient forest engulfed by wind whipped sands, petrifying them for all time. But actually, they are hollowed tubes of limestone, eroded into trunk-shaped pipes by millions of years of rainfall. Most are around 3m but some are as high as 20m creating this very lunar looking landscape. 

 

52 Great Weekends Portland Ep3 Blowholes

52 Great Weekends Portland Ep3 Blowholes1

1:15PM

A short distance away you’ll find the wildness of the blowholes. The wind whips the sea into such a frenzy you’ll be forgiven for believing the Petrified Forest story! 

 

52 Great Weekends Portland Ep3 BridgewaterBayCafe

52 Great Weekends Portland Ep3 SUP

3PM

We couldn’t believe it was 3PM already, we were so distracted by the sites that we hadn’t noticed how starving we were. Luckily, Bridgewater Bay Café didn’t disappoint, the fish burger was the best I’ve ever had! And the veggie stack was also great if you’re wanting a healthier option. Our seaside table was the perfect spot to check out the surf. The sunny 27degree day and clean waves made it impossible to resist a SUP surf.  

 

52 Great Weekends Portland Ep3 Cabin6PM

There is so much to see and do in Portland, we couldn’t believe it was only our first full day. Exhausted but excited for the next day’s adventures it was time to retire to our seaside cabin for some zzz’s.

 

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SUNDAY: DAY OF DISCOVERY 

52 Great Weekends Portland Ep3 CableCarTram

8AM

There was no time for a Sunday sleep in. With a coffee in hand we explored Portland Harbour. The sands of the peaceful Nun Beach lead us to the fisherman lined Lee Breakwater before watching the historic cable car go by the harbour on its first trip of the day. 

 

52 Great Weekends Portland Ep3 CapeNelsonLighthouse

10:45AM

Then Cape Nelson Lighthouse was calling and with just enough time we joined Gordon’s 11am tour. Still in operation today, this lighthouse has been keeping many sailors safe on the treacherous Shipwreck Coast since 1884. As you climb the circular staircase Gordon tells tales of its nautical history and paints the picture of what a lightkeepers life before you reach the ginormous light itself, still spinning even in daytime. Then, hold onto your hat as you step out onto the (approx.) 100m high balcony, it the wind doesn’t blow it off the spectacular view will.

 

52 Great Weekends Portland Ep3 CapeNelsonLighthouseCafe

11:45AM

At the bottom of the lighthouse is the Lighthouse Café, which worked perfectly for us. We knew where we were going next there would be no café in sight just endless dunes for us to discover. After a quick snack we set off for Discovery Bay. 

 

52 Great Weekends Portland Ep3 TerragalCaves

1PM

As we approached the entrance to Discovery Bay there was already a something to discover - the grand cavern of the Terragal Caves loomed above us. You can’t miss it from the road and you are glad you didn’t when you hike up the small hill to get inside. The cavern forms the perfect natural frame of the dunes, native flora and sea behind them. Insta worthy! 

 

52 Great Weekends Portland Ep3 Discovery Bay

2PM

The sneak peek of the views to come spurred us on to get to Discovery Bay. The 50km stretch of white sandy beach, wild waves and extensive dune system didn’t disappoint. And in the 2hrs we wandered the shores we only saw a single person. It feels amazing to have such a spectacular place nearly to yourself. 

 

52 Great Weekends Portland Ep3 Gannets

5.30PM

The day was already full of discoveries, but there was something still left to see – the largest mainland colony of Australasian Gannets at nearby Point Danger. More than 6,000 pairs of these sea birds live here and the nearby Lawrence Rocks and with a wingspan of 2m they just another sight in Portland that is impossible to miss.  

 

     

WATCH THE EPISODE:

 

 

 

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GETTING THERE:

Melbourne to Portland is pretty much as 300km straight line via the Princes Highway (M1).

 

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TOP 5 THINGS THAT MADE THE WEEKEND GREAT:

  1. Seeing over 2000 seals from the sea 

  2. Having endless beaches to yourself 

  3. Delving into history in a holiday atmosphere 

  4. Scenic landscapes that look like they are from another world

  5. City buzz with a seaside location

 

There’s so much to discover in Portland, we’re just getting started!

Join me for another great weekend next week.

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NEXT WEEKEND:

Next Great Weekend lock up r Port Campbell

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PREVIOUS WEEKEND:

 

 

Previous Great Weekend lock up r The Home of Surfing

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