HISTORIC WALKS, BEACH + PIZZA - OUR FAMILY BREAK IN PORT FAIRYby SILKE
Historic and picturesque, it consists of a small river port, a nature reserve island that is connect via a causeway with the mainland and a grid-like city centre lined with old cottages with gardens and a historic main street.
It’s an attractive little place, one you cannot miss when you are in the area. Idyllic, quiet, pretty. Shaded by huge Norfolk pines, you feel sheltered when walking along the wide open roads. And there are many things you can do here:
1. Soak up the history
Port Fairy is a historic place. Traditionally, it has always been a busy port. Whalers stationed themselves here, and so did seal hunters.
Walk along the wharf to see the fishermen bring in their catch (mostly crayfish and abalone these days). A lot of it will end up on the plates of the gourmet restaurants in the area.
More than 50 buildings have been heritage listed in this little town. A walk around the city centre can be very rewarding, and the Port Fairy Maritime and Shipwreck Heritage Walk will give you great insight.
Art lovers will also love to explore the galleries of Port Fairy. The great beauty and lifestyle in the area must attract quite a few artists.
Eclectic Designs Glass Blowing Studio should be included in your plans. For more galleries, pick up an Art Map from the Visitor Information Centre which helps you find your way around town, leading you from venue to venue on foot.
TIP: you can hire bikes from the Visitor Information Centre
2. Water fun!
In summer, Port Fairy is the place for the quintessential Aussie beach holiday. But, we warned, it does get busy! Otherwise, you can swim any time of the year; just bring your wet suit. Other things to do in the water:
- shore fishing
- tuna fishing
- learn to surf
3. Griffiths Island
Griffiths Island is an easy, level walk and great for families, even with younger children.
Separated from the mainland by shallow water and free from motorised traffic, Griffiths Island is a bird paradise. Protected as a nature reserve, the island is proclaimed a shearwaters breeding ground.
The island is covered in thick grasses and low shrubs and the walking track takes you to the lighthouse, which is a pretty sight.
Still operation, the lighthouse door is painted red and there are two remains of a white picket fence framing the picture.
Tip: take a drive along Ocean Drive to take in the marvellous views. The coast is less sheltered here, the waves rolling in with a big thunder, their crests sprinkled with snow-white foam.
4. Gourmet pizza and cocktails
We went for a family-friendly dinner at Coffin Sally on main street. The adults sampled the refreshing cocktails and we all enjoyed delicious wood-fire pizzas, all served in a – let’s call it creatively decorated – annex behind the historic front building.
For more information about what to do and see in Port Fairy, click here.