You may know Port Fairy, the historic seaside village voted Victoria’s top small tourism town in 2021 and 2022. It’s a place to wind down and enjoy the simple pleasures – great cafes and dining, boutique shopping, an over-supply of charming country pubs, bluestone heritage-listed buildings, and a picturesque wharf.
Just 10 minutes east, the beachside hamlet of Killarney is home to Basalt Vineyard, named for the volcanic soil, where you can stop in at the cellar door to sample the award winning cool-climate riesling, tempranillo or pinot noir, along with a tasting menu featuring locally sourced produce. Open Wednesday to Sunday.
Popular for safe snorkelling and paddling, plus surf fishing for whiting. Stay at Killarney Beach Caravan Park for a front row spot.
Tower Hill is a dormant volcanic crater where nature has been preserved and the abundance of native wildlife is on show. You will see emus, koalas, kangaroos and an abundance of birdlife. It’s a must-visit for all visitors and has special significance to the Gunditjmara people, traditional custodians of this area.
A unique town with a very distinct Irish flavour and a community known for the Craic. Again, pubs are the lifeblood of the town – go to Mickey Bourke’s for the best Guiness you’ll taste in regional Victoria, or the Commercial Hotel for a standard Aussie pour and a great community atmosphere. New brewers on the block, Noodledoof offer a range of beers, from lagers livened up with local ingredients to traditional stouts – a nod to the town’s Irish roots. Stay at Koroit-Tower Hill Caravan Park to be close to all the action in this bustling tiny town.
Part of the UNSECO heritage listed Budj Bim Cultural Landscape, you will find a visitor centre with information telling the story of how the Gunditjmara people used lava flow to engineer a sophisticated and sustainable aquaculture system. Budj Bim (the volcano) is located here. Take the walk around Lake Surprise, through the Natural Bridge and to the Budj Bim Cave and check out the new cantilever lookout which provides a very special view of the face of Budj Bim.
There’s something for everyone here. The cellar door experience is a distinctive one – pull up a bar stool in the tin shed and watch farm animals (including peacocks) wander around and amongst the vines.
North, at the junction to the Hamilton Highway, the town of Mortlake is a great spot for immersion into country Victorian life. You can stay at the Mortlake Caravan Park, enjoy a round of golf at the 9-hole course, wander around the exceptionally pretty Tea Tree Lake or even fossick for Olivine (Mortlake is the home of this semi-precious gemstone) at Mount Shadwell. For traditional fare, Clarke’s Bakery makes arguably the best pies, pasties and slices in Southwest Victoria, ad both pubs boast delicious and hearty fare.
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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.