Delve into history and get back to nature in this thriving city by the sea. Wander streets dotted with beautifully maintained heritage buildings and dine on great pub fare while overlooking the busy harbour. Portland’s waterfront is alive with activity – see big ships from around the world come in to load up produce while the local fishing fleet unload its catch. Walk the foreshore, spot seals at Cape Bridgewater, watch blue whales off Cape Nelson or traverse the Great South West Walk. There’s plenty of coastline to explore.
Delve into history and get back to nature in this thriving city by the sea. Wander streets dotted with beautifully maintained heritage buildings and dine on great pub fare while overlooking the harbour. Head out into the blue to catch the perfect wave or a tuna or two.
Grab the Portland self-guided Historical Buildings Walk map (from the Portland Visitor Information Centre) and take a closer look at the city’s hundreds of heritage buildings. Portland became Victoria’s first permanent European settlement in 1834 and boasts more than 200 buildings of historic significance.
Visit the Portland Maritime Discovery Centre for an insight into the region’s long seafaring history, or take a ride along the foreshore in the Portland Cable Tram. The cable tram links the Portland Botanic Gardens, Portland Maritime Discovery Centre, Powerhouse Vintage Car Museum, WWII Memorial Lookout Tower and the Cable Tram Museum, whilst providing a scenic ride along the picturesque Portland Bay foreshore.
If you see the yellow flag flying outside the Portland Visitor Information Centre – it means a whale has been spotted! Southern Right Whales, which often visit Portland and Cape Bridgewater Bays in winter are easily identified by large white bumps on the top and sides of the head.
These majestic creatures put on an amazing show for visitors offering a truly spectacular experience. For the best vantage points to spot these sea-giants visit here.
During your stay, take the time to explore the townships of Portland, Cape Bridgewater, Casterton, Heywood, Dartmoor, Narrawong, Merino and Cape Nelson. Each townships offer something different from sweeping scenic views of rolling hills and productive agricultural land, to perfect pine plantations through the hinterland, and coastal beaches and rugged cliffs.
Cape Bridgewater is one of our absolute favourites (a must-do really) with it’s lush petrified forests, blowholes and freshwater springs.
If you’re after a spot of fishing, Portland is literally an angler’s paradise.
Choose from boat fishing or beach fishing and hook yourself a King George whiting, flathead, snapper, tuna or mulloway.
There’s nothing like eating a fish you’ve caught yourself.
The Great South West Walk begins and ends at the Portland Visitor Information Centre. You can tackle a small section or try the entire 250 kilometre walk and see stunning forests, river gorges, capes and beaches along the way.
The 250km trek, which weaves through the communities of Portland, Cape Bridgewater, and Nelson, across the capes of Discovery Bay and trailing the Glenelg River, is one of the region’s biggest tourist attractions.
Take a few minutes to view our video featuring committee members of the Friends of the Great South West Walk who highlight the stunning landscape features and unique flora and fauna of the trail, which was first established 33 years ago.
Portland’s waterfront is alive with activity – see big ships from around the world come in to load up local produce and the local fishing fleet unload its catch.
Walk the foreshore, spot seals at Cape Bridgewater, watch blue whales off Cape Nelson or traverse the Great South West Walk.
There’s plenty of coastline to explore.
Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawuurung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Ancestors, 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.