The island was first inhabited by and named for John Griffiths, who built a whaling station there in the 1830s. While no trace of that station remains today, an 1859 lighthouse is the main attraction of the island, accessible via a 400m stroll.
If you are staying between September and April, we recommend taking this trip at dusk to see the muttonbirds return home to feed their young. Muttonbirds arrive in September and leave for the rest of their Pacific migration in April. Be sure to stop by the viewing platforms on the track to the lighthouse to get the best view.
Port Fairy is home to a number of beautiful 19th century buildings. Be sure to visit the Visitor Information Centre on Bank Street to pick up a historic walks map that will guide you to all of the sites.
Depending on wind conditions and what you’re after, there are many options for estuary, river and even bay and ocean fishing. Try for salmon, snapper, mullet or mulloway in the Moyne River, or launch your boat in Port Fairy to see what awaits you on the open sea. We sell bait and can let you know where many of the best fishing spots are.
Soak up some sun and play in the breakers at East Beach, one of Victoria’s pristine beaches. You can also join the surf school if you’re interested in learning how to catch the waves!
Take a tour of the restored Port Fairy historic lifeboat, or walk around the wharf to view the lovely cottages with their boats and yachts.
Arts & Crafts
If you love art, you’ll love Port Fairy. Many nationally recognised artists make their home here, and there are many art galleries and studios to visit around town. Visit the Port Fairy Information Centre to pick up an ‘Art Walk’ map and spend the day walking to the local painters, glass artists, textile designers, printmakers and sculptors.
Journey just 12km west of Port Fairy to find The Crags, a rocky limestone outcrop. Climb to the top of the cliff to enjoy magnificent views of Lady Julia Percy Island and the Southern Ocean.
Tower Hill State Game Reserve
Drive east for 10 minutes out of Port Fairy to find an extinct volcano that forms the base of Tower Hill State Game Reserve. Park entry is free, enabling you to easily enjoy a day viewing kangaroos, emus, koalas and water birds. Enjoy 5 walking trails, plenty of picnic tables, a history centre and the Worn Gundidj Visitor Centre.
Codrington Wind Farm
Our area has a rich past, but Codrington Wind Farm is helping to power the future. Take the 28km drive west to view the 34 wind towers from the car park or viewing platform. However, if you really want an up close and personal look, be sure to take a tour.
Fish for trout, enjoy a picnic or simply take in the majesty of the falls from the viewing platforms. These 12m falls are located only 15 minutes from Warrnambool – an easy drive.
Mount Eccles National Park
Mount Eccles National Park, only 30 minutes north of Port Fairy, is the perfect place for a nature lover to spend a day. The park surrounds Lake Surprise, which was created 20,000 years ago between the three main craters of Mount Eccles. You can spend the day exploring the inside of a lava cave, following the lava canal, walking around the rim of the crater, exploring Lake Surprise via the walking trail, and of course, using the many picnic tables and visiting the Visitor Information Centre. Be sure to keep an eye out for koalas, eastern grey kangaroos, sugar gliders, yellow-bellied gliders, possums, quolls and over 68 species of recorded birdlife as you explore.
Lady Julia Percy Island
Australia’s only submarine volcano is located just west of Port Fairy. Lady Julia Percy Island was created by this volcano in which the lava flows forming a flat top and sides. The largest colony of fur seals in the Southern Hemisphere calls this island home. As long as the weather allows, you can enjoy a boat tour setting out from the wharf.