Port Fairy is nestled on the edge of the Southern Ocean.
Yes you can have it all – a solo surf, a quiet beach to yourself, an amble by a rocky groyne without a care in the world. No bustle, no crowds, no distractions. Just you and the oceans serenity.
From June to October, keep your ocean eyes peeled for the mighty splash of a Southern Right Whale. Look for wallabies as wander the windswept trails of Griffiths island.
Don’t let the kids have all the fun! Learn to SUP (Stand up Paddleboard) with a 2hour beginner lesson and tour of the historic Moyne river, lighthouse and East Beach at Port Fairy.
Bring your surfboard (or hire one) and paddle out in any of the Port Fairy surf beaches.
Go Exploring on a boat cruise on Port Fairy’s iconic bay.
Port Fairy Surf Schools rent surfboards, stand up paddleboards and wet suits to people in and out of classes.
Budj Bim National Park is only a five minute drive west of Macarthur via a sealed road. Geologists estimate that Budj Bim first erupted around 30,000 years ago, producing a river of hot molten lava that flowed around 50km south to the sea. This lava flow effectively dammed rivers and streams forming large wetlands and swamps. Budj Bim National park features several walking tracks, a camping area and excellent picnic facilities. The geological features include Lake Surprise, a beautiful crater lake, lava canals, a natural bridge, lava blisters, collapsed lava tunnels and lava cake (take a torch). The park also contains Victoria’s last great stand of manna gum woodland, the favourite food of the resident koala population.
West of Port Fairy, Lady Julia Percy island is Australia’s only submarine volcano. When lava erupts under water a typical type of lava called pillow lava occurs. These are tube like structures where the interaction with water forms a crust on the outside and molten lava continues to flow inside. This island is home to the largest colony of fur seals in the Southern Hemisphere and several bird species. These include diving petrel, peregrine falcon, fairy prion and sooty oyster catchers. A number of small but unusual plant species survive in the caves in the cliff walls.
Tours are available and details can be found at the Visitor Information Centre
A short drive west of Port Fairy you will find The Crags. Crags is a wild and scenic section of the coastline with calcified tree roots, jagged outcrops and panoramic views along the coast. The rocky cliffs protect small bays and are rich in wildlife including significant Silver Gull breeding site on the eastern most island. you can view the whole reserve from the lookout including Lady Julia Percy Island offshore.
The are contains many aboriginal cultural sites and places and has spiritual connections with Lady Julia Percy Island. The Crags was used over many thousand of years as a gathering, ceremonial and feasting place for Aboriginal people. Its cultural significance is listed un the National Estate of Australia.
Tower Hill State Game Reserve to the east of Port Fairy is a rare example of a nested maar volcano, and was declared Victoria’s first National Park in 1892. Local animals and plant species are in abundance however it wasn’t always like this. Following European settlements of the western district land was cleared for farming purposes and the area became quite degraded and barren. In the 1960s groups of people including field naturalists, school children, sporting shooters and many others began to restore the landscape. Over time as the trees and shrubs matured, birds and animals returned to Tower Hill. Picnic facilities, an interpretive centre, tours and walking trails make this a “must do” activity. Discover Tower Hill from local tour guide Shannon Collyer
Running annually from Christmas Eve (24 Dec) to Australia Day (26 Jan), Moyneyanna Festival ensures the phrase ‘I’m bored’ is never spoken, with all ages activities and music being rolled out daily. The Festival starts with a free BBQ, Santa and a sing-a-long on Christmas Eve. On New Year’s Eve the streets are lined with locals and visitors enjoying the vibrant colours and creativity of the old fashioned decorated float parade, followed by live music and fire-works into the night. Each day there are different events to suit all ages, like the duck derby on the river, classic wooden boats and much more.
Jazz comes alive in the most liveable community each February.
The Port Fairy Jazz Festival is a not for profit festival and organisation run entirely by volunteers, promoting all genres of jazz music in the picturesque surrounds of Port Fairy.
Every heart beats true at this three-day festival including workshops, open mics, dancing and jam sessions with music from more than 120 bands.
Music in the Vines
Macarthur’s community run Music in the Vines Festival is a one-day event with a great line-up of regional artists, local food, and wines from the Henty Wine Region held at the Suffoir Winery & Brewery two kilometers west of Macarthur.
The festival also hosts an emerging talent competition, with young and up-and-coming acts and bands invited to enter, perform at the festival, and go in the running for prizes.
Buses will be running to this is family-friendly festival from Hamilton, Warrnambool, Port Fairy, Hawkesdale, Portland and Heywood showcasing what the Macarthur region has to offer.
Port Fairy Folk Festival
Forty thousand people descend on Port Fairy each Labour Day long weekend in March to experience the toe tappin’, thigh slappin’ Port Fairy Folk Festival – a world famous independent music festival featuring jazz, blues, folk, acoustic, country, rock, and bluegrass music.
Local performers and international artists showcase their talents across the four day event. From the formal main stage performances to the informal street busking, there is something for everyone. The festival has a mix of ticketed and free events featuring all musical genres.
Koroit Irish Festival celebrates all that’s Irish in this little patch of green in south west Victoria. The festival, hosted around the small town of Koroit, goes for three days every April. The festival host a stack of live Irish music, dancing, the Australian Danny Boy Championship, kids activities and street entertainment.
A series of weekends throughout June and July commencing Queens Birthday long weekend.
The Port Fairy Winter Weekends is a celebration of Port Fairy’s history, culture and community. Events are held across two themed series of weekends throughout June and July. The weekends celebrate food, wine, arts, performance and music community, showcasing the winter romance of Port Fairy’s …..
Highlights of the festival include the markets, a gourmet lunch, art installations, roving entertainment and plenty of kid friendly activities.
The Port Fairy Spring Music Festival was created in 1990 by the late British / Australian composer Michael Easton ARAM and the pianist Len Vorster and has been staged as an annual regional music festival since then.
The October festival presents classical and contemporary ensemble music in fresh and collaborative programming.