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.
Days of old
Take the Portland self-guided Historical Buildings Walk for 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 Maritime Discovery Centre for an insight into Portland's long seafaring history.
Visit between June and August for a chance to get within just metres of a mighty southern right whale. Watch from the port, head out into the harbor, or make your way out west to Cape Bridgewater to see these giants of the sea on their annual migration through the Southern Ocean. Keep an eye out at Port of Portland where they often come to play within metres of the Lee Breakwater. For a glimpse of the blue whales that come in to feed on the local krill from November to May, head out to Cape Nelson or Cape Bridewater.
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. Take a ride on the foreshore cable tram, spot seals at Cape Bridgewater and watch blue whales off Cape Nelson.
If you're after a spot of fishing, Portland is an angler's paradise. From a boat or the beach, there's an extensive range of fish to be hooked, including King George whiting, flathead, snapper, tuna and mulloway.
While locals may want to keep it quiet, Portland also has some of the best surf this side of Bells Beach.
Walk this way
See some of the highest coastal cliffs in Victoria overlooking the deep-blue waters of Bridgewater Bay, where the coastline follows the rim of a huge, ancient volcano crater. Discover more natural landmarks and native flora and fauna along the Great South West Walk.
Things to do
Watch these breathtaking mammals, the southern right whale and blue whale, from the shoreline as they migrate to the coast of Victoria each year.
Experience the stunning Great Ocean Road coastline from a different perspective on a chartered boat ride or cruise up the region's scenic rivers.
See playful Australian fur seals waddle, lumber and tumble down off rocks and into the sea on a Lady Julia Percy Island or Cape Bridgewater cruise.
Discover the dramatic coastline of the Great Ocean Road region that has claimed more than 180 ships in its colourful maritime history.