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Overview

Portland

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 and then climb aboard the Portland Cable Tram and roll on through the Botanic Gardens, the Powerhouse Vintage Car Museum, WWII Memorial Lookout Tower and the Cable Tram Museum. 

Whales and furry seals

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. While out on Cape Bridgewater, be sure to check out the colony of Australian fur seals, which number more than 600.

Peer out from Port of Portland where the whales 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 to Cape Nelson or back up to Cape Bridgewater.

Waterfront activity

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.

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Things to do

Portland

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Walking & hiking

Cape Bridgewater Trail

Trace the carved shoreline of Bridgewater Bay to a viewing platform overlooking a busy seal colony or continue the trail through the petrified forest.

National parks & reserves

Cape Nelson State Park

The picnic areas at Cape Nelson State Park set in quiet bush surroundings are an ideal location for a pleasant meal with family and friends. A range...

Wildlife and zoos

Seals

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.

Outdoor activities

Fishing

Target snapper, tuna and kingfish along some of the best ocean fishing grounds along the Great Ocean Road or cast a line for river bream or whiting.

Family

Portland Cable Trams

Come and explore Victoria's birthplace by the sea onboard Portland Cable Trams. Travel along Portland's historic foreshore and enjoy the breathtaking...

Wildlife and zoos

Whale watching

Watch these breathtaking mammals, the southern right whale and blue whale, from the shoreline as they migrate to the coast of Victoria each year.

National parks & reserves

Discovery Bay Coastal Park

This remote coastal park protects 55km of ocean beach. Inland, the park encompasses high coastal cliffs, huge rolling sand dunes and freshwater lakes...

Parks & gardens

Timandra by the Sea

Guests are often taken aback by the beautiful garden that is Timandra by the Sea. This sustainable, award winning garden is loved by adults and...

Beaches & coastlines

Cape Bridgewater

See some of the highest coastal cliffs in Victoria overlooking the deep-blue waters of Bridgewater Bay and see the large breeding colony of fur seals.

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Outdoor activities

Water sports

Take to the water along the Great Ocean Road and choose from an abundance of sporting activities including sea kayaking, surfing and scuba diving.

Outdoor activities

Walking and hiking

Walk the Great Ocean Road region's stunning coastal tracks and ancient rainforest trails and see breathtaking ocean views or dramatic waterfalls.

Nature & wildlife

Beaches and coastlines

Paddle, swim or surf in the crashing waves or take a relaxing stroll along the clean, golden sands of some of Australia's best beaches.

Nature & wildlife

Wildlife

See amazing wildlife in the Great Ocean Road region from whale watching to spotting koalas, seals, kangaroos and the elusive platypus.