Port Fairy is tops – it’s official

The locals have always known it. Rusted-on regulars swear by it. Now, it’s official: Port Fairy is Victoria’s 2021 Top Small Tourism Town.

Port Fairy – the small town with a giant heart – is an unbeatable base for experiencing the delights of the western reaches of the Great Ocean Road region.

Six caravan parks in the Moyne area spoil you for choice. Whether you unhitch at Gardens Caravan Park nestled on the Moyne River with the Botanic Gardens and East Beach just a stone’s throw away, or settle in town at Southcombe Caravan Park, just 5 minutes walk to South Beach, you’ll be in prime position.

Port Fairy is front and centre to the Southern Ocean, serving up literally kilometres of beaches just beyond your van door. There’s a sandy stretch to suit all-comers, from family-friendly town beaches to tranquil swimming and sunning spots, to roaring surf breaks.

Between June and September keep an eagle eye out for whales just off shore.

And all year round, there’s joy to be had for anglers. Tackle surf fishing at East Beach, cruise deep off-shore on a charter boat, or dangle a line in the Moyne River.

Take the easy walk across the causeway to peaceful Griffiths Island to spot wildlife and seabirds, and explore a lighthouse that’s been guiding ocean mariners since 1859.

Head inland for an unforgettable ‘on country’ cultural experience at Budj Bim’s UNESCO World Heritage listed landscape. It’s ancient, volcanic and brimming with story.

Tower Hill Nature Reserve offers guided bush and nature tours, with more eerie volcanic settings and plenty of wildlife to ogle.

Get swinging at Port Fairy Golf Links where the world-class 18-hole course meanders through unspoilt sand dunes and spectacular ocean vistas.

Satisfying healthy appetites and foodie wish lists is a cinch in and around Port Fairy. There’s something for everyone – casual cafés, artisan producers, swanky restaurants and tasty takeaway joints.

The Wharf @ Port Fairy offers delish indoor/outdoor dining and brilliant views over the Moyne River.

Basalt Wines’ rustic cellar door swings open just 9km eastward on the Great Ocean Road. Perfect spot to kick back with a vino and delicious Euro-inspired bar snacks.

Koroit’s Noodledoof Brewing and Distillery Co is intriguing as much for its quirky name as for its small batch craft beers, and unique gins. Once you’ve got your tastebuds around the well-appointed taproom and menu, head out to explore charming Koroit – one of Australia’s most complete examples of any early Irish settlement.

And the culinary experience you can’t leave Port Fairy without trying at least once? Fish and chips enjoyed on the beach, straight from the paper, between giggles and cheeky dips in the shallows. Sigh.

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