Located at the end of the Great Ocean Road approximately 290km from Melbourne, Port Fairy is a character filled fishing village steeped in history. As one of the destinations on Victoria’s Shipwreck Coast, Port Fairy is full of history including nineteenth century cottages and old stone churches. Take a walk through the wide, pine tree lined streets or browse the many boutiques, antique stores and arts and crafts shops found throughout the town.
Top things to do in Port Fairy
Take a walk through this historic town and view multiple examples of architecture from the 1800s. Port Fairy has more than 50 buildings classified by the National Trust, making it the perfect place for history lovers.
The local port is one of the busiest for fishing in Australia. Watch local fishermen unload their catch of the day. There are also guided fishing trips that leave from the port as well as cruises that head out to the seal colony on nearby Lady Julia Percy Island.
Port Fairy’s coastline is known for seeing whales during the winter months so be sure to keep an eye out. During the warmer months try your hand at any number of water activities such as surfing, paddle boarding or swimming.
Port Fairy Folk Festival
Touted as one of Australia’s largest music festivals, the Port Fairy Folk Festival is held in March each year. The festival includes performances from International and Australian artists in a range of genres including folk, jazz, world, county and bluegrass.
- Vacancy rate– 8.9 per cent
- Median house value– $523,971
- Median unit value– $406, 102
- Price growth – House prices in Port Fairy have grown by 11.42 per cent in the past three years.
- Rental returns– The average house in Port Fairy has a weekly median rent of $1,230 and average rental returns of 4.68 per cent, while units have a median weekly rent of $1575 and average returns of 7.71 per cent
- Average listing duration– 133 days for houses; 270 days for units
- Average weekly income– $925
- Dwelling type– The majority of properties are houses (57 per cent)
- Occupation– The majority of residents are professionals
- Ownership– The majority of properties are fully owned (46 per cent) while 26 per cent are being purchased.
- Birthplace– 87 per cent of Port Fairy residents are Australian
- Age – The majority of residents are aged 65 and over, closely followed by those in the 50-64 years age group
Places to eat in Port Fairy
What sets Port Fairy’s food scene apart is its impressive number of independently owned and unique eateries. There are no famous golden arches in Port Fairy, nor a trusty Subway, just charming local eateries…and this only adds to the town’s appeal.
And you certainly won’t miss these big brands with the impressive local offerings to choose from.
Bank St + Co is a must visit in Port Fairy. This delightful café has a sunny courtyard, a solid all-day brunch menu and a mouth watering selection of sweet treats. It’s also incredibly Instagram-friendly, if that’s your thing.
Situated across from Port Fairy’s historic wharf area in a charming old inn, Merrijig Kitchen is worth a visit. Its menu showcases local and regional produce and farmers and there is a carefully selected wine list to match.
Every little seaside town needs a standout ice creamery (or two) and in Port Fairy it is Poco Artisan Ice Cream. Perfectly smooth and rich, all ice cream is made on premises and its quaint store front only adds to the charm.
Transport in Port Fairy
If you’re travelling from Melbourne or elsewhere and don’t have a car, it’s easiest to catch the train to nearby Warrnambool Train Station, then catch the connecting bus service into Port Fairy. This service is operated by V/Line.
Hospitals and healthcare in Port Fairy
There is a Port Fairy Medical Clinic, Monye Health Services (general hospital), a pharmacy and services for physio and chiro.
Education and childcare in Port Fairy
There are two schools in the area – St Patrick’s Parish Primary School and Port Fairy Consolidated School.
Shopping in Port Fairy
While not a shopping mecca, Port Fairy has a number of shops to get locals by and to pique the interest of visitors. There is an IGA, Bottlemart, a timber and hardware store, banks, a toy shop, butchers, a jeweller and a number of boutiques.
Sports and recreation in Port Fairy
There is a surf school, an aquatics centre, a bowls club, a local men’s shed and a Park Run. But surely the best bet for keeping active here is getting outside and taking advantage of the beautiful surrounds and the number of reserves and local parks.
Entertainment in Port Fairy
There is a Reardon Theatre in Port Fairy for your movie fix.
For a unique local bar, head to Coffin Sally. When you get there, you’ll discover it’s less coffins, more pizza and a trendy bar.
There are also several local pubs including The Caledonian Inn and The Star of the West Hotel.
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