The Port Fairy region is most definitely family friendly, the areas has a natural and laid-back vibe that’s entirely conducive to a fun filled family holiday. There are all kinds of great activities to choose from, here’s our top list:
Nothing says Australia like a holiday to the beach. Add a spot of beach cricket or frisbee and you just might enter heaven. And what better beach to enjoy your weekend, than East Beach Port Fairy, stretching 5.8 km long in a broad, curving arc, and protected from the westerly wind. The beach is composed of fine, white sand and receives waves that average 1 m high and 150 m wide over two sand bars. The area is fantastic for surfing, as there are numerous beach breaks in the wide, shallow surf zone, with shape depending on waves, bars and wind. A popular spot called Oigles, just south of the surf club, works in a big swell, as it breaks over an old shipwreck.
If the temps drop outside, Belfast Aquatics maintain a very comfortable water temperature of around 30°C! and is home to a 4 lane, 25m pool. Belfast Aquatics is Port Fairy’s only aquatic leisure and recreation centre which provides an indoor heated pool with beach entry for fitness and play, Spa jets for hydro therapy, fully equipped gym, cycle studio, Gym and Water classes, personal Training and School Holiday Inflatable FUN Days.
Kids are enchanted by the sea – a world ripe for exploring. And the rockpools along Peas Soup is the perfect way for little ones to dip their toe into ocean exploration. There’s no need for scuba suits or snorkels – just a keen sense of adventure so you know how to meander these miniature marine worlds safely. (copyright – will need words changed around)
With two National Parks (Budj Bim and Tower Hill) in the immediate vicinity, there are many options for picnicking, bush walking, and spotting native animals. Both of these parks have good populations of koalas and there are a large number of kangaroos and emus at Tower Hill as well. Tower Hill also offers Worn Gundidj guided tours are available every day at 11am and 1pm. Attractions on offer include walking tracks, picnic facilities and lookouts.
Can you imagine yourself riding a wave on Port Fairy’s East Beach? Surfing lessons from Go Surf or Port Fairy Surf School will get you up and ripping in no time! Designed for anyone who wants to give surfing a try, they promise to give you an authentic taste of surfing, useful safety information about waves and the beach, and a smile that you won’t be able to wipe off for hours!
Surfing isn’t for you, then why not try Stand Up Paddle Surfing, it is the new surfing phenomenon. Beginner lessons on flat water offer a fun, scenic, low impact workout perfect of all ages. Contact Go Surf for your 2 hour tour including a paddle along Port Fairy’s historic river, a visit to the historic lighthouse, then back to the beautiful east beach.
Why not channel your inner Greg Norman or Carrie Webb and take on an 18 hole mini golf course. Set within landscaped gardens with paved walkways and its very own Mt Kosciuszko! The tricky greens will challenge and confront any keen enthusiast. There are several arches, tunnels and obstacles to navigate around as you put your putting skills to the test. The course is open daily from 8.30am until dusk and is available to the public.
An enjoyable activity that everyone can enjoy. A bike ride around town is a great way to view the history and cottages and enjoy and afternoon ice-cream or coffee and many of the cafes or ice-cream shops. Bike Hire (including helmets) is available from the Port Fairy and Visitor Information Centre and Port Fairy Surf Shop so there is no excuse to not enjoy a leisurely ride.
Whether you enjoy a block of chocolate, a slice of chocolate cake, or a chocolate flavoured drink, you are sure to find it at Audley and Hall, Port Fairy. A unique and enjoyable experience to each and every customer Audley and Hall is a chocolate creator sourcing the best quality ingredients, both locally and internationally. You might even by lucky enough to experience onsite pastry Chef Andrew Hall in action as he combines couverture chocolate from Belgium with seasonal & unique flavours to create individual experiences especially for you.
A short 10 min drive west of Port Fairy will bring you to Yambuk. A lot of fun for both young and old this iconic giant slide sits in the sand dunes on the eastern side of Lake Yambuk opposite a boat ramp, fishing jetty, playground and BBQ area.
Join Jane and crew for a fun, informative and scenic 30 minute cruise aboard the Mulloka around the Port Fairy Bay. Leaving from the south end of the historic wharf Jane’s team are very informative on local history, you will see sights of some of the various ship wrecks that are in the bay. She lets the kids steer for a short while & they can have their photo taken with a pirate hat on & she gives the kids a certificate declaring the bearer has successfully skippered the Mulloka. The time frame is perfect, her service is most affordable & you get a lovely view of town & Griffiths Island while you are out.
Port Fairy’s fantastic Martins Point adventure playground is a year-round family attraction. This playground and popular picnic area is paradise for kids with slides, swings, and a myriad of other equipment that will have kids amused for hours. There are lovely walking tracks around the point, out to the lighthouse or along the historic wharf, and the park features delightful picnic areas, sheltered BBQ facilities and toilets.
Skateboarders, roller skaters and scooter riders will be in seventh heaven at this concrete skate park. The park is half prefab and half real concrete containing a small box with low rail and ledges. There are quarters and banks at both ends of the park and one side leads into a 5 foot mini ramp.
Get hooked on Fishing, bring your friends or family. It’s great fun taking the family fishing along the Moyne River with many small varieties of fish available including whiting, salmon, mullet and snapper. Fish from the rock walls or find a jetty, you won’t be disappointed, Why not pack a BBQ lunch and cook up a feast on the many BBQ areas that are found along the Moyne River.
The Moyneyana Festival is run from Christmas Eve to Australia day each year and is jam packed with free family fun entertainment. The festival begins on xmas eve on fiddlers green with a myriad of kids entertainment including the arrival of Santa, free music and a community BBQ.
Around 10,000 people line the streets of Port Fairy for the Free New Year’s eve parade featuring dozens of carefully-constructed floats, live music, street stalls, a backwards running race, a Retro Sprint and fireworks at midnight.
Australia day involves a free community breakfast, Australia day ceremonies, kids entertainment, community lunch and free movie at dusk.
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.
Mortlake is one of the world’s hotspots for olivine (otherwise known as peridot), and the best part is you can fossick for it for free. The Olivine / Peridot is contained in “Olivine Bombs” these are balls of volcanically compressed and cooked scoria / olivine material, and can be found at the Scoria Quarry located at Mt Shadwell. The peridot is found by finding the Olivine bombs in amongst the scoria gravels and breaking them up with a hammer. The peridot will be seen as a transparent green crystal of varying clarity. Many of the crystals are quite small, however some quite good faceting material can be found.
Access to the Mt Shadwell quarry is limited and by appointment only. To find out more, call the Mortlake Information Centre on 03 5599 2899.
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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawuurung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Ancestors, past present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.