History & Heritage

Battery Hill and Historic Lifeboat Station

Wander to Battery Hill to discover historic cannons and explore the history of 19th-century maritime rescue equipment at the Historic Lifeboat Station

Battery Hill

Located across the bridge from Port Fairy’s picturesque harbour, is Battery Hill. Originally known as Flagstaff Hill, the mound served as the Harbour Master’s signal point for shipping. Concerned for the protection of the State from foreign warships (and landing parties), the government encouraged local militia units to establish gun batteries.

This hill first served as the Harbour Master’s signal point for shipping. Local miltia units established the gun batteries and built the concrete fortifications that were completed in 1887. The bluestone powder magazine was built in 1860 to store explosives used in the construction of the river wall.

Port Fairy is fortunate to have such a rare battery collection of cannons with their metal and wooden carriages and emplacements on Battery Hill. In January, each year the cannon on the top of Battery Hill is fired every Sunday morning to celebrate the New Year and to share the story of the town’s history.

Historic Lifeboat Station

The wooden round-topped lifeboat house was originally built on the jetty projecting from East Beach near Battery Lane in 1862, but was dismantled and re-erected in the current location in 1873 and was fitted with a slipway to launch the lifeboat.

The lifeboat was built in Williamstown and delivered here in September 1857, making it the oldest surviving self-righting lifeboat in the world. It was restored in 1997 and is regularly launched by a community crew for exercise and to foster the town’s maritime connection. The bluestone rocket house contains a collection of 19th-century maritime rescue equipment. The collection of buildings, artefacts and lifeboat is exceptional, preserved as they were in 1888.

The Historic Lifeboat Station is open for inspection during holiday periods and by appointment at the Visitor information Centre.

life boat house in port fairy

Accommodation Nearby

Merrijig Inn

Port Fairy

Star of the West Hotel

Port Fairy

Driftaway

Port Fairy

The Boatshed Waterfront B&B

Port Fairy

Things To Do Nearby

Places To Eat & Drink

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.