Free 4 U
As it's our 67th Moyneyana Festival with the theme Fantasia. All summer long Port Fairy will be groovin' along with plenty of free activities. Contact the Visitor Information Centre to get your copy of this year's program or visit the Moyneyana website by clicking here.
Koroit Heritage Trail
There is no better way to get a feeling for the history of any town than by walking around and admiring the historic buildings and sites. Koroit has a fantastic illustrated walking map that is readily available at retail outlets in the town (try the newsagency and the bakery) or at the Visitor Centre in Port Fairy. The earliest building featured on the map is the Tower Hill Common School opened in 1857 and now the home of the Koroit Historical Society. There is a good mix of residential, commercial and church buildings on the map and of course the lovely Botanic Gardens designed by William Guilfoyle in 1869 are featured. The gardens are going through some restoration at the moment so it's a great time to see the work that has been carried out by a dedicated band of community volunteers. While there enjoy a swing in the adjacent playground or spread out a rug on the grass and enjoy a picnic or barbecue.
The Mutton Birds, or Shearwaters, are one of Port Fairy’s most amazing natural attractions. The Mutton Birds are a spectacular natural life cycle that Port Fairy is lucky to share with the wider community. The Shearwaters have an annual migration cycle to the Pacific Ocean. Their lifecycle really is fascinating – they generally return to the breeding area on the same day each year and occupy the same nest as the previous year, with the same breeding partner.
They usually embark on their annual migratory voyage – which passes Japan and skirts the coast of North America – on April 16 each year. They call the Aleutian Islands near Alaska home for several months before undertaking their return journey. Two months and an incredible 15,000 kilometres later, they return to Port Fairy on September 22.
The cycle repeats itself when they depart in April, leaving behind the chicks they have bred and raised. Hunger leads to the chicks eventually finding the migratory route themselves. Masses of birds form a breathtaking silhouette at dusk each night between late September to mid April, as they return to their burrows from their search for food.
It is a unique experience you will not forget.
The Giant Slide at Yambuk Lake
The giant slide at Yambuk Lake has provided hours of entertainment for childen and the young at heart for many years. Originally designed to protect the fragile dune system from the many people who decided to climb to the top to admire the fantastic view. The slide has done it's job well and the dune is now quite stable.
There is a substantial set of steps with a viewing platform at the top, and it's a quick slide down and then up the steps again for the kids, while adults have the choice of sliding down or taking the more sedate route back down via the steps. Yambuk Lake is a great spot to spend a couple of hours, the lake is actually two rivers that have dammed up behind even more sand dunes, the fishing is good from the bank or even from your tinny and on a warm day paddling in the shallows on the banks of the river is a good way to cool down.
Just through the break in the dunes is a long stretch of the southern ocean however this is not a safe place to swim as strong currents run along this stretch of coast.
The Crags, located 12 kilometres west of Port Fairy off the Princes Highway, provides the only public access to the coast between Yambuk and Port Fairy. The Crags offers spectacular views of the rocky, calcarenite cliffs and – 19 kilometres from shore – visitors can see the volcanic Lady Julia Percy (Deen Maar) Island.
The Crags is an important archaeological site with indigenous cultural sites listed on the National Estate. It is part of the traditional homelands of the indigenous Peek Wurrung speakers and has spiritual connections with Deen Maar. Over many thousands of years the coastal reserve was used as a place of gathering, ceremony and feasting for indigenous people.
The Crags is a wild and scenic section of our coast, with panoramic views. Lady Julia Percy Island is home to more than 4000 seals, fairy penguins, birds of prey and has the largest Australian rookeries of fairy prions and driving petrels. Many of the bird species can be viewed from The Crags as they move across the ocean in search of feeding grounds.
Allansford Cheeseworld Dairy Museum
With Moyne Shire acknowledged as one of the prime dairy regions in Australia it's only fitting that there is a dairy and farming museum within our borders. Allansford Cheeseworld is well known for the production of wonderful cheese, butter and sungold milk but many people are not aware that they have as part of their complex an extremely interesting small museum focussing on dairy farming. Many of the items on display came from the Uebergang family farm and represent over 100 years of farming by that family. There are butter churns and pats, milk bottles and cheese making equipment all amazing relics from a time when people made their own.
At the entrance to the museum is a magnificent Ruston Hornsby engine which has been used to crush stone, drive generators and saw logs. In addition to this the Warrnambool Historical Vehicle Club members maintain a collection of historic machines and motoring memorabilia at the site so there is always something to see. Entry to the msueum is free.
The bonus of a visit to the Allansford Cheeseworld Complex is that you can buy a fantastic milk shake or icecream to enjoy after your visit. You will find Allansford Cheeseworld at the western end of the Great Ocean Road - you really can't miss it. Open until 5pm weekdays and 4pm weekends.
The Port Fairy - Koroit - Warrnambool Rail Trail
The Port Fairy to Koroit to Warrnambool Rail Trail is fantastic. The trail traverses some magnificent countryside, lush farmlands with sheep and cattle grazing contentedly and quite oblivious to the passing cyclists. Break your journey in Koroit where you can rest at the historic Railway Station. Obviously trains no longer run here, the line closed in 1977, and the c.1890 station building has been bought back to life by a group of dedicated enthusiasts.
Cycle into the main street of Koroit where you can buy a coffee or a cool drink and then back on the bike to continue on the trail to Warrnambool. The trail descends into an area known as Kelly's Swamp with a timber boardwalk across the swamp. Kelly's Swamp comes alive with bird life during the spring and summer and the frogs croaking are the only other sounds you will hear.
The distance between Port Fairy and Koroit is 17.7km and the distance from Koroit to the Warrnambool Breakwater is 20km so a total ride of 37.7km. A map/information brochure is available from the Visitor Information Centres or can be mailed on request.
Bike Hire (including helmets) is available from the Port Fairy and the Warrnambool Visitor Information Centres so there is no excuse not to try this great ride.
I Spy in Port Fairy
Would you like an easy but fun activity to do with the kids, something that gets you out and about and actually looking around but something that adults will enjoy at the same time. If so call into the Port Fairy Visitor Information Centre and collect a copy of the Port Fairy "I Spy".
There are 20 photographs to identify and they are a mixture of art works, buildings and historic places or relics. On the way around you will probably notice a whole lot more, funny letter boxes, unusual doorknockers and interesting architectural details.
Tower Hill Reserve - Victoria's First National Park
The Tower Hill Reserve was declared Victoria's first National Park way back in 1892. The area is the site of a volcanic formation known as a nested maar and it is the largest example of it's type in Australia. In 1855 colonial era painter Eugene von Guerard painted Tower Hill and this magnificent painting was to become so important a century later. In the 19th century the reserve was cleared for grazing purposes, the animals and birds moved away and the land became degraded. Then in the 1960s many volunteer groups banded together and started to replant native trees and understorey plants, they did this by using the magnificent von Geurard painting to identify the appropriate plant species. The trees and plants have now grown and matured, the birds and animals are back and the reserve has several walking trails that criss cross the park. It is one of the best places in the region for spotting koalas and there is a huge mob of kangaroos that can often be seen at dusk grazing in the paddocks on the side of the reserve.
A visitors centre designed by architect Robin Boyd is open daily. The local indigenous people the Worn Gundidj, who have a special connection to Tower Hill have display of local cultural products in the visitors centre and also conduct themed walks through the reserve. These can be booked by ringing 5565 9202. There are excellent barbecue and picnic facilities as well as toilets. Entry to the park is free with the entrance easily located on the Princes Highway, midway between Port Fairy and Warrnambool. The park is open every day, dogs (or pets of any kind) are not permitted in the park and there is no camping permitted in the reserve. The park can be closed unexpectedly on days of extreme fire danger. For more information download the park notes at www.parks.vic.gov.au
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If coming from Melbourne by train/V-line coach you get the train or coach (depending on day) from Southern Cross to Warrnambool then the v-line coach through to Port Fairy. For more information on the V-line service phone 1800 800 007 or book on-line via their website at www.vline.com.au
If you need further information please contact the Port Fairy & Region Visitor Information Centre on (03) 5568 2682 or by email on email@example.com
Port Fairy & Region VIC
The Port Fairy and Region Visitor Information Centre are on hand 7 days a week 9am to 5pm (except Christmas Day) to help you with all your enquiries. We have friendly and professional staff who have extensive local knowledge and love...