Official tourism website of Port Fairy and Moyne Shire

Toll free number: 1300 656 564


The Western District is Victoria's oldest settled area - in fact, Port Fairy and surrounds were settled before Melbourne. There are several museums throughout Moyne which highlight our rich history.

Port Fairy Historic Lifeboat Station

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Port Fairy Historic Lifeboat Station - lifeboat under sail c1998

ADDRESS: Griffiths Street, Port Fairy
PHONE: 03 5568 2632

The Port Fairy lifeboat was built in Williamstown in 1857 and is the oldest surviving self-righting, self-draining lifeboat in the world. Co-incidentally, its sister boat, Portland, also survives (Portland Maritime Discovery Centre).

The Port Fairy vessel is housed in its original lifeboat house, and is regularly taken to sea by a volunteer crew. Last Year, it was sailed to Portland and back to participate in the 150th anniversary of the wreck of the steamship Admella, to which the Portland
lifeboat attended and saved 19 lives.

The Port Fairy vessel was decommissioned as a lifeboat at the beginning of World War 2, and subsequently used as a dredge in the Moyne, before being discarded on the river bank in 1975. A small group in the community, with the support of the Borough of Port Fairy, raised funds and co-ordinated the reconstruction of the lifeboat in 1995 and the impressive vessel was re-launched in January, 1997. Since then, there have been over 100 voyages (relying upon oars (10) and sail ( a traditional dipping lug form, made in 1997 in traditional canvas) into Port Fairy bay, to Portland and, for its 150th birthday, was transported to Hobart to participate in the Australian Wooden Boat Festival in 2007.

The boat has been carefully restored to represent the vessel in 1888 (based on a photograph at that time, and in the paint colours of the period. The lifeboat house was built in 1861 (in the bay, out from East Beach), before relocation on the Moyne in 1872, when it was fitted with a slipway. Close by is an intact Rocket House, which contains an extraordinary collection of 19 and early 20th century maritime rescue equipment. The boat, buildings and rescue collection are listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.

Port Fairy Historical Society Museum

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ADDRESS: 30 Gipps Street, Port Fairy
PHONE: +61 3 5568 2263
EMAIL: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The Port Fairy History Centre is an accredited museum telling the story of the Port Fairy region through interesting displays and photographs. The society takes part in many of Port Fairy’s annual events such as the Moyneyana Festival and Winter Weekends. The society has published several booklets and books on aspects of the history over the years and the general meetings usually include an interesting guest speaker. New members and interested visitors are always welcome to attend general meetings.

A list of general meeting dates is on the noticeboard under the portico and on the website.

Open Saturday 2pm - 5pm, Sunday 10.30am - 12.30pm, Wednesday 2pm - 5pm.

Koroit Historical Society Museum

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koroit_national_schoolADDRESS:  Victoria Park, Hight Street, Koroit
PHONE:  03 5565 7994
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This small museum is located in the former Tower Hill Common School which opened in 1857.   The museum is open on the second Sunday in the month from 1pm - 4pm and at other times by appointment.  The society records and keeps the history of the Koroit district and can assist people with their family history research.  Contact the secretary by email with your enquiry.

Macarthur Historical Society Museum

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ADDRESS:  Old Courthouse, High Street, Macarthur
PHONE:  03 5576 1221
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The Macarthur Courthouse, is a small but beautiful building which dates to the 1860s. The society is interested in researching sommacarthur_court_house_2e of the early trials held in the Courthouse.    One such trial has gone down in local folklore as The Trial of the Naked Horseman.    This trial in 1863 was based around a bet by several stationhands that one of their number could not ride into town naked and then into the hotel and buy a beer.   The horseman attempted to win the bet and was promptly arrested for indecency.

In late 2011 the small lock up that once stood next to the town's police station was moved to the grassed area adjacent to the courthouse and this interesting little weatherboard building gives an insight into the primitive conditions that prisoners were held under in the 19th century.

The historical society was formed in March 1987 and operates on the third Thursday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.  The society can also help with family history research, contacts details above.

There is a very pleasant picnic area opposite the courthouse.



Cheese World Museum

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ADDRESS: 5330 Great Ocean Road, Allansfordmuseum_01
PHONE: +61 3 5565 3190
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The Cheese World Museum forms part of the Allansford Cheese World Tourist complex on the Great Ocean Road, 45 minutes from the 12 Apostles and 15 minutes from the coastal city of Warrnambool.

Established in 1996, the museum is a showcase of the region’s dairy industry and a tribute to the Western District’s hard working farming families. The museum exhibits farming implements, photos, home wares and personal items belonging to early local dairy farming families.

The Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory was first established on this site in 1888 and has continued to grow to become a major contributor to the local economy. The Museum shows the history of the company and the growth of the local dairy industry from the early 1900s to today.

In addition to the dairy history displays the museum also houses a motor museum, including a wide range of engines and motoring accessories donated and maintained by the Warrnambool and District Historical Vehicle Club. The single most impressive part of this collection is a 7750 kg Ruston & Hornsby Engine c1940.

The adjacent Cheese World Cheese and Wine Cellar provides a link for visitors between the history and development of our region and the quality dairy produce stemming from the company today. The Cheese and Wine Cellar stocks locally produced cheese, wine and gourmet goods and offers free cheese tasting throughout the day.

The Cheese World museum is open 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 3pm on Saturdays and 10am to 3pm on Sundays. Admission is free.

Mortlake Historical Society Museum

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mailADDRESS:  Shaw Street (P O Box 116),  Mortlake 3272
PHONE:  03 5599 2498
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The Mortlake Historical Society does not have a museum at the moment but that doesn't mean they are not very active in their community.  The society collects and preserves the history of Mortlake and district which includes Hexham, Ellerslie, Woorndoo and Darlington.    The society has published a number of very well received publications about the early settlers in the district, they conduct walks through the  historic precinct on special weekends and occaisonal walks through their very interesting cemetery.  

The society produces an excellent newsletter which is included in the annual membership.

Mott's Cottage

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mottsADDRESS: 5 Sackville Street, Port Fairy, 3284
PHONE: +61 3 5568 2632
EMAIL: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Mott’s  Cottage is owned by the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) and is opened to the public on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 2pm and 4pm.   The cottage is only open by appointment over winter (June, July and August) through the Port Fairy Visitor Information Centre. Furnished as a working man’s home, the cottage has an interesting past. The first section dates from the 1840s and at one time was used as a bakery, over time the dwelling was extended and it is a rare example of a two storey cottage.

What's On?

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Getting Here


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



If you need further information please contact the Port Fairy & Region Visitor Information Centre on  (03) 5568 2682 or by email on


Port Fairy & Region VIC

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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 i_logoall your enquiries.  We have friendly and professional staff who have extensive local knowledge and love...

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