Portland and the Glenelg shire is a great place to visit as it is so versatile and accommodating for people and groups of all ages.
I work in the visitor information centre where on a daily basis I have people coming in asking where to go and what to do. From easy to do trips on the historical Cable tram to enjoyable walks along the Great South Walk and let’s not forget the galleries.
If I were to have some time in Portland I would spend it like this:
Make way toward Port Danger out which is approximately 5-10 minute drive heading in the direction of Cape Grant. Along the way you will find a number of fascinating clifftop lookouts as well as having the chance to follow signs and pull up at Portland’s old ‘Battery Point’ where you can size yourself up to the cannons as well as getting a nice view of the back end of Portland’s Harbour.
Once at ‘Point Danger’ you will find the Gannett Colony. These birds are a must see (be sure to contact the Portland Visitor Information Centre to organise a volunteer to let you in the gate to get you even closer to these wonderful creatures).
From ‘Point Danger’ start heading towards Cape Nelson. Along the way you will find the Enchanted Forest. This forest is one of the peak short walks you can do in the area and once you are done you will understand why they call it “Enchanted Forest.” Surrounded by forestry with the Ocean off to your left and the orange of the cliff face on your right… how can you go wrong? (Be warned it is not a loop walk. When you get to the end the car park looks the same but is not the same one. You can either walk along the road back to your car or enjoy the forest going back through the beauty.)
Amongst the trip to Cape Nelson be sure to also stop off at ‘Yellow Rock’ a beautiful colour of rock formation to be seen here.
Once at Cape Nelson you will be at the ‘Cape Nelson Lighthouse’ visits up the lighthouse are possible at certain times via bookings however spending time at the base of this is simply stunning.
Upon returning to Portland head to the Information Centre and retrieve the ‘Portland Historical Walks map’ this is basically the town’s historical guided walk only self-guided. The walk starts from the centre, visits the memorial area of Portland as well as sending you around the Fawthrop Lagoon. As well as this it has a guide to all the historical buildings in the CBD area.
Be sure to finish with an enjoyable meal in one of the many eateries along Bentinck Street with a gorgeous view of the harbour.
After a big day out at Cape Nelson I tend to say the second day can be used to see things whilst recharging the batteries. Pick up the historical Portland Cable Tram from the “Cable Tram Depot” on Cape Nelson Road. From here enjoy the hop on hop off experience that the tram has to offer visiting some delightful museums as well as being enriched with the beauty of the Botanical Gardens.
Using this as a hop on hop off will take up most of your day but if you feel you want more try out our local Strawberry farm or come into the information centre and grab a ‘Things to see and do” brochure for all the little activities and galleries to fill in the rest of your day.
Cape Bridgewater it is today. Head out and visit the stunning ‘Petrified Forest’ with an area reached in amazing beauty. Combine this with a lovely walk along the clifftops where within a five minute walk you will find yourself at the ‘Blowholes’ these two attractions alone are great to see but to combine them together is an awesome experience for anybody.
Once completed if you feel up for a long walk head out to see the seals from the overlooking clifftop. (if you are in the peak time look out for tours as there are tours to see the seals) Be sure to stop in at the cafe out at Cape Bridgewater for an amazing meal or snack right on the beach with an outstanding view.
The final part of your day is up to you. Take a dip in the beach… wonder around to Bridgewater Lakes for a dip… check out the Tarragal Caves. Whatever it is that you fancy Cape Bridgewater can offer it up for you.
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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, 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.