A weekend at Port Fairy

My first solo travel ever was to a place called Port Fairy in Victoria state of Australia. I was alone living in Melbourne and I wanted to travel. It is difficult to find travel buddies when you are living all by yourself in an unknown country. So, I decided to take the step and decided my first solo travel.

A weekend at Port Fairy

Where is Port Fairy?

Port Fairy is coastal town in the state of Victoria in Australia. It is about 290 kilometres from Melbourne and the nearest train station is at Warrnambool, which is 28 kilometres from Port Fairy. I selected this town only because there was a Youth Hostel Association (YHA). I know, pretty lame reason but I think I did make the right decision at the end for my first solo travel.

According to 2016 census, there are only 3340 people in Port Fairy. The town survives on tourism and fishing.

Port Fairy

Port Fairy is named after a small boat called the Fairy captained by James Wishart.

Victorian Places

The traditional owners of Port Fairy are the Eastern Maar people. Eastern Maar people are the aboriginal people who identify themselves as Maar.

The town was initially used by whalers and seal hunters in the 19th century. Port Fairy was renamed to Belfast and then renamed back to Port Fairy.

How to get to Port Fairy?

  • Public transportation – There are frequent trains between Southern Cross in Melbourne and Warrnambool. The train journey is close to 3.5 hours. And then there are buses between Warrnambool train station and Port Fairy.
    • The train tickets can be booked on Public Transport Victoria (PTV).
    • The fare for the train can be paid using the MyKi transportation cards.
    • For bus fares, check at the Warrnambool train station.
    • The total journey takes about 5 hours.
    • I took the public transport when I visited Port Fairy.
  • Driving – Port Fairy is around 290 kilometres from Melbourne city. And the drive takes about 3 hours 30 minutes. This is definitely the quickest and easiest way to get to Port Fairy.

Where to stay?

  • Hostel – As I mentioned before, I stayed at YHA Port Fairy. The hostel is very close to the beach and a beautiful place to stay. The hostel was neat and very comfortable.
    • A bed at a female dorm costs as low as AUD 30 per night. For up-to-date information on availability and prices, check their website.
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YHA Port Fairy
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  • Hotels and Apartments – There are plenty of hotels and apartments in Port Fairy that ranges from AUD 100 to AUD 400 per night. Best websites to book an accommodation in Port Fairy is either on Booking.com or AirBnB.

One can also stay at Warranambool and then come down to Port Fairy as a day trip.

Things to do in Port Fairy

The coastal town has plenty to offer in spite of being such a small town. It is an amazing place for whale watching during the whale season (between the months of May and October every year). There are lookout points where one can spot whales.

An annual 4 days music festival called Port Fairy Folk Festival happens at Port Fairy every year in the month of March. One needs to buy tickets to visit this festival which can be bought online or at the Box office.

A walk along the Moyne River is awesome and one can spend a few hours just watching and sun bathing near the river.

There are also other things to do in the town:

Griffiths Island and Lighthouse

  • Griffiths Island is a low lying island that is just 1.5 kilometres long and 0.8 kilometres wide. The island lies at the mouth of Moyne River, a place where the river enters the Southern Ocean. It now does not have any permanent inhabitants. However, the island is a very popular spot for walk. The walk around the island is very pretty.
    • The island is also a great place to spot the Muttonbirds. I saw a huge number of these birds.
    • Note: Beware of the tiger snakes which is a highly venomous snake found in Australia.
  • Port Fairy lighthouse was built in the year 1859. It is a great spot for photographers to catch the sunset.
A weekend at Port Fairy
Griffith Island Lighthouse

Town

The town itself is cute and buzzing with cafes and restaurants over the weekend. Walk around the town and shop for authentic local stuff available in the little shops.

Port Fairy

Beaches

Port Fairy has a 6 kilometres long beach stretch. So definitely walk along the coast watching the pretty beaches.

Port Fairy

Safety for solo female travelers

This was my first solo travel ever and I had a great time traveling to and in Port Fairy. The coastal town is absolutely safe and I did not have any issues or concerns whatsoever. And that is one of the reasons why I started solo traveling more.

However, like any other town, be cautious and know your surroundings. I generally avoid exploring out alone after dark and I try to be in my hostel or hotel before it gets too late. This way I avoid getting into trouble much, especially in quiet towns like Port Fairy.

Closing Notes

Port Fairy is one of the most beautiful towns I have seen. The coast, river, restaurants and the people, everything is nice about this place. It is a little historical fishing town. So, I definitely recommend visiting this amazing town if you have time when you are in Melbourne.

For other things to do in Victoria, refer Victoria travel diaries section on my blog.

Gallery (Port Fairy)

I was also here in Port Fairy to finish my photography assignment. I was doing a course and there were few assignments that were given to me where I had to experiment with my camera. Some of these images may seem like over exposed or under exposed as they are the result of my experimentation.

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