The Chair’s Where? Port Fairy in Victoria

The Chair’s Where? Port Fairy in Victoria

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Moyne River in Port Fairy, Victoria, Australia


Across the length and breadth of this great land there exist numerous iconic, historical and must visit townships. This is especially so of our coastal areas as we remember the importance of fledgling sheep farming, aquaculture, whaling and the like as economic factors vital to the growth of a prosperous and viable nation that we now have.

What were once economic hubs have often morphed into wonderful tourist oriented townships – just waiting for you to visit. One such township is Port Fairy, Victoria. Indeed, it is recorded that in 1853, 19 foreign ships and 56 coastal vessels entered the port. Exports that year included wool, gold and wheat.

So jump in your Melbourne car rental and get ready to visit a town that represents the type of place that made the State of Victoria become a reality.


This coastal port represents all that is good about old historic sea towns in Australia. Situated a comfortable three hours or so drive from Melbourne, this town is available for all walks of life. Sealed roads, highways, with all  shopping, curio stalls, picture opportunities and the like will make for an enjoyable trip both to, and from, Port Fairy. But what to do when you get there?


The very first thing to do on arrival in Port Fairy is a quick lap of the area. That is, familiarise yourself so you know where you want to spend some time. This is a town of stunning views – from the river to the coast, the old fort, the lighthouse, the historic buildings, and more, so start making a plan. You do not want to miss out on what this place has to offer. Let me be a bit more specific:

Architecture – Port Fairy has many 19th century buildings built across a variety of architectural styles. From ornate bargeboards, fancy cast iron lacework and decorative fanlights, you will see it here. Drop into the Information Centre and get the Historic Walks Map.

Griffiths Island – John Griffiths was the man behind the Port Fairy whaling industry established in the 1830s. Check out the lighthouse which dates from 1859 and still sends a beam of light out to sea.

The beaches – fishing, surfing, fly a kite or swim.

Enjoy the River –the Moyne River is a great place to teach kids how to fish. The Moyne boat area is ideal to pick up fresh seafood and enjoy with a wine.

Shipwreck Walk Trail – a must do as busy ports of the time unfortunately resulted in ‘wrecks’. There are six of same in this area.

Birds – This town is an Ornithologist's paradise with river, mud flats and seacoast resulting in an incredible display of bird life. This is home to a nesting Shearwater population. Migratory birds come from overseas to this pristine location.

Epicure – a number of excellent restaurants, hostelries and an abundance of local produce – make for an excellent dining experience across a range of tastes and styles.


Multiple options for accommodation abound in Port Fairy from motels to B&B, from rentals to Tourist Parks – there are many places across a range of price and quality. Without doubt my favourite is Gardens Caravan Park.

This venue is in a marvellous location. The back side is flanked by the Moyne River and only a short stroll brings you to East Beach as you head out of the main gate.

Cabins, powered and unpowered sites are all here. Bring that caravan, hire that motorhome, drive and stay, whatever tickles your fancy. This is a great place.

Got a pet? No problem, you can bring the fur baby along as well. This venue is pet friendly on sites and also has pet friendly cabins.

This park is proud to be part of the Family Parks group and management work hard to provide above average facilities. Clean amenities, excellent camp kitchen and barbecues, large grassed sites, and great customer service all make for a wonderful getaway experience.

Ask them about their favourite places to have a meal!

The Chair will be there, again and again.


(DriveNow has teamed up with "The Chair", none other than Dennis Werthenbach, the enigmatic and super popular chairman of the board for Family Parks Holiday Parks & Campgrounds - for more than 26 years, Family Parks has represented independent caravan parks and camping grounds, promoting fantastic holiday destinations for travellers young and old. With so many great caravan and camping parks throughout Australia and New Zealand, Family Parks is more than just a holiday, it’s a unique holiday experience.)

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