Things to do in Portland – Vic – Australia

Welcome to our guide on the best things to do in Portland, Victoria! Situated on the south-west coast of Victoria, Portland is a hidden gem that offers a plethora of exciting attractions, natural wonders, and local gems that are waiting to be discovered.

Our guide will provide a curated list of some of the best activities, attractions, and must-see places in and around Portland. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a local looking for new experiences, our guide has got you covered.

Key Takeaways

  • Discover the top attractions in Portland, Victoria
  • Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Portland by exploring its stunning beaches and nature parks
  • Uncover local gems and hidden treasures
  • Indulge in the culinary delights of Portland by trying out its best restaurants and cafes
  • Find the best places to stay in Portland, Victoria
  • Explore nearby National Parks for a unique outdoor adventure
  • Relax on Portland’s beautiful beaches and enjoy a range of water activities
  • Experience Portland’s vibrant festivals and events
  • Plan your visit to Portland with our essential travel guide

Explore Portland’s Attractions

Portland, Victoria is home to some of the most exciting attractions that are perfect for exploring, and we’ve curated a list of the best. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly activities or solo adventures, there’s something for everyone in Portland. Here are some of the top attractions you won’t want to miss:

Portland Maritime Discovery CentreDiscover the rich maritime history of Portland and its importance as a fishing port and trading hub. The centre features interactive exhibits, a simulated whaleboat ride, and a chance to tour the Portland Lifeboat.
Cape Nelson LighthouseTake a guided tour of this historic lighthouse that boasts stunning views of the coast and the Southern Ocean. Learn about the lighthouse’s history, the keepers who once lived here, and the shipwrecks that occurred off the coast.
Botanic GardensStroll through the beautiful Botanic Gardens and enjoy the wide variety of flora and fauna. Marvel at the elegant fountains and sculptures, and take a break in the picnic areas or the gazebo.

These attractions are some of the most popular in Portland, but there are many more to explore. Be sure to check out the Portland Tourist Guide for a full list of attractions and activities.

Immerse in Nature

If you’re a nature lover, you’ll fall in love with Portland’s awe-inspiring scenery. The stunning beaches, cliff walks, and scenic viewpoints are a must-see when visiting Portland. But that’s just the beginning.

Great South West Walk

The Great South West Walk is a 250 km hiking trail that showcases the best of Portland’s natural beauty. This trail passes through beautiful forests, scenic beaches, and breathtaking cliff tops. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll, this trail has something for everyone.

Trail Section:Distance:Estimated Time:
Portland to Bridgewater Bay30 km1-2 days
Bridgewater Bay to Nelson45 km2-3 days
Nelson to Cobboboonee National Park45 km2-3 days

Along the way, hikers can observe the local flora and fauna, including kangaroos, emus, and a variety of bird species. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the stunning natural landscapes.

Lower Glenelg National Park

If you’re looking for a serene escape from the city, Lower Glenelg National Park is the perfect destination. This park features picturesque river gorges, tranquil lakes, and scenic walking trails. Visitors can explore the park by foot, bike, or even by canoe.

CampingSeveral campgrounds available throughout the park.
FishingPopular fishing spot with trout and blackfish in the river.
CanoeingCanoe hire available at several locations in the park.

Lower Glenelg National Park is also home to a rich variety of wildlife, including koalas, wallabies, and possums. Bring your binoculars to spot them in their natural habitats.

Don’t forget to visit some of Portland’s other natural wonders, like the Petrified Forest, blowholes, and the Enchanted Forest.

Discover Local Gems

While Portland offers many popular tourist attractions, there are also plenty of hidden gems worth discovering. Here are some must-visit local spots:

The Portland Cable Tram

Take a ride on the Portland Cable Tram, a historic tram that runs along Portland’s beautiful foreshore. This unique attraction offers stunning views of the ocean and historic landmarks along the way.

The World War II Memorial Lookout Tower

Climb to the top of the World War II Memorial Lookout Tower for breathtaking panoramic views of Portland and the surrounding area. This memorial tower serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made during the war, and is a must-visit for history buffs and sightseers alike.

The Portland Farmers Market

If you’re looking for fresh local produce and handmade goods, the Portland Farmers Market is the place to be. This vibrant market is held every Saturday morning and features a variety of vendors selling everything from artisanal bread to handmade soaps.

The Cobboboonee National Park

For those seeking outdoor adventure, the Cobboboonee National Park is a hidden gem located just a short drive from Portland. This beautiful park offers hiking trails, camping sites, and stunning natural scenery unique to the area.

The Portland Art Gallery

The Portland Art Gallery is a must-visit for art lovers. This local gallery showcases the works of talented artists both local and international, and features a wide range of mediums and styles.

Indulge in Culinary Delights

When it comes to food, Portland has something for everyone. From seafood to Italian cuisine, we have got you covered.

If seafood is your thing, The Wharf Hotel is a must-visit. Located on the waterfront, this restaurant offers a stunning view of the harbor. Be sure to try their famous seafood platter.

If you are in the mood for Italian cuisine, Pizza Bella is the place to be. With a warm and cozy atmosphere, this restaurant serves authentic Italian pizza and pasta dishes.

For a unique dining experience, try Wally’s Wine Bar. This cozy bar offers a selection of local wines and craft beers, paired with delicious tapas-style dishes.

Looking for a quick bite? Head to Griffin Burger for mouth-watering burgers and sides. Make sure to try their famous chicken burger.

If you are a coffee lover, Drummond Street Coffee is the place to be. This café offers delicious coffee and a variety of baked goods, perfect for a quick breakfast or mid-day snack.

Overall, Portland’s food scene is diverse and delicious. Don’t hesitate to explore the local restaurants and cafés for a culinary adventure.

Stay in Comfort

When it comes to accommodation in Portland, we have a variety of options to suit every budget and preference. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious hotel, a cozy bed and breakfast, or a camping spot in nature, Portland has something for you.

Accommodation TypeFeaturesPrice Range
Hotels and MotelsLocated in the city center or near the beaches, offering comfortable rooms, amenities such as free Wi-Fi, breakfast, and swimming poolsAUD 100 – AUD 250 per night
Bed and BreakfastsCozy and intimate atmosphere, personalized service, homemade breakfast, and unique decorAUD 150 – AUD 300 per night
Campgrounds and Caravan ParksLocated in nature or near the beaches, offering amenities such as BBQ facilities, playgrounds, and laundry servicesAUD 20 – AUD 50 per night

If you’re looking for a more unique experience, consider staying at the Bride and the Bull, a renovated 19th-century church turned boutique hotel. Or, if you’re on a budget, check out the Portland Bay Holiday Park, which offers affordable cabins and campsites with stunning views.

Explore Nearby National Parks

Portland is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, including several stunning National Parks that are within driving distance. These parks offer visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the beauty of the Australian countryside and see unique flora and fauna.

Lower Glenelg National Park

Located a short drive from Portland, the Lower Glenelg National Park provides visitors with an unforgettable experience. This National Park is known for its sandstone cliffs, tranquil rivers, and abundant wildlife. Visitors can explore the park by hiking, canoeing, or taking a scenic drive.

CanoeingBarbecues and picnic areas
Bird WatchingRestrooms and showers

Discovery Bay Coastal Park

For visitors seeking stunning beaches and coastal views, the Discovery Bay Coastal Park is a must-visit destination near Portland. This National Park is located a short drive from Portland and features beautiful, secluded beaches and a variety of coastal hiking trails.

FishingPicnic areas

Visiting these National Parks provides visitors with an opportunity to experience the natural beauty of Australia up close.

Relax on Portland’s Beaches

If you’re looking for a relaxing day by the water, Portland has no shortage of beautiful beaches to choose from. Whether you’re looking to swim, surf, or simply soak up some sun, there’s a beach in Portland that’s perfect for you.

Beach NameActivitiesBeachfront Amenities
Dutton Way BeachSwimming, Surfing, FishingToilets, Showers, BBQ Facilities
Nuns BeachSurfing, FishingToilets, Showers, Picnic Tables

Dutton Way Beach is a popular spot for families, with its calm waters and easy access to amenities. Nuns Beach, on the other hand, is often frequented by surfers, who come to ride the waves of this picturesque coast.

Both beaches offer stunning views of the ocean and are great spots for a relaxing picnic or a stroll along the shoreline. If you’re lucky, you may even spot some dolphins or seals swimming in the waves.

No matter which beach you choose, be sure to bring sunscreen and plenty of water to stay hydrated. And if you’re planning to swim or surf, always check the conditions and any posted warnings before jumping in.

Experience Portland’s Festivals and Events

Portland is not just about natural beauty and historical sites. Throughout the year, you can experience a variety of festivals and events that showcase the local culture and community spirit. Whether you are a music lover, foodie, or history buff, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Winter Arts Festival

Starting from late June or early July, Portland’s Winter Arts Festival is a celebration of the local arts scene. The event features live music, art exhibitions, workshops, and performances. You can meet local artists and purchase unique handmade works of art as souvenirs.

Anglesea Music Festival

If you love music, you should not miss the Anglesea Music Festival. Held in early September, this festival showcases local and national musicians across multiple venues in Portland. You can immerse yourself in a range of genres, from rock to folk to jazz, while enjoying a friendly and intimate atmosphere.

Portland Upwelling Festival

The Portland Upwelling Festival takes place in late September or early October and is one of the town’s most popular events. The festival celebrates the rich marine life and fishing heritage of the area. You can participate in a range of family-friendly activities, such as guided nature walks, seafood tastings, and cultural performances.

Portland Bay Lavender Harvest Festival

For a relaxing and aromatic experience, visit the Portland Bay Lavender Harvest Festival. Held in mid-January, this festival offers visitors the opportunity to wander through fields of purple lavender, enjoy local food and wine, and buy handmade lavender products.

Historic Commercial Vehicle Display

If you love vintage vehicles, you will enjoy the Historic Commercial Vehicle Display, held on the last Sunday in February. This event showcases a range of beautifully restored trucks, buses, and cars from yesteryear, capturing the history and spirit of the town.

These are just a few examples of the many festivals and events that take place in Portland throughout the year. Whatever your interests, we recommend that you check the local events calendar before planning your visit to make the most of your time in our beautiful town.

Plan Your Visit to Portland

Now that you have a comprehensive guide of the top things to do in Portland, Victoria, let’s make sure you’re fully prepared for your trip. Here are some practical tips and recommendations to help you plan your visit:

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Portland is during the summer months, between December and February, when the weather is warm and perfect for outdoor activities. However, keep in mind that this is also peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds and higher prices. If you prefer a quieter time, consider visiting during the off-season, between March and November.

Getting to Portland

Portland is located in southwestern Victoria, approximately 360km from Melbourne. The easiest way to get there is by car, which takes around four hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Melbourne which will take you straight to Portland. If you’re coming from further away, you can fly to Melbourne and then take a connecting flight or drive.

Transportation in Portland

Once you’re in Portland, the best way to get around is by car. You can rent a car at the airport or in town. If you prefer not to drive, there are also taxis available as well as a local bus service that runs regularly throughout the town.

Weather in Portland

The weather in Portland can be somewhat unpredictable, but generally mild. During the summer months, temperatures range from 16 to 25 degrees Celsius, while in the winter months, temperatures range from 7 to 13 degrees Celsius. Make sure to bring layers and rain gear, as rain is common year-round.

Additional Tips

Before heading to Portland, make sure to book your accommodations and activities in advance, especially if you’re visiting during the summer months. Bring comfortable shoes for walking on the beach and hiking trails. Lastly, don’t forget to try the local seafood, which is some of the freshest and tastiest in the country!


Q: What are the top things to do in Portland, Victoria?

A: Some of the top things to do in Portland include visiting the Portland Maritime Discovery Centre, exploring the Cape Nelson Lighthouse, and strolling through the Botanic Gardens.

Q: What natural attractions can I explore in Portland?

A: Portland offers beautiful beaches, cliff walks, and scenic viewpoints. Nearby National Parks like the Great South West Walk and Lower Glenelg National Park provide opportunities for outdoor activities and sightseeing.

Q: Are there any hidden gems worth visiting in Portland?

A: Yes, there are some hidden gems in Portland, such as local markets, art galleries, and historical sites. These lesser-known spots offer unique experiences and insights into the local culture.

Q: Where can I find the best places to eat in Portland?

A: There are several great dining options in Portland, including popular restaurants and cafes. Be sure to try some of the local food specialties for a delicious culinary experience.

Q: What are the best places to stay in Portland?

A: Portland offers a range of accommodation options, including hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, and camping options. Each choice provides different features, amenities, and locations for a comfortable stay.

Q: Are there any National Parks near Portland?

A: Yes, there are nearby National Parks and nature reserves, such as Lower Glenelg National Park and Discovery Bay Coastal Park. These parks offer unique features, hiking trails, and opportunities to spot wildlife.

Q: Which are the most beautiful beaches in Portland?

A: Portland is home to beautiful beaches like Dutton Way Beach and Nuns Beach. These beaches offer opportunities for relaxation, water activities, and enjoying the scenic surroundings.

Q: Are there any notable festivals or events in Portland?

A: Throughout the year, Portland hosts various festivals and events. These events have unique themes, activities, and attractions associated with them, offering visitors a memorable experience.

Q: How can I plan my visit to Portland?

A: To plan your visit to Portland, consider the best time to go, transportation options, and local tips and recommendations. Be sure to check local weather conditions and gather any additional information that will enhance your trip.