Beaches & Waterways
Arguably one of the safest beaches in Victoria and the most popular beach in Port Fairy, East Beach has kilometers of sand, enclosing the crystal clear blue water. Whether it be children building sandcastles, teenagers navigating boogie and surfboards, adults having a relaxing dip or families partaking of the time honoured tradition of fish and chips by the sea, this area caters for all. Lined with free street side parking, the area also provides a lovely grassy area for those who would prefer the sand to remain on the beach and not between their toes! East Beach is home to the Port Fairy Surf Life Saving Club and during the summer season this beach is fully patrolled, so swimming between the flags has never been easier.
The relaxing atmosphere and tranquility of the waves crashing into one another provides a perfect back drop for those to prefer to walk along the waters edge. For those who are looking for a coffee or a snack there is a café (Charlies on East) with magnificent views of the beach and lighthouse and a kiosk and other public facilities available.
South Beach has one of the best breaks for surfing in the area. Known as ‘The Passage’ it is a popular spot for both local and visiting surfers.
About 200m west of The Passage is Pea Soup one of the many coves of the South Beach and regarded as an explorer’s paradise. Volcanic rocks have created mounds to climb and rock pools to explore and this area is a favourite with young families. Many brides choose this area for their wedding ceremony with it’s beautiful scenery and secluded and sheltered nooks. Explorer’s can scuttle through different rock pools looking for sea creatures and treasures washed ashore. This area is not patrolled and caution must be taken even though its lagoon appearance gives an assurance of safety.
There is ample scenic parking areas for those who wish to admire the view from the inside of their vehicles. It’s a wonderful spot to take a book, the paper and a coffee.
MOYNE RIVER / MARTIN’S POINT
An extensive array of boats and yachts are moored all year around. With pedestrian access on both sides of the river, the river is a perfect place for an afternoon stroll. Known to the locals as Martin’s Point, the section where the river meets the ocean; provides a promising fishing spot for those who like to throw in a line. Often anglers are spotted trying their luck for Bream, Australian Salmon, King George Whiting and Mullet here and at other spots along both sides of the wharf.
It is also here that many visitors find their sea legs with chartered tours either for fishing or for scenic tours of the bay and river.
The official home of Port Fairy’s lighthouse (since 1859) and where it all began. A whaling station was established on the island early in the 19th century by Penny and Reiby before being purchased by John Griffiths in 1835. Known amongst the town as the Whalers, this group of people lived and worked on the island each season. Their success was measured by the closure of the whaling station in the early 1840s after the whale supply weakened.
Occasionally whales can still be spotted around the area as they migrate through. The island has since been developed and established as a nesting area for the Shearwater Colonies. The Shearwater birds, more commonly known as Mutton Birds; nest on the island between September and April each year. During this time locals and visitors alike are privy to the special landing that is performed each night at dusk. On most accounts around 5000 birds begin circling around the island before making a sudden descent onto the island. The sight and sound is one not to be missed.
There are several viewing points to watch the show with the premier position being the entrance to the island itself. The island contains a 3km walking track in its entirety about a 50min walk. A mere 1.25km will allow you to reach the lighthouse. At this point you can continue around the island or return in the direction from which you came. This option is preferable for those on bikes and scooter or those who have prams. The lighthouse itself is only opened on specified days of the year. The view from this point back around the shore provides visitors with an appreciation for the coastline and in summer some small bays for swimming and picnicking.
You will often find yourself being scrutinized by a few members of the colony of rock wallabies which inhabit the island. They are quite tame and generally unperturbed by the presence of visitors. For a detailed walking map, click here
Located just ten minutes from the park, Killarney beach is another place that is popular with families with young children. The gentle nature of this beach is perfect for snorkeling or for those who prefer not to be caught up in a wave train, it’s the right spot for you. The area also provides stretches of sand where you can walk for kilometers without seeing anyone.
A great fishing spot with boat ramp. Expect to catch King George Whiting, Snapper, Silver Trevally or Australian Salmon.