Portland Bay and the town of Portland are four hours’ drive from Melbourne, or about three hours from Geelong. And once you’re in Portland, Discovery Coast highlights such as Port Fairy and the Great South West Walk are within easy reach. The holiday park occupies a prime position atop a cliff near the centre of town, with sweeping views of the bay and direct access to Nunns Beach, which is great for swimming and fishing. There are fantastic facilities on site, including a children’s playground, free modern BBQs, free Foxtel in cabins and free wifi. Parents will also love the complimentary kids’ activities that run during school holidays.
The holiday park’s generously proportioned sites for caravans, motorhomes, campervans and tents are sheltered and shady. There are powered and unpowered sites to choose from, plus powered slab sites with ensuite facilities for those who’d prefer a private bathroom. The ensuite cabins have been recently refurbished, sleep up to four and come with a double bed and bunk, while the waterview cabins contain a queen bed and two singles. Opt for a waterview cabin for the additional space, a verandah with barbecue and outdoor dining furniture and, of course, unforgettable views of the ocean. All cabins are equipped with air conditioning, kitchens and TVs with DVD players and free Foxtel.
In 1834, Portland became the first permanent European settlement in Victoria and more than 200 splendid early buildings still line the streets of the town. Grab a map from the Visitor Information Centre and take the Historical Buildings Walk to familiarise yourself with the area, then head to the Maritime Discovery Centre for an insight into Portland’s long seafaring history. Ride the Portland Cable Tram to hear more bygone tales from the volunteer operators and to tick off more attractions, including the Botanic Gardens. Motor enthusiasts mustn’t miss the Powerhouse Museum and its excellent collection of vintage cars and motorcycles – there’s even a penny farthing bicycle. Foodies should try Edwards Waterfront Cafe or its upmarket sibling Thistle Bar & Bistro for local seafood, and stop into Isabella’s Cafe at Cape Nelson Lighthouse for coffee and cake. If you visit between November and August, ask at the Visitor Information Centre about the best vantage points in town for whale watching. And be sure to grab a punnet of Portland Strawberries before you leave town.