PORTLAND is a place for adventurous, bold and wild spirits. It's where you go for rugged coastline, deep sea fishing, whale watching and adventure on the Glenelg River. The summer crowds may have moved on, but Portland's about to get a new wave of visitors: the big nature lovers. They'll be coming for the big swells, the deep sea wonders and the rugged coastline.
They don't care what the weather presents; they thrive on the brash coastal elements, especially in autumn and winter. With cosy cafes, restaurants and accommodation in the local area; there's plenty of time to cocoon at night. So, do you want to come face to face with Victoria's wild coast? Here's some inspiration to help with your planning:
It's a real treat for animal lovers to see the playful Australian and New Zealand fur seals up close. It's even better to go with a knowledgeable tour guide so you can learn as much as possible about them at the same time. Seals by the Sea Tours will take you out on a boat and you can even see dolphins, blue whales, killer whales, penguins and many kinds of fish.
Petrified Forest and Blowholes From Portland, drive to Cape Bridgewater (25 minutes) where you can easily access the forest from the car park at the end of Blowholes Road. The formation is a collection of hollow tubes of limestone called 'solution pipes', eroded by millions of years of rainfall. Some rise as high as 20 metres.
Surfers travel from far and wide to take on these deep swells, so it's definitely worth the trip! But you don't have to be an expert. Th ere are different breaks and waves from Bridgewater Bay around to Narrawong Beach to suit all styles and abilities.
Shore dives around Portland off er different opportunities for the beginner right through to the experienced cave dive certified divers. And, because of its significant shipwreck history, there are wrecks to explore too.
This story is from the new autumn edition of Out & About magazine. Click here to read the entire magazine online.
Great South West Walk
This is a big attraction for walking enthusiasts who want to be about as close to nature as they can manage. The 250km trek weaves through Portland, Cape Bridgewater and Nelson; across the capes of Discovery Bay and trailing the Glenelg River. But you don't have to do the whole walk; you can choose smaller sections for an equally rewarding experience.
This 45 minute round trip walk takes you through the Moonah Tree canopy to lookouts over the ocean and spectacular cliff formations. With knotted trees, hanging creepers, and branches forming tunnels over the path, you can see why it's called the Enchanted Forrest. Listen and look for sea birds, magpies and black cockatoos.
Surry River: launch from the Narrawong boat ramp, which has ample parking and good access for vehicles to the river.
Bridgwater Lakes: this freshwater lake has quite a bit of shelter and can be best accessed by the boat ramp at the Aquatic Club. Glenelg River: A variety of sites along this 75km length of river have vehicle access.
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