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The coast of Port Fairy.
The coast of Port Fairy.
David at Port Fairy.
A taste of Dublin.

Port Fairy

Friday, January 18, 2002
Get a taste of good old Ireland on Victoria's shipwrecked coast.

If ever there was a typical little fishing village, Port Fairy is it. To get there, you drive past fields of dairy cows and potatoes, quaint bluestone and sandstone cottages with log fires, swooping gulls, artists, musicians and folk festivals. Its streets are lined with Norfolk pines and it has around 50 beautiful old buildings classified as National Trust. It is so reminiscent of Ireland its name was changed to Belfast, but was changed back to Port Fairy in 1887, possibly after Capt James Wishart's cutter The Fairy.

The historic seaside township was settled in 1835, attracting whalers and sealers, and still has one of Victoria's largest fishing fleets. The relaxed, salty town is home to around 2600 residents, with a large proportion going out each day for fish or cray.

The Caledonian Hotel claims to have Victoria's longest continual hotel licence. It was built in 1844 of limestone and bluestone. Extensions of quarried bluestone were added later. It is a single-storey building with attic, white walls and red roof, and is popular with locals and tourists for lunch and dinner.

Neil Shaw has Port Fairy Tales Nostalgic Tours, and uses a 1934 four-door V8 Ford Sedan, which is licensed to take four passengers on tours around the town. He dresses in clothing appropriate to the period of the car. He likes to tailor tours to suit each person — some people want to see the town's gardens, some are interested in its history — and they can last from 20 minutes to three hours. The longer trips include lunch, and shorter trips can include a Devonshire tea.

Goble's Millhouse was built by Joseph Goble in 1866 as a steam-driven flour mill. In 1910, it became a butter factory, and in 1945, a trucking company's warehouse. It gradually fell into disrepair but 10 years ago, was purchased by Noel and Lorraine Adamson, who could see potential through its derelict state. They have created a six-bedroom, six-bathroom b&b. The Loft is a king-size room with sitting area and balcony overlooking the Moyne River. Two of the four Queen rooms have a shared balcony over the river. The other two Queen rooms and the one twin are on the street side of the building.

The Millhouse has a large sitting room with open fire, pantry where guests can make tea and coffee and a breakfast room. The Adamsons have breakfast with their guests and steer them in the right direction to get the most out of their stay in Port Fairy.


A four-hour drive west of Melbourne.


Goble's Millhouse has rooms starting at $110 per double per night. Breakfast is included.
Port Fairy Tales Nostalgic Tours start at $12 per person for a minimum of two people.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.

More information

Port Fairy Visitor Information Centre
Ph: (03) 5568 2682 Fax: (03) 5568 2833
Website: or
Goble's Millhouse
75 Gipps Street, Port Fairy, Vic 3284
Ph: (03) 5568 1118 Fax: (03) 5568 1178
Port Fairy Tales
Ph: (03) 5568 2970 Fax: (03) 5568 1670
Tourism Victoria
Website: or

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