Portland is located on the far south-west coast of Victoria, mid-way between Port Fairy and the small town of Nelson which is adjacent to the state border with South Australia. This region boasts rich maritime history, and inspiring natural attractions. Take the Portland Cable Tram for a scenic and informative journey through the foreshore, providing views along the coast and passing attractions such as Botanic Gardens, Portland Powerhouse Car Museum, Maritime Discovery Centre, Whalers Bluff Lighthouse, and the World War II Memorial Lookout Tower at Anderson Point. South of Portland is the Cape Nelson state park with the Cape Nelson Lighthouse located on the coast's southern tip.

Port: Portland
Experience

Portland

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  • Timandra Country Garden

    Stroll the peaceful garden paths of Timandra by the Sea, a sustainable landscape of indigenous plants and iconic Australian animals such as koalas.

    After departing from the pier, you will soon arrive at Timandra by the Sea, a beautiful country garden that has won awards for its commitment to sustainable landscaping. The professional horticulturalists that own Timandra by the Sea provide landscaping services throughout the region, and this country garden is their showroom so to speak.

    As you stroll along the winding paths in the shade of towering trees, you will notice that construction has been kept to a minimum, which maintains the natural environment. The gardeners’ intention was to create a peaceful, stress-free oasis that would attract people as well as wildlife.

    Although Timandra by the Sea only covers one acre, it appears larger because the separate gardens naturally flow into each other, creating one inviting setting after another. Feel free to pause on one of the benches and take in the tranquility.

    During your visit you may spot indigenous birds drinking from fountains and koalas in the eucalyptus trees. Koalas sleep up to 18 hours a day and are usually seen dozing in the forks of the trees.

    Eucalyptuses are quite fragrant as are many of the other flowering plants at Timandra by the Sea. Following your relaxing exploration of the gardens, you will be treated to a traditional Devonshire tea before returning to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 90 minutes of guided easy walking that covers approximately 1/2 mile. The coach ride may be bumpy at times. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach, and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with walking difficulties are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. This tour may operate with a driver/guide. Wild life sightings are not guaranteed.

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  • Portland By Cable Tram & Coach

    Enjoy an overview of Portland by riding a cable tram through town and then boarding a motor coach for a carefree drive through the beautiful surrounding countryside.

    After departing from the pier, you will begin a delightful ride through Portland in a replica of the cable trams that once ran in Melbourne starting in the mid-1880s. As the tram winds through town, you will view many of the notable landmarks, including the Powerhouse Car Museum and a maritime museum with exhibits that trace Portland’s whaling industry.

    Continuing on, you will pass a botanical garden that was established in 1857 and a World War II memorial with a lookout tower. The cable tram presents an excellent overview of Portland and attractions that you may wish to explore later on your own.

    You will also see the highlights on the outskirts of town after boarding a motor coach. The surrounding landscape is wonderfully rolling and the unspoiled coast is particularly scenic. Wallabies are often spotted in the coastal scrub, so be sure to look for these herbivores that resemble medium-sized kangaroos.

    Most of the neighboring wind farms are also along the coast, and the electricity they generate supplies the national grid. Some of the wind turbines rise above Cape Nelson, where you will stop at the bluestone lighthouse, which dates to 1884. For the best view of the coast, climb to the top of the lighthouse before returning to the pier.

    Please note: This tour is primarily panoramic in nature but does include less than 1 mile of guided easy walking that may include some natural and uneven surfaces. The ride may be bumpy at times. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off both the coach and tram, and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with walking difficulties are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. This tour may operate with a driver/guide.

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  • Charming Port Fairy & Wine Tasting

    Visit Port Fairy and see why it was voted the “world’s most livable small community,” and then enjoy a tasting of distinctive wines at Basalt Vineyard.

    After departing from the pier, you will enjoy a picturesque 1 hour drive to the fishing village of Port Fairy, which lies at the end of the Great Ocean Road. It’s a beautiful setting full of 19th-century cottages and old stone churches, the streets shaded by towering Norfolk pines.

    Upon arrival, you will have plenty of time to explore on your own. You might follow the Shipwreck Heritage Walk along the waterfront and watch the fishermen unload their catches of crayfish and abalone. The National Trust has recognized more than 50 buildings in Port Fairy as architecturally important, including whitewashed whalers’ cottages, grand Georgian homes and the oldest residence in the state of Victoria, which dates to 1843. For a small town, it also has more than its share of art galleries, craft shops and one-of-a-kind boutiques.

    Following your time in Port Fairy, you will drive to nearby Basalt Vineyard for a tour and tasting. The winery’s name reflects the volcanically formed basalt in the rich soil, which yields varieties of grapes such as Pinot Noir and Tempranillo.

    The selection of organic wines served may include one of these varieties or the vineyard’s award-winning Riesling. This light, straw-green wine tends to have remarkably fresh lime and green apple notes. The Chardonnay leans more toward grapefruit and white peach notes.

    Following your tasting, you’ll re-board your coach and travel back to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 45 minutes of easy to moderate walking/standing plus any additional walking at the guests’ discretion during free time in Port Fairy. There will be some uneven surfaces, steps and inclines to negotiate. The coach ride may be bumpy at times. The tour is not considered suitable for wheelchair guests or those with walking difficulties. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. This tour may operate with a driver/guide. Guests must be a minimum of 18 years old in order to take part in the tour.

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  • Twelve Apostles & the Great Ocean Road

    Travel along the Great Ocean Road that hugs the spectacularly beautiful coastline and stop to marvel at natural wonders such as the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge.

    After departing from the pier, you will soon merge onto the Great Ocean Road, a 151-mile coastal highway that returning soldiers from World War I built and dedicated to the fallen soldiers who never returned home. As such, it is the world’s largest war memorial.

    After 13 years of construction the road opened in 1932, ending decades of isolation for many coastal communities. Incredibly, the Great Ocean Road was carved out of the rock without the use of heavy machinery; only picks, shovels and horse-drawn carts were used.

    As you travel the spectacularly scenic road, the sights will be absolutely mesmerizing. Even the most exaggerated superlatives fail to capture the beauty and majesty of the Great Ocean Road. It is that extraordinary, mile after glorious mile.

    Highlights include Twelve Apostles, where you will stop and have some free time to view this collection of 12 monolithic rock stacks that dramatically rise out of the sea at the ocean’s edge and take in the surrounding views. The limestone towers are among the most photographed sites in Australia and it’s no wonder. Take time at the Information Center to learn more about the area and its cultural heritage. A box lunch will be provided for you to enjoy while taking in the spectacular scenery.

    Continuing on, you will pause for photos at Loch Ard Gorge, a narrow opening to the sea flanked by sheer cliffs. The gorge is named after an 1878 shipwreck on nearby Muttonbird Island. Muttonbirds or short-tailed shearwaters are still prevalent, and you may spot one during your photo stop. From here, you will travel directly back to the ship.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 1/2 mile of easy to moderate walking/standing plus any additional walking at the guests’ discretion during free time. There will be some uneven surfaces to negotiate. Travel time in the coach is approximately 5 hours and may be bumpy at times. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach, and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with walking difficulties are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing to include a light sweater or jacket; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. This tour may operate with a driver/guide. The tour sequence may vary.

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  • River Cruise & Princess Margaret Rose Cave

    Cruise the lower Glenelg River as it winds through a spectacularly scenic national park and then explore an extraordinary limestone cavern that the river helped create.

    After departing from the pier, you will enjoy a leisurely 1 hour drive along the edge of several national and coastal parks to Nelson, a historical town named after “Lady Nelson,” an early explorer’s ship. You will then board a boat and begin cruising up the Glenelg River.

    One of the longest rivers in the state of Victoria, the Glenelg begins in the Grampian Mountains and takes a circuitous route south before emptying into Oxbow Lake and on into the sea. The riverbanks are densely forested and immensely scenic.

    The Glenelg is loaded with fish, so you can expect to see recreational anglers fishing for salmon trout, estuary perch and mullet. You may also pass people canoeing, boating and water skiing. Wildlife is abundant, especially birds such as herons, ducks and kingfishers.

    In time, you will reach Princess Margaret Rose Cave, a limestone cavern filled with all sorts of unusual rock formations, which are illuminated for added drama. While exploring the underground wonderland, you will see massive stalagmites and stalactites, whose size is especially remarkable considering that they only grow a third of an inch every 50 years.

    Many of the formations are rarely found elsewhere, including the ones shaped like shawls and slices of bacon. After your adventure in the cave, you will cruise back to Nelson and drive on to Portland, enjoying a panoramic drive through the city prior to reaching the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 1 hour of easy to moderate walking/standing that includes some uneven terrain, steps and inclines to negotiate. The coach ride may be bumpy at times. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off both the coach and cruising vessel, and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with walking difficulties are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing to include a light sweater or jacket; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. This tour may operate with a driver/guide. The tour sequence may vary.

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