Welcome to Portland, Australia!
People often fail to notice Portland in comparison to Melbourne, both of which are in the Australian state of Victoria. However, there’s a distinct mood in the air of Portland that is characteristically pleasant. In part, it is like any other urban city, but one with a laidback and tranquil atmosphere, in tune with its breathtaking surroundings.
A beautiful city that welcomes visitors, with a promise of amazing discoveries, this is a worldwide local insider’s guide to Portland, Australia.
A Convenient Way to Hit All the Things to Do in Portland
A lively way to start your exploration is with a hop-on-hop-off joyride on the Portland Cable Tram. Just step outside of your Portland hotel and ride the rails. The salon and grip cars, with onboard commentary, are an unconventional and fun way to travel, but also ideal for touring around some of the major hot spots such as the Maritime Discovery Center, World War II Memorial, The Trams Depot Museum, and the Botanical Gardens. Tickets for adults cost AUD 18.00 (12.6718 USD), whereas the refreshing sea breeze and spectacular sights en route are absolutely free.
Worldwide Local Tip: For a healthy you, uncover the past of Portland by walking around in search of its several well-maintained buildings from the 1800s. Many of these are made with bluestone and have a rather simple yet elegant architectural style. You can take a walking tour or just grab a city map and head out on your own, strolling and enjoying the Portland weather.
Don’t Miss the Best Show in Portland
Now, Portland isn’t without its surprises. Cape Nelson and Bridgewater are nearby locations from where you are privy to the most spectacular show in this world. With the year-round activity of Blue and Southern Right Whales, you can view these majestic mammals as they play around in the waters by the shore. Swing by the visitor center and check if they have a yellow flag outside, as it denotes that your chances of spotting the whales are quite high. As the whales are often difficult to spot, remember to take your binoculars for a better sighting.
Worldwide Local Tip: While you are in Cape Nelson, head to the Nelson Lighthouse, a local landmark of importance. Operational and a grand scene, especially with the waves crashing into the rocks below, you can even stay at the watchkeeper’s cabin for AUD 200 (140.781 USD) a night.
Music, Art, and Culture
If by any chance you find yourself in Portland on the first Saturday of November, be ready to party. The Portland Upwelling Festival is a one-day event featuring music performances, markets, parades, and races that celebrates the natural phenomena of Bonney Upwelling, an essential occurrence for both the marine ecosystem and the fishing community. Most activities are free, and there’s lots of food and festivities for the entire family.
Art and nature are a vital part of life in Australia, and to see their union through realist paintings of Brett Jarrett is pure delight. A half-hour drive to the Bay of Whales gallery is an opportunity to spectator some of the artist’s works. In fact, make a day trip out of it by wandering about the charming village of Narrawong with its pretty walking paths and sweeping views of Portland Bay.
Worldwide Local Tip: With so much to do and see in this city, food often takes a backseat, and you might not have time to sit down at a Portland restaurant. To make things easier, pick up some freshly made sandwiches, burgers, and milkshakes, from Big “O” Milk Bar on Otway Street.
Have an Incredible Time in Portland, Australia!
An underrated gem of a city with strong cultural ties that promises a whale of a time, Portland exhibits irresistible appeal that lingers long after you leave it behind. So come along on a worldwide local adventure and take a break with us as we engage with Portland’s many eccentricities.