Home' Great Southern Tourist News : July 2011 Contents 56 -- The Great Southern TOURIST NEWS
VISIT THE CAPE: Cape
Bridgewater has some of the
highest coastal cliffs in Vic-
toria, protecting a bay that
stretches around the rim of an
ancient volcano. Suspended
lookouts offer spectacular
views and a two-hour walk
around the cape allows visitors
to look out above a large breed-
ing colony of fur seals.
HISTORY TIME: Heritage
walks give visitors a guide to
the city's rich past. The Mary
MacKillop Walk takes in build-
ings and sites in existence dur-
ing St Mary MacKillop's stay
at Portland from 1862 to 1866.
Another outlines a broader
historic walk which takes in
some of the town's 200 National
LOCATED four-and-a-half hours
west of Melbourne, the historic
port of Portland and surround-
ing district offers plenty of
action for holidaymakers.
Renowned for its fishing, the area's
spectacular coastline and abundance
of native flora and fauna make it well
worth a visit.
NOW is the perfect time to pack the
family into the car for some great
trips along the Discovery Coast.
The first port of call has to be the
Portland Maritime Discovery Centre
to learn about Victoria's seafaring
past. Portland is the state's birthplace
by the sea, the first area to be settled
in Victoria, in 1834.
The town's historic past is to thank
for the hundreds of old buildings
scattered throughout the streets.
Be sure to take the time to ride
the Portland cable tram along the
Fully-trained drivers and conduc-
tors make the journey on the restored
19th-century cable tram both informa-
tive and fun for the whole family.
The tram links attractions includ-
ing the Cable Tram Museum, a motor
and car museum, botanic gardens and
the Maritime Discovery Centre.
Portland is a popular fishing
destination and land-based anglers
are spoilt for choice, with breakwater
or surf fishing available.
Popular catches include salmon,
King George whiting, mulloway,
trevally, garfish and mullet.
Further out, snook and long-finned
pike are popular catches near
Lawrence Rock, sweep is common in
turbulent waters along the coastal
cliffs and barracouta are frequent
catches while trawling.
EXTEND your visit in the Discovery
Coast and stay in one of the fabulous
camping spots or accommodation
options in this fascinating region, which
serves up adventures on land, sea and
Check out the towering coastal
scenery of Cape Bridgewater, which is
home to a colony of 650 Australian fur
The family will delight in their
cheeky antics, as well as the spectacu-
lar sight of dolphins riding the waves.
In this breathtaking landscape, you
can watch the waves exploding from the
blowholes, or trek inland to explore a
forest of ancient stone. To the west lies
the wild Discovery Bay, 55 kilometres of
pristine sand framing the powerful surf.
Huge moving dunes, interspersed
with freshwater lakes, change shape
Discovery Bay was named by
Lieutenant Grant in 1800 during a
voyage along the south-western coast of
what has since become Victoria.
The first Europeans to traverse the
Discovery Bay area were Stephen and
Edward Henty, who set out from the
Portland area in 1839 and went on to
discover Mount Gambier.
Three schooners that worked the
coastal routes were wrecked along the
stretch of coastline from the mid-to-late
The Discovery Bay coastal park is
perfect for visitors with a love of birds,
with plenty on show along the long,
sandy beach. The park is a habitat for
the hooded plover and many other wad-
ers that have migrated from overseas.
GREAT SOUTH WEST WALK
GET in touch with nature on the
internationally-renowned Great South
The walk begins and ends in
Portland. It loops north-west through
the Cobboboonee Forest and above the
banks of the Glenelg River to Nelson,
close to the South Australian border.
On the return journey, the path skirts
the sandy shores of Discovery Bay,
moseys through the Mount Richmond
National Park and marches around
three rocky capes.
On the Great South West Walk it's
possible to be self-sufficient and sleep
under canvas in the 16 camping areas,
spaced a day's walk apart.
JUST west of Portland, near the
Victorian border with South Australia,
lies the popular fishing village of
Located on the Glenelg River and sur-
rounded by the Lower Glenelg National
Park, it is a place of timeless beauty.
Whichever way you are travelling,
there's plenty to do at Nelson.
The Glenelg River offers excellent
boating and canoeing opportunities
and is navigable by motor boat for more
than 60 kilometres upstream.
There are 11 bush campsites along
the river, only three of which have
vehicle access. Overnight stops must be
booked with the ranger.
There are numerous boat launches
along the river and boats, canoes and
kayaks can be hired at Nelson.
The region boasts many natural
wonders and one of the most spectacu-
lar caves in the region is the Princess
Margaret Rose Cave, easily accessible
by road or commercial boat from
Nelson. It gives visitors the chance
to marvel at the natural wonders of
stalactites, stalagmites, helictites and
other limestone formations.
Professionally-guided tours which
run for about 45 minutes are available
Find yourself within
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