Reasons Why You Should Spend Summer in Portland

Portland offers a variety of activities such as sun, surf, art, history, and adventure, making it an ideal destination for summer days.

Great ocean road

The natural surroundings of Portland, both oceanic and inland, are characterized by their beauty and history, with historic buildings from Victoria's early settlers and fishermen scattered throughout the town.

Five summer activities have been compiled for you, regardless of the temperature. Plan your accommodation and prepare for a memorable summer.

Relax in an artist's studio

For a peaceful retreat in a rural location, visit The Bay of Whales Gallery and Coffee Shop in Narrawong, perfect for hot days or simply seeking tranquillity.

Renowned wildlife artist Brett Jarett opens his home studio to visitors, where they can view and purchase his artwork. Visitors can also enjoy coffee made by their partner Gerri and try their highly popular vanilla slice.

Located on Mt. Clay, this award-winning gallery and coffee shop offers stunning coastal views, perfect for capturing beautiful photographs.

Alternative activities to consider in case the weather is too hot for a beach day:


  • Portland Maritime Discovery Centre
  • Powerhouse Vintage Car Museum


Discover well-known historical landmarks

Portland Botanic Gardens

The gardens were established in 1859 and are the second oldest in Victoria. Visitors can enjoy various plants collected from the Portland district by the first garden curator, William Allitt.

Visitors can enjoy a leisurely picnic under the trees and admire the art of gardening at the park. The original curator's cottage is also open to the public as a museum, showcasing impressive local history.


  • The National Trust has recognized three species of trees in the garden as 'rare or outstanding species': Cordyline australis, Wigandia car Susana, and Rhus criminals.


WWII Memorial Lookout Tower

Visitors can enjoy a 360-degree view of Portland by climbing the 25-meter winding staircase, with rest spots. On a clear day, views extend to Cape Bridgewater, Cape Nelson, and Tower Hill.

Portland Cable Tram

The Portland Cable Tram in Portland offers an enjoyable activity for all ages, with a scenic ride along the foreshore and opportunities to learn about the town's history. The tour also includes a stop at a museum showcasing model trains and an extensive collection of gemstones.

Prepare fresh seafood from the ocean

Visitors to Portland can't miss the opportunity to enjoy fresh, local fish from the Portland Fish Market, sourced directly from the trawler wharf. The market offers a variety of seafood, including scale fish, shark, and lobster.

Relax at nearby swimming locations

Local beaches

Portland and its surrounding area offer a variety of beaches suitable for different activities, from sea swimming and surfing to launching small boats and jet skis.

Bridgewater Beach is patrolled from Christmas to Easter.


  • Family swimming
  • Jet skiing
  • Windsurfing
  • Boating
  • Rock pools are ideal for snorkelling, swimming, and collecting shells.
  • Kiosk
  • Toilets


Dutton Way (not patrolled)


  • Fishing
  • Snorkelling
  • Windsurfing


Henty, Maritime, and Nun's beaches are not patrolled.


  • Swimming
  • Playgrounds (some)
  • Grassed areas
  • The swimming and water sports pontoon at Henty Beach is available year-round by all visitors.
  • There are cafes and restrooms located nearby in town.


Shelley and White beaches at Cape Bridgewater are not patrolled.


  • Walking
  • Beachcombing


Narrawong Beach is patrolled during the summer holidays.


  • Surfing
  • Surry River Mouth is suitable for children, but it is not patrolled.


The Portland Leisure and Aquatic Centre is a recreational facility.

Portland's local pool offers a variety of pools for different needs, including a 50m heated outdoor pool, a 25m heated outdoor pool, a 25m heated indoor pool, and baby and toddler pools indoors and outdoors. They also have a waterslide for added fun. It's a convenient option if you want a break from the beach or need to cool off quickly.

Relax and observe the fish in the aquarium

Consider dedicating some time to fishing during your summer break to relax and connect with nature.

Portland offers a variety of fishing opportunities in its nutrient-rich ocean waters, with a diverse range of species such as Salmon, King George Whiting, and Snapper. Additionally, there are opportunities to catch squid and various other fish.

Visitors can enjoy fishing in the Fitzroy, Surry, and Glenelg rivers, as well as Yambuk and Bridgewater lakes. Two boat ramps are available in the city's harbour for those with their boat.


  • In January, the Yellow Tail King Fish is popular among fishermen due to its availability in shallow waters.
  • A 24-hour fishing license can be obtained from various locations, including bait and tackle shops, service stations, caravan parks, and post offices.


 See the Gannets

Portland is home to a gannet colony at the Point Danger Coastal Reserve, where visitors can observe these large birds sunning themselves or diving into the ocean to catch prey. Guided tours are available through the Visitor Information Centre.

Where to stay

Lighthouses have a rich history and offer a unique opportunity for history enthusiasts to stay overnight near one.

Great ocean road tours

Visitors to the Cape Nelson Lighthouse precinct can stay in the original cottages renovated into luxurious units with modern amenities, including kitchens.

The site also includes a café that serves hearty breakfasts on weekends, and guests can tour the lighthouse during their stay. This destination offers a complete holiday experience.

Other accommodation suggestions:

  • Portland Tourist Park
  • Melaleuca Motel
  • Experience the holiday lifestyle at Henty Bay in Portland.
  • Portland Holiday Village
  • Victoria Lodge Motor Inn & Apartments is a lodging facility.
  • NRMA Portland Bay Holiday Park is a vacation destination.

If you want to see the Great Ocean Road and don't have the time to plan an adventure, contact Great Ocean Road Tours. You can spend more time exploring these incredible vistas that await you.