This small town is a little over three hours’ drive from Melbourne and worth the trip. (It’s not as sleepy as Google searches can make it seem.) The best way to find out what to do in Port Fairy is to ask people who’ve visited. Enter, us.

The town may be small, but the list of things to do is long. We’ve included some adventurous and not-so-adventurous options. Get your friends together over food and split up for activities and remember, it’s a walkable town, so if any these ideas don’t do it for you, check out the place next door.

Where to stay?

Cosy up in a historic whaler’s cottage. You’ll find plenty of centrally located too-cute stone cottages listed on Airbnb. If your preference runs hot for modern amenities (can’t function without aircon?), opt for the riverfront condos along Moyne River.

Where to brunch?

You’re off to see The Farmer’s Wife, so follow the yellow Dutch bike. It’s tucked down a narrow laneway, and while the view isn’t much to call home about, their scrambled eggs and smashed avo are on point.

The Farmer’s Wife Harvest Cafe | @farmerswifeharvestcafe 

47 Sackville St, Port Fairy, 3284 | (03) 5568 284

Break-off: Mid-morning meander

Peruse The Port Fairy Community Market. Its 100+ stalls include food trucks, fashion, fresh veg, jewellery, art and handmade er’thang. The market runs Saturdays in January, then pops up on the second and fourth Saturday of each month.

The Port Fairy Community MarketRailway Place, Port Fairy, 3284

Break-off: Mid-morning adventure

Take a self-guided walk, spot the wildlife and learn about the area’s Aboriginal Heritage at Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve: a mammoth volcanic crater only 20-minutes’ drive from Port Fairy. Tip: If an emu charges at you, raise your hand straight up above your head.

Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve | 105 Lake View Rd, Tower Hill, 3283

Where to for lunch?

Save yourself. You had a big breakfast.

Break-off: Afternoon angle

Go fish. If you want to stay close, drop a line off Moyne River and catch a bream, mullet, and silver trevally. You may score a snapper up by the river’s entrance. Grab a recreational fishing license from the Port Fairy Sports and Toy Store and research size and bag limits.

Port Fairy Sports and Toy Store | 64 Sackville St, Port Fairy, 3284 | (03) 5568 1788

Break-off: Afternoon adventure

Book a snorkel safari and swim with the fish. These generally begin at 2pm. Tip: Pick up underwater housing for your smartphone and use this opportunity to snap some pics for Instagram.

Port Fairy Surf School | 33 Bank Street, Port Fairy, 3284 | (03) 5568 2800

Where to for dinner?

We asked a few locals for recommendations. They each said Coffin Sally. They each deserve a high five. Pick a winner and order the Buffalo Sally pizza, with Shaw River buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil.

Coffin Sally | @coffin.sally

33 Sackville St, Port Fairy, 3284 | (03) 5568 2618

Where to for drinks?

Conlan’s Wine Store had been open for 12 days when we visited, but it felt like it had been around forever. Their menu is pescatarian-friendly, is made for sharing and they have plenty of room out the back for groups. Choose a wine from their cellar and settle in.

Conlan’s Wine Store | @conlanswinestore

34 Bank St, Port Fairy, 3284 | (03) 5568 2582
The great thing about this weekend trip is you can make it cost as little or as much as you like. Get your group together and carpool, pitch in for shared accommodation, stick to less expensive dining options, and take on free outdoor activities (or don’t, and splurge).

Port Fairy | 3284 

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A Weekend Away with Friends in Port Fairy
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Port Fairy's about three hours’ drive from Melbourne and worth the trip. The best way to find out what to do in Port Fairy is to ask the locals. Enter, us.
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