GO WILD IN PORTLAND THIS AUTUMNby BETH GIBSON
The summer crowds may have moved on, but Portland's about to get a new wave of visitors: the big nature lovers.
They'll be coming for the big swells, the deep sea wonders and the rugged coastline.
They don't care what the weather presents; they thrive on the brash coastal elements, especially in autumn and winter.
With cosy cafes, restaurants and accommodation in the local area; there's plenty of time to cocoon at night.
So, do you want to come face to face with Victoria's wild coast? Here's some inspiration to help with your planning:
Surfers travel from far and wide to take on these deep swells, so it's definitely worth the trip! But you don't have to be an expert. There are different breaks and waves from Bridgewater Bay around to Narrawong Beach to suit all styles and abilities.
Shore dives around Portland offer different opportunities for the beginner right through to the experienced cave dive certified divers. And, because of it's significant shipwreck history, there are wrecks to explore, too!
- Lee Breakwater Shore Dive
- Crumpets and Pivot Beach Shore Dive
- North Shore Shore Boat Dive
- Minerva Reef Shore or Boat Dive
- Lighthouse Reef Shore or Boat Dive
- Cape Nelson Shore or Boat Dive
- Portland Bay Reef Boat Dive
- Lawrence Rock Boat Dive
- The Nursery Boat Dive
- Emily S Boat Dive
- Saxon Reef Boat Dive
- Cape Bridgewater Boat Dive
Petrified Forest and Blowholes
The formation is a collection of hollow tubes of limestone called 'solution pipes', eroded by millions of years of rainfall. Some rise as high as 20 metres.
Great South West Walk
This is a big attraction for walking enthusiasts who want to be about as close as nature as they can manage. The 250km trek weaves through Portland, Cape Bridgewater and Nelson; across the capes of Discovery Bay and trailing the Glenelg River. But you don't have to do the whole walk; you can choose smaller sections for an equally rewarding experience.
This 45 minute round trip walk takes you through the Moonah Tree canopy to lookouts over the ocean and spectacular cliff formations. With knotted trees, hanging creepers, and branches forming tunnels over the path, you can see why it's called the Enchanted Forrest. Listen and look for sea birds, magpies and black cockatoos.
Surry River: launch from the Narrawong boat ramp, which has ample parking and good access for vehicle to the river.
Bridgwater Lakes: this fresh water lake has quite a bit of shelter and can be best accessed by the boat ramp at the Aquatic Club.
Glenelg River: A variety of sites along this 75km length of river have vehicle access.
For more information, go to www.parkweb.vic.gov
Seals + Whales
Whales: The whales spend time in Portland during winter, so keep an eye on the town's whale watching Facebook page for real-time alerts.
Seals: It's a real treat for animal lovers to see the playful Australian and New Zealand fur seals up close. It's even better to go with a knowledgeable tour guide so you can learn as much as possible about them at the same time.
Seals by the Sea Tours will take you out on a boat and you can even see dolphins, blue whales, killer whales, penguins and many kinds of fish.
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