The many attractions of Port Fairy make this quaint fishing town an ideal destination and haven for holidaymakers who want something different.
Soak yourself in the history of Port Fairy and enjoy the town's many well-preserved charming old buildings, cottages and homes as you stroll through the streets.
Wander along the Moyne River and stop at the town's historic wharf to watch local fishermen unload their daily catches. Beautiful beaches and restaurants, numerous galleries, studios, antique and art and craft stores and a delightful range of boutique shops complement Port Fairy's old-world charm. Visit the town's lighthouse and Griffith Island to watch the spectacular sight of thousands of mutton-birds flying in at dusk to feed their young.
Get out on the water and take a trip to Lady Julia Percy Island to see the seal colony or simply wile away the time with a cruise around the bay. Swim, surf, sail or just relax on the beach with friends and family - and for couples, enjoy a few days of romance in the ideal setting.
Have a hit of golf on Port Fairy's picturesque course or come and learn from the professionals during the August Shipwreck Coast Golf Classic.
Time your visit to coincide with one of Port Fairy's many festivals and celebrations. Over the summer holidays, take part in the many activities of the Moyneyana Festival, come and enjoy the delights of the musical Rhapsody in June or visit in October for the Spring Music Festival.
And be sure to travel to Port Fairy in March for the town's ultimate event - The Port Fairy Folk Festival. Although the event is a must for any music lover, everyone will enjoy the atmosphere as the town comes alive.
Travel just a few kilometres out of Port Fairy, either east or west, and find more of the southwest's best attractions. Head west and stare in awe at the huge wind turbines at the Codrington Wind Farm or take a tour and learn about wind energy.
Turn the car east and visit the renowned Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve. The reserve, nestled inside an extinct volcano, has beautiful drives and walks and an abundance of native flora and fauna, including kangaroos, emus and koalas. Have a picnic or barbecue, go bushwalking or bird watching or climb to the top of the volcano's rim and catch your breath as you take in the view to the sea and the spectacular surrounding countryside.
Only 20 minutes from Port Fairy is the home of the famous Southern Right Whales, the wonderful Warrnambool. The whales migrate along the coast between May and October to give birth and both mothers and babies can often be seen frolicking in the waters of Lady Bay from a purpose-built viewing platform at Logan's Beach. After calving, the whales move back along the coast, preparing for their journey back to the Antarctic, and can often be seen stopping for a breather in the bays of Port Fairy.
The Warrnambool May Race Carnival is another of the city's acclaimed events. Boasting the longest steeplechase in the world, the meeting is renowned amongst the racing fraternity. Even if racing is not your thing, the fun and frivolity of the three-day carnival is contagious and the whole of Warrnambool is abuzz with excitement.
Wallow in the maritime history of the area with a visit to Flagstaff Hill, an enjoyable and educational experience for kids and adults alike. Learn about the history of shipwrecks along the southwest coast, wonder at the Loch Ard Peacock and be astounded by the high-tech, multi-million dollar sound and light show Shipwrecked.
The museum's village boasts an array of old-time homes and stores, including a sail maker, bank, town hall and chapel and the original lighthouse keeper's cottage. Pick up a memento at the attraction's souvenir shop or dine in style at Pippies restaurant, enjoying your meal while you look out over Warrnambool's Lady Bay.
Warrnambool, too, has its share of festivals to enjoy, including the internationally acclaimed Fun4Kids Festival in June and July and the summer fun of the February Wunta Fiesta.
Pack up a picnic and take a day trip to enjoy the wonder of the Great Ocean Road. Take in the 12 Apostles and the Bay of Islands in the Port Campbell National Park, which is rich with the history of the many shipwrecks in the area, enjoy the breathtaking scenery and beautiful beaches, or take a ride in helicopter, a walk along the beach or a trip around the shipwreck trail.
Head deeper into Victoria's west and visit Portland and the town's magical surrounding national parks. The harbour area of the town is worth a visit to watch the huge ships loading and unloading, as are the parks, which include Lower Glenelg, Princess Margaret Caves, Discovery Bay, Mt Eccles and Mt Richmond. For the wine connoisseurs, pay a visit to some of the district's wineries for a sip at the cellar door.