Home>Our Shire>Discover the Glenelg Shire
| In and Around Portland|
|Portland is a thriving, vibrant harbour-side city with over 10,000 residents, who are very proud of their town and offer you a very big welcome! |
Explore Portland’s maritime history, home to the historic Portland Lifeboat and Maritime Museum at the Portland Visitor Information Centre - your first stop for all information on exploring the Discovery Coast. Free call 1800 035 567.
As one of Southern Victoria’s fishing hotspots, the fertile seas and rivers in Portland and along the Discovery Coast offer a wealth of opportunities for keen fishers. For the most up to date fishing news check out www.wildblue.com.au
The Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape is unique to South West Victoria. For thousands of years, Gunditjmara people engineered and constructed an extensive aquaculture system along the Mt Eccles/Tyrendarra Lava flow and wetlands. Evidence of the aquaculture system, including stone eel traps and channels, and the lifestyle, including stone house sites and smoking trees, are located along the Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape. Gunditjmara people operate Budj Bim Tours where local guides take you onto country for a cultural tour. Visit www.budjbim.com
Walk around the tranquil gardens at the Portland Botanic Gardens that were established in 1857. Featuring over 300 varieties of roses and 130 varieties of dahlias, the gorgeous display is always a huge hit with the locals and visitors alike.
Jump on board the 1886 style Portland Vintage Cable Tram and take an 8km return journey, which takes around an hour and has full commentary. Beautiful scenery and sounds of a bygone era, reminding us of a time when life moved at a more leisurely pace!
Car enthusiasts will get a real buzz from the Powerhouse Vintage Car and Motor Museum. The museum features a collection of classic cars, motorbikes, stationary motors and tractors.
Delve into Julia Street Creative Space (The Arts Company), a community arts complex, an excellent showcase for local artwork from printing, painting and drawing to woodwork, lead-lighting and textiles.
The Great South West Walk comprising short 2 hour loop walks, full day walks, or for the intrepid, the whole 250km loop that begins and ends at the Portland Maritime Discovery and Visitor Information Centre. This unforgettable experience winds around 3 National Parks, hardwood forests, the pristine Glenelg River, the picturesque township of Nelson, aboriginal heritage sites, the mighty Southern Ocean and vast sand dunes, sandy bays and beaches, rugged cliffs, freshwater lakes, the Cape Nelson Lighthouse, the stunning Bridgewater Bay and amongst a diversity of natural fauna and flora including Blue and Southern Right Whales, a mainland Fur Seal colony, Australia's only mainland Gannet rookery and lots more. www.greatsouthwestwalk.com
Those seeking a bit of action during their stay will find the diverse natural water and land formations surrounding Portland are perfect for all levels of adventure. From rock climbing, surfing, sand boarding and mountain bike riding to canoeing and sailing, there is truly something for everyone!
|More fun & free ideas - |
(Glenelg Shire Council encourages you to properly supervise your children for their safety)
Beachcombing – Nun’s, Shelly, Pivot, Bridgewater
Playground – many activities & equipment
Lighthouse and cliff walk
Gannets & Alcoa walk
Picnic at Fauna Reserve (Cape Bridgewater Rd)
BBQ, Whalers Lookout walk at Sawpit
Library – Quiet IT or reading session – school holiday programs
Cape Bridgewater – Scenic attractions/Seal Walk
Enchanted Forest/Yellow Rock/Sea Cliff walk
History walks on Cliff top & Immigration Wall
Look for seals & stingrays at fish cleaning table
Skate Park/BMX track
Payment required -
Lighthouse tour (includes climb to top)
Seal tour (exciting boat ride)
Performing Arts (check local guide)
Indoor swimming pool
Aboriginal Heritage Tour
Water Tower Look-out, WW2 Memorial
Heywood Model Train
| In and around Casterton|
|Nestled in the valley of the Glenelg River, Casterton is the perfect base for day trips to outlying towns. It’s a place where people still take the time to stop and talk, a place that’s at the very least worth exploring! |
Casterton is the ‘Birthplace of the Kelpie’ breed and an annual event the Australian Kelpie Muster is held over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June celebrates this iconic Australian and the rich heritage of the town.
Meandering gently around town, the Kelpie Walking Trail links 5 unique sculptures revealing the fascinating life and times of the Kelpie. The statues feature interpretive signage and the walker can chose from three routes. For more information visit www.casterton.org.au
The picturesque Ess Lagoon offers a tranquil picnic and fishing area and is regularly stocked with trout (a comprehensive Fishing Guide is available at Casterton Visitor Information Centre).
About 10 or 15 km further north along the Chetwynd Rd is a sign-posted turnoff on the left to Bilstons Tree which is considered to have the largest volume of mill-able river red gum in the world. It is thought to be 800 years old and stands over 40m high with a girth of seven metres, consisting of 9100 cubic feet of timber.
The Wilkin Flora & Fauna reserve covers a total of 3600 hectares with 4WD and 2WD track access. Mill Swamp is an area of particular interest to bird watchers (a bird list is available from the Casterton Visitor Information Centre). Along with birds, spring wildflowers are a beautiful attraction from August to October in the Long Lead Swamp, Tower & Carmichael Track areas.
Baileys Rocks are a series of enormous and unusual green-coloured granite boulders in a dry creek bed within the northern section of Dergholm State Park. The lovely picnic and camping area has good facilities- toilets, fuel barbecues, picnic tables, drinking water and two walking tracks. A short (330-metre) loop track leads to the boulders, while the Rocky Creek Trail (5 km return) starts further upstream.
There are also driving tracks in the park which features a diversity of vegetation (woodlands, open forests, heath and swamp communities and spectacular spring wildflowers) and fauna (red-tailed black cockatoos, swift parrots, echidnas, koalas, grey kangaroos and a range of reptiles). A spotlight walk at night may afford a glimpse of nocturnal animal life such as sugar gliders. Ring (03) 5581 2427 for further details.
|More fun ideas – |
(Glenelg Shire Council encourages you to properly supervise your children for their safety)
Local Art and Craft on display and for sale at the Visitor Information Centre - Open daily 9.00am-5.00pm
Visit Warrock Homestead - settled in 1844 and still consisting of 36 preserved buildings. The architectural and historical value of these buildings is recognised by the National Trust which considers it the "most important pastoral station complex in Victoria". There is a picnic area and it is open daily from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. An admission fee is charged, phone 55824 22 for more information
Keep and eye out for the rare Red Tailed Black Cockatoo-the Olympic mascot for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
For the younger visitor why not visit our fantastic Skate Park on Murray Street (behind Foodworks).
| In and Around Nelson|
|The tranquil village of Nelson is tucked into the mouth of the Glenelg River, just 5kms from the South Australia border and 70kms west of Portland. A popular holiday destination, Nelson is a haven for those interested in river and ocean, bird watching, canoeing, bush camping, bush walking or just relaxing. |
Discover the Lower Glenelg National Park, which is perfect for walking, sightseeing, picnicking, camping (permits required), canoeing, boating & fishing. Take a cruise from Nelson, up the river, past the limestone cliffs to the stunning Princess Margaret Rose Cave, where underground adventure awaits.
Glenelg River Cruises- 3 ½ hour leisurely trip on the Glenelg River to the Princess Margaret Rose Caves
Princess Margaret Rose Caves
08 8738 4171
Canoe and Boat Hire – be your own skipper for the day, range of boats and canoes for Hire – Nelson Boat and Canoe Hire 08 8738 4048
Pedal Boats are also available great fun for children or children at heart
Paestan Canoe Hire
03 5528 1481
Fishing @ Nelson – there are numerous Jetty’s and/or Beach Fishing locations in and around Nelson – grab a license from Nelson Boat and Canoe Hire or Nelson Visitor Centre, or BP Roadhouse.
Collection of Pipis is also popular at the Ocean Beach or nearby Nobles Rocks
Bush Walking – range of short or long loop walks within Lower Glenelg NP and Discovery Bay CP; popular are Livingston Island, Gorge Walk, Sapling Creek, Dry Creek and Lake Monibeong, walk notes are available at the Nelson Visitor Centre
Nelson Tennis Court is available for Hire, $10.00 Hr including racquet/balls – enquiries Nelson Visitor Centre
Nearby Nelson Activities:
Snorkeling – Ewens Ponds is a unique spring fed system, 10 metres deep, the clarity of the water is amazing
Piccaninnie Ponds – another unique snorkeling experience, permits required from the Dept of Environment SA, or try Allandale East General Store (Snorkeling Gear and Wetsuits also available for Hire)
Penambol Conservation Park – contains several geological features including Caroline Sinkhole, a new brochures is available from the Nelson Visitor Centre for the Butterfly Walk in this Park. Also visit nearby – Hells Hole. For the really energetic just a short drive from Penambol is Mount Shank – extinct volcano, take one of the steep walking trails to the crater rim or crater floor.
Fancy a Day Trip? A visit to the Glenelg Shire wouldn’t be complete without a delightful daytrip to experience some of the most popular destinations and experiences!
Coastal Delights - Portland, Cape Nelson, Cape Bridgewater and Narrawong
Indigenous Experience - Tyrendarra, Mt Eccles, Heywood and Lake Condah
Country Discovery - Henty, Merino, Casterton and Dartmoor
River Retreat - Nelson
For further information on these delightful daytrips please contact or pop into any of our helpful information centres for lots more ideas on exploring our Shire! Call 1800 035 567
For further information please contact one of our trained staff or wonderful volunteers that can provide you with extensive local and regional knowledge that can assist you when planning your visit to the Glenelg Shire-
Portland Visitor Information Centre- 1800 035 567
Casterton Information Centre- 03 5581 2070
Nelson Visitor Information Centre- 08 8738 4051