PORTLAND likes to describe itself as the “Birthplace of Victoria”. Indeed, there are quite a few historic buildings, but unlike Port Fairy they don’t add up to form a coherent, captivating townscape. It’s the last stop on the Victoria coast going west on the Princes Highway, but Nelson, a friendly fishing village further west, or Port Fairy make for more atmospheric overnight stops between Melbourne and Adelaide. The rugged coastal scenery to the southwest around Cape Nelson and Cape Bridgewater, however, is not to be missed.

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