I'm a Victorian freelance writer & photographer living in the Macedon Ranges north of Melbourne.
Light Up Your Long Weekend
If you find yourself in the vicinity of Port Fairy this coming Queen's Birthday Long Weekend, make sure you stop in and head on out to Griffith Island Lighthouse, which will be open for inspection between 10 AM and 4 PM on Saturday and Sunday the 9th and 10th June.
The Griffith Island Lighthouse has stood guard at the mouth of Port Fairy's Moyne River since 1859. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
The Griffith Island Lighthouse stands at the mouth of the Moyne River and has been guiding shipping through the treacherous Bass Strait and into historic Port Fairy since 1859.
Still operational today, the lighthouse was built in bluestone by a team of Scottish stonemasons, who included a unique style of internal stairway where each step is inserted into the next course of stone on the outside wall.
The lighthouse was built by a team of Scottish stonemasons using bluestone. Two Keepers stone cottages stood nearby until about 1956. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
During the latter half of the 19th Century, Port Fairy became a very important trading port for Western Victoria and for some years, rivalled the likes of Sydney and Melbourne in terms of tonnage passing through it.
11 metres high and 12.5 metres above sea level the light is visible from 12 nautical miles out to sea. The lighthouse was manned by a keeper who lived on the island until 1954 when the beacon was automated. Sadly, the two stone keeper's cottages, which stood nearby, were demolished in about 1956.
There was a time when Port Fairy rivalled cities like Sydney and Melbourne for the number of ships passing through. Today it's one of Victoria's premier tourist towns and a haven for recreational boat owners. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
To get there, park at the Martins Point carpark, walk across the causeway to Griffiths Island and take the very scenic 10-minute walk to the lighthouse. Be sure to keep your camera poised to snap some of the black swamp wallabies that inhabit the island.
Cost of admission to the Lighthouse Open Day is $5 Adults and Children $1. Don't miss the opportunity to visit a historic but still operational lighthouse in one of Victoria's premier tourist towns.
Griffith Island has a large population of black swamp wallabies, most of whom are happy to pose for a quick photo opportunity. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
Port Fairy is 288 kilometres southwest of Melbourne, about a 3½ - Hour drive via the M1/Princes Freeway and the Hamilton Highway/B140. Alternatively, its 380 kilometres, about a 6-hour drive via the Great Ocean Road.