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The Port of Portland

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by Michaelie Clark (subscribe)
Pun-loving freelance writer based in Victoria.
Published June 7th 2012
It may be a 'serious' port, dealing in heavy-duty shipping and commercial fishing, but just like The Warrnambool Breakwater, there are plenty of interesting things at the Port of Portland to appeal to the casual sight-seer as well.

Port of Portland Pier
Take a walk along the Portland pier.

While the city of Portland is relatively small compared to other deep-water sea ports along the coast, its capacity for industry is ever-growing, with its annual throughput of mining, agricultural, and forestry commodities set to exceed seven million tonnes within the next two years. The port is comprised of six berths, which facilitate the export of such things as livestock, wood chips and logs, grain, and aluminium from the local plant, and two wharves to accommodate the fleets of trawlers, crayfish boats, charter boats and tug boats.

The Port of Portland Birds
Mutton birds and other sea birds also do some industrious fishing at the port.

So much industry in action is something to see, especially supported by such a small yet prosperous historical city like Portland. If such economic feats don't take your fancy though, you can always do a bit of bird-watching and seal-spotting. You'll usually find a variety of seabirds hanging around the rocks, as well as quite a few fur seals, especially when the fishing boats come in. Watch out for the seals at Portland though – it's pretty easy for them to make their way over the rocks and onto the pier at this particular port, and they have been known to bite. They are great fun to watch, but keep your distance if they come out of the water.

Port of Portland Seals
Remember to watch out when watching the Portland seals.

For those wanting to see more of the bay, this can be easily achieved with a stroll around the picturesque beach. Alternatively, visitors can view the entire foreshore region by taking a ride on the cable tram. The tram journeys all the way down the shore from the bowling club to the botanic gardens, and back up to Fawthrop Lagoon. Tickets are $15 for adults, $6 for children aged between five and sixteen years (free for younger kids), and $35 for families (two adults and three children).
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Why? Visit an industrious and interesting piece of Victoria.
When: Anytime - trams run daily.
Where: Port of Portland, Victoria (approximately 80 minutes from Warrnambool, 4.5 hours from Melbourne).
Cost: Free (except trams - see above).
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