I’m sure I’m not the only one who is pining for a holiday, or even a weekend away. Recently, I’ve been thinking about the long weekends we had in Port Fairy with our friends and our dogs. We weren’t able to go this year because of the pandemic, and I’m wondering if we will even be able to go in 2020. We usually go on the Queens Birthday weekend which is in June. The first time we spent the weekend there, it only was because our friends invited us. Until then, we’d never thought of going to Port Fairy. Our friends had been going on this weekend each year, and invited us to go along and share their B&B. We had such a wonderful time, that it’s become a winter tradition for us. Because it’s impossible at the moment, to physically go there, I thought it would be nice to relive memories our last few weekends there.
Our B&B was dog friendly, so we took Oscar and our friends took Pickles.
On the first weekend we spent in Port Fairy, we arrived to find that their annual Winter Weekends Festival was in full swing. It was just coincidental that we had chosen to go on a community festival weekend, but it was an added bonus. This event has been a popular event on the calendar for 15 years, over June and July, with more than 100 events being held. The most famous of these events is the Dachshund Dash. Visitors come from all over Australia so their Dachshunds can compete in this hilarious event. People come from everywhere to watch the race, bringing both their Dachshunds and non Dachshund pooches. Port Fairly is doggie heaven for dog lovers on the Queens Birthday weekend. Dogs of all breeds seem to have right of way all, and shops all over town welcome them to their outdoor tables, with bowls of fresh water.
We were able to attend just a few events, but they were highlights of our weekend.
The Dachshund Dash and associated Dachshund events were such great fun. Early on Sunday morning participating Dachshunds gathered Fiddler’s Green for the Doggie Breakfast, which included games for the dogs and owners plus a fancy dress competition for the dachshunds….and their owners, of course. Following this, there was a grand parade up Sackville Stree to Southcombe Park, the venue of the Dachshund Dash. Then came the big event – The 12th Annual Dachshund Dash with 100 entries and over 2000 people cheering the dogs on.There was even an all breeds race, but most of them were very much lacking in focus, unlike the Dachshunds.
The video below explains this wonderful event much better than any words I could ever write.
This tour visited the graves of many of the historical ghosts of Port Fairy. The tour leader told us stories of the unexpected and dark stories surrounding their deaths. The tour began as dusk was approaching, making for an eerie atmosphere. The stories told were intriguing and a bit spooky. We heard of local spirits that still inhabited the area,the circumstances of their deaths, and the people who had seen them, This event was a fundraiser for the Port Fairy Genealogical Society who had published a book of Port Fairy ghost stories, which I couldn’t resist.
Lights After Dark
Parts of the town centre and wharf area were lit up after dark with a beautiful display of coloured light projections. We had a lovely time walking around the town after dark, checking out the lights. The weather was unusually mild all weekend, which added to our enjoyment.
On Sunday the Port Fairy Lighthouse was open for the public to climb the stairs to the top. This was a fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Port Fairy, and a rare opportunity to see the inner workings of the historic lighthouse, and imagine the life of a lighthouse keeper. We were a bit pushed for time, and as I’m a bit wary of heights and confined spaces, we chose not to climb to the top. But it was great to see the lighthouse up close. Also the walk out to the lighthouse was really beautiful, so definitely worth doing.
- Farmer’s Market
- Coffin Sally – Pizza Restaurant/Bar
- Historical Society Tour of Mills Cottage renovation
- Walking the many walking paths and along the beach
- Lunch at the winery
- Walking on the Port Fairy to Warrnambool Rail Trail
- Lovely coffees, lunches and dinners at various cafes and hotels
- Early morning walks around town
- Visiting the historic port fairy wharf
Big Thumbs Up to Port Fairy Community
We all gave the Port Fairy community volunteers and residents a huge thumbs up for their organisation of the weekend. The above events are only a few that were held over the weekend, so there is plenty to do for all age groups. I would recommend this Winter Weekend Festival in Port Fairy as perfect for a family getaway. I have never seen so many dogs in one small town. Of course, where there are dogs, there are children having fun. It really was a good fun weekend for all. A huge highlight was the opportunity to catch up with good friends, who we don’t get to see all that often. We have planned to get together again in Port Fairy on when the pandemic has eased and we are able to travel again. Hopefully that won’t be too far away.
Please note: I have no affiliation with the organisers of this weekend, and received no payment for this post
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