Cruising the Glenelg River near Nelson
Historic building in Balmoral
Old Customs House in Portland

© Copyright Peter W. Wilkins

Select an area from below to automatically open it on this page.


The South West Discovery

This area of Victoria's south west is referred to by some as the Great Ocean Road but it is nothing to do with that road which ends just east of Warrnambool. For the purpose of this guide i will call it the South West Discovery, a name I christened it 25 years ago when we produced a map between Warrnambool and Mt Gambier. It is a reference to the large Discovery Bay Coastal Park between Portland and Nelson, and the fact it was where the first settlement of Victoria occurred by the Henty brothers who later moved into the hinterland which is also included. To the east I have included Port Fairy and to the north, Coleraine, Casterton, Balmoral and Harrow.

This is a beautiful and highly productive region of Victoria with the Glenelg River flowing from the Grampians to the sea at the pretty town of Nelson, just inside the border with South Australia. Cruises operate on the river from Nelson to the Princess Margaret Rose Caves upstream and pass through lush forests to the limestone caves.
East of Nelson the South West Discovery and Mt William National Parks lie south of the road and at Gorae West there are several wineries. To the north are the historic towns of Harrow and Balmoral and along the Glenelg Highway between Hamilton and Mt Gambier the rural towns of Coleraine and Casterton service a large agricultural area.
Pine trees line the highways between Portland and Nelson and reflect the solid forestry industry based mainly in South Australia at Mt Gambier.

East of Portland, a major port and the location of Victoria's first settlement, are the small towns of Narrawong, Yambuk and Codrington, now a major wind farm site. Port Fairy is one of the most attractive of all Victorian coastal towns and the Moyne River provides a safe harbour for a fishing fleet and mariners bwtween Melbourne and Adelaide.
Abundant accommodation is available throughout the region and a search from the menu at left will ensure you find what you want. There are many national parks, golden beaches, mountains, forests and rivers all contributing to the wonderful experience of a visit to the South West Discovery.

Click an attraction to open it

Click on a town to open it

  • Balmoral
  • Casterton
  • Coleraine
  • Drumborg
  • Harrow
  • Heywood
  • Koroit
  • Narrawong
  • Nelson
  • Portland