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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.