We are off to Portland for a couple of days. As Victoria’s first permanent settlement, it is dripping with history. What a good idea my suggestion of great fishing was when we were deciding where to go. I can do some history stuff (I’m hoping to get a lot of photos) and they can fish. There are also several activities of a historical nature we can all take part in. My small research assistant will be learning about Victoria’s history and he won’t even know it!
On offer is the Historic Buildings Walk with 48 buildings marked on a convenient map. The Old Portland cemetery will be a must with the oldest recognisable grave dating back to 1848. There is a self-guided tour brochure highlighting some of the more significant graves. We will visit the Portland Maritime Discovery Centre and I am sure my small research assistant will enjoy it. There is the ribcage of a sperm whale which is large enough to sit inside.
I am particularly looking forward to seeing the Immigration Wall. This is a great initiative. Descendants of immigrants who first set foot in Australia at Portland are able to buy a plaque for the wall. One day I hope that James and Susan Harman and William and Margaret Diwell will have their own plaque.
We also plan to visit nearby Cape Bridgewater settled by a hardy band of pioneers. From my Passing of the Pioneers posts, I have learnt much about those that settled the area and would like to see something of the land that lay before them. A number of pioneers from the Cape Bridgewater area are already listed on the Passing of the Pioneers list. Graves of pioneers with names such as Kittson, White, Hedditch and Malseed can all be found at the Cape Bridgewater cemetery. There are also many natural attractions nearby such as a petrified forest and Shelly Beach.
Back in Portland we can Walk in the Footsteps of Mary McKillop, visit the second oldest Botanic gardens in Victoria, and take a ride in a cable tram along the bay. If I can squeeze it, I would like to visit History House, home of the Portland Family History group. Not only are there research facilities available, but there is also a social history museum on site.
I hope the fishing is good, because with so much to do we may have to go back again.