Port Fairy comes alive during winter with the 13th annual Winter Weekends festival

Now in its 13th year, Port Fairy is heating up with a jam-packed Port Fairy Winter Weekends festival program that will have you eating and drinking your way through delicious weekends of bread and markets, wine and gin, feasts and tastings, music, arts and the breathtaking environment.  And of course, the world-famous Dachshund Dash – the biggest event for those with the smallest of legs.

Port Fairy is a prominent coastal destination on the tourist trail, and is an area that is often met with crisp mornings, beautiful downpours and moody weather during the winter months, and this festival is encouraging everyone to layer up step outside. Baby, its cold outside, and WE LOVE IT. 

Kicking off on the June long weekend and continuing every second weekend throughout June and July, this year the festival will turn on ‘Bathed in Light,’ illuminating more than 15 colonial cottages and 19th century villas in one of Port Fairy’s most iconic avenues, Wishart Street.

The headline musical act of the festival this year is a performance by Late Night TV, a revolving cast of local and imported musicians of anywhere between 8 and 14 band members.  Drawing on the likes of Air, Bon Voyage Organisation and Kylie Minogue, expect pop-funk-fusions and steamy winter energy at the prominent Port Fairy landmark St John’s Church, utilising the sound, light, and acoustics of the decadent heritage building.

Visitors and locals alike can go out and about on tours, Port Fairy Fairy hunts, try their hand at sand sculpture, and embrace the classic local pubs around the area on the country PUB-licity trail.  The kids are well and truly covered, with young ones being taken on enchanting journeys around the campfire with Tales of Fae and Folklore, an immersive Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, and creative nature play, just to name a few. Also, remember the movie Labyrinth starring the one and only Bowie? Yeah, well that’s on, fancy dress essential.

Featuring prominently on the calendar is the much-loved and ever-growing Dachshund Dash. Last year really exploded with 2,500 spectators travelling to experience the splendor that is this glorious event.  With over 90 dachshunds and their enthusiastic owners from all over Australia competing for the title of top dog in 2019, this year is set to be even bigger with the racing categories extended to give more doggos a chance to compete.

Local dining stalwart The Merrijig Inn is back offering up its sell-out mouthwatering long winter lunches, and award-winning chef Matt Dempsey (Conlan’s Wine Store, Gladioli, Hawker Kampong and Tulip) is hosting a progressive lunch starting at Gladioli, then swaying on to Conlan’s wine store, and stumbling into Hawker Kampong.   There will be Espresso and milk texturing classes, Give a Focc focaccia making workshops, Gin and Whisky tastings, ghostly tales will be regaled at the cemetery and Women in Song is back to empower and inspire.  The sense of community spirit will be found in abundance through art, music, wine, coffee, cinema and workshops that have been specially curated to showcase the best of the region.

Port Fairy Winter Weekends celebrates local art, food, music and community. It’s a genuine community festival, run by volunteers, now its 13th year. It’s a showcase of the talents of the amazing townsfolk and embraces the pristine, invigorating landscape of the town at the end of the Great Ocean Road in South West Victoria.

Please visit www.portfairywinterweekends.com.au for the full festival program and to plan your winter adventure.

About the Blogger



Follow the yellow and blue 'i' signs to the Visitor Information Centre in Port Fairy for tips, maps, brochures and advice on how to make the most of your stay. The Centre contains a comprehensive display of local attractions, wildlife and accommodation options that will help bring to life your Great Ocean Road experience.


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