28 October 2019
GO WEST FOR FUN THIS MELBOURNE CUP WEEKENDby BETH GIBSON
If you managed to secure a long weekend leading up to the Melbourne Cup, and you want to get away from the busy city, head to the western end of the Great Ocean Road region and choose from some big annual events!
Mortlake Cup (Nov 2)
Do you enjoy the excitement of horse racing, but not so much the massive crowds and scramble for public transport? Book a room in Warrnambool and get along the Mortlake Cup! This event is one of the biggest on the region’s social and sporting calendar and it's a great way to have fun with your friends and meet the locals. Get dressed up and be a social butterfly, or relax on a picnic rug with the kids.
- Travel by car on the Princes Freeway and take the Hamilton Highway to Mortlake
- Catch a train from Southern Cross Station to Terang on the Warrnambool line for a connecting bus to Mortlake.
- If you’re staying in Warrnambool (35 minutes from Mortlake), you can catch a bus from The Cally and return to the hotel for live music and more fun!
The Upwelling Festival, Portland (Nov 2)
An upwelling is when cold water ‘wells up’ from the ocean floor due to winds blowing along the shore. This nutrient-rich water replaces the water on top of the ocean, and therefore provides optimum fishing grounds.
For 10 years the Portland community has celebrated this natural phenomenon and the benefits that go with being one of Victoria’s iconic fishing destinations – with its beautifully scenic rock formations and very deep waters over 10,000 metres.
The Upwelling Festival is a free event featuring the Blessing of the Fleet, a street parade, markets, local entertainment, marine environment talks and community art projects.
Port Fairy Annual Show (Nov 2)
A day out at a country show is, quite simply, a good dose of old fashioned fun. This year’s agricultural show at Port Fairy will have a full program including horse events and farm animal displays. See who wins the cooking, cake decorating, flower and craft competitions - and check out the trade displays. There will be lots of yummy food and, of course, carnival rides. It's a real novelty for a city family.
Dragon Boat Regatta, Warrnambool (Nov 2- 3)
This is an exciting event to watch on Warrnambool’s stunning Hopkins River, right in the middle of town.
For the newbies, dragon boat racing dates back to China at least 2000 years ago. The canoe type boat is traditionally rigged with decorative Chinese dragon heads and tails. There can be around eight people in a standard boat and up to 20 in a big one!
There will be come-and-try sessions on Saturday and racing on Sunday, so, bring a picnic and a rug and kick back on the river bank to cheer the rowers!
To check out what else is happening across Victoria's southern coast, hinterland and volcanic lakes and plains this long weekend, click here.
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Great places to eat
Commercial Hotel Panmure
Operated by Annie and Graeme, this historic landmark established in 1871 is a welcoming country pub, tearoom and hotel.
Nestled in the heart of the Port Fairy CBD in the historic Dublin House, you will find Blakes Restaurant.
Quinlans Butcher is a small family owned business in the heart of Koroit, dedicated to bringing you the best quality local produce for over 60 years, with a large range...
Driftwood Coffee & Eatery
With all the old classic favourites as well as many vegan and vegetarian options while using fresh local produce. Take a seat in our indoor or spacious outdoor dining, take away also available.
Mickey Bourkes Koroit Hotel
Established in 1853 and purchased by the Bourke family in 1920, this renowned hotel has retained its Irish integrity and character.
This unique Victorian heritage-listed bluestone building first operated as a timber hotel in 1859 (lisc. 1855) by John Kelly who then built a stone hotel in 1870/71.