The Koroit Irish Festival celebrates the region’s rich Irish heritage. The event is held from the 1 to 3 of May 2020 in the historic village of Koroit - a 10 minute drive from Port Fairy. Highlights include the Gaelic games carnival, the Australian Danny Boy Championships, market stalls and food vendors. Plus there are more musicians than you can shake a sheleighly at, with ditties ranging from traditional Irish folk right through to shamrock ‘n’ roll. While there is always great music, song, comedy and dance at the festival, there are also a wide range of other family activities that make the Koroit Irish Festival unique and a weekend of fun unmatched anywhere out of Ireland herself!
Located on the northern rim of Tower Hill State Game Reserve, Koroit derives its name from the Koroitch Gundidj people, one of the original occupiers of the area.
Irish immigrant farmers and pastoral lessees originally settled the area in the 1840’s and 50’s and the town grew to supply the needs of the local small grain and potato farmers who “took their produce down the slope to Warrnambool”, until the railway arrived in 1890.
The town and district was characterised by a strong catholic Irish contingent, close settlement and intensive agricultural activity in the rich volcanic soil surrounding the town. Koroit still maintains its fascinating Irish charm as can be seen by a short walk or cycle along the main street and into the side streets.
Dairying has slowly taken over much of the earlier agricultural land making it the major farming activity of the region.
Koroit Botanic Gardens
The Koroit Botanic Gardens includes trees and shrubberies, pathways, a playground, toilets, significant trees and the 1880 Guilfoyle inspired provincial botanic garden plan.
In 1857 the district surveyor Thomas Watson provided a 20 acre allotment for public gardens in Koroit immediately south of the National School reserve and in 1873 the site was permanently reserved as a Public Gardens and Recreation area.
The gardens contain over 100 rare and unusual trees from around the world and are now being restored by a partnership project between Moyne Shire and local community groups.
Covering 37 kilometres of scenic rural landscape, the rail trail offers bike riders a scenic look through farmland around Port Fairy, Koroit, Illowa and Warrnambool. The rail trail passes through Koroit at the old Railway Station which began operations in 1889, with a brick building replacing an original timber structure in 1907. Train services to Koroit ceased in 1977. Click here to download the Port Fairy to Warrnambool Rail Trail map
A township of both historical and architectural significance, nestled against the northern slopes of Tower Hill.
Koroit has a strong Irish herritage with immigrants lured by the availability of land and the rich volcanic soil in which to grow crops such as potatoes, onions and wheat.
The Koroit Heritage Trail takes walkers around the edwardian architecture, gracious public buildings, tiny worker’s cottages and gardens littered throughout town.
Where to Stay in Koroit
Koroit-Tower Hill Caravan Park
Right on the doorstep of the Tower Hill Nature Reserve and only minutes from sheltered swimming beaches, Koroit is a quaint yet progressive town which provides the perfect blend of old and new.
Koroit-Tower Hill Caravan Park
Located in the historic Irish township of Koroit you will be sure to experience Irish hospitality at its most charming.
Eat and Drink in Koroit
Izzy’s Restaurant is located in Koroit, a little township in south western Victoria, only 10 minutes from Port Fairy and Warrnambool.
Mickey Bourkes Koroit Hotel
Mickey Bourkes Koroit Hotel EST 1853 has retained its Irish integrity and character. Take pleasure in a good yarn with a local over a smooth Guinness on tap.
Commercial Hotel Koroit
First Licensed in July 1867, current owners Darren & Julie Smith are the 31st in that period. With its proud Irish heritage, warm atmosphere and strong sense of Community, its no wonder why everyone gathers at the Commercial.
What to See and Do in Koroit
Port Fairy - Koroit - Warrnambool Rail Trail
The Port Fairy to Koroit to Warrnambool Rail Trail is fantastic. The trail is a continuous 37.32km walking/cycling pathway which meanders through a highly scenic, diverse and relaxed part of south-west Victoria.
Koroit Heritage Trail
The town`s Heritage Trail highlights many of Koroit`s beautiful old buildings.
Koroit Historical Society Museum & Archives
This small museum is located in the former Tower Hill Common School on High st, which opened in 1857. The museum is open on the second Sunday in the month...