Griffiths Island, with its colony of shearwater seabirds, winding pathways and the spectacular lighthouse at the eastern tip, is a great place to explore.
A short walk along the causeway from Martin's Point gets you onto the island. Dogs are not allowed on the island and visitors are urged to stick to the walking tracks, which wind through the low lying scrub. Nesting birds, including the shearwater's that migrate from the northern hemisphere each year, create burrows for their young hidden in the sand and it's important these nests aren't disturbed by wandering sightseers.
The Island was name Griffiths after John Griffiths, who established Port Fairy's whaling industry on the island in the 1830's. No trace of this activity can be found today.
Port Fairy Lighthouse
The lighthouse - c.1859 and built of local bluestone - stands sentinel on the eastern tip of the island and still sends its light out to sea. These days it's a solar powered light with a wind assisted generator. The lighthouse keepers' cottages were demolished in the 1950s; however, their gardens live on with many hardy plants flowering in the appropriate season.
Birdwatching on Griffiths Island
At dusk birdwatchers are in for a treat as the colony of shearwaters, or muttonbirds, return in swarms to their nests after a day fishing out to see. These little birds arrive here late September from the Aleutian Islands near Alaska. Following the laying and incubating of their eggs in January, the birds leave again for the northern hemisphere in April.