PORT FAIRY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Early Sackville Street Port Fairy
The Port Fairy Historical Society works with the Moyne Shire and the Port Fairy branch of the National Trust and Heritage Victoria to preserve the historic features of Port Fairy including heritage-listed trees, stone walls and built structures. We believe that these significant features from our past are to be valued and should be saved for future generations.
Port Fairy has a wealth of 19th-century buildings built in a variety of styles and building materials. The National Trust has classified over 60 buildings in the town and these range from small cottages to substantial homes and public buildings. There are also a number of buildings and properties located in the town that have significant heritage overlays. Self guided walking tours are available introducing visitors to the historic buildings and their locations in Port Fairy.
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The town is also home to Norfolk Island Pines and these significant trees line the streets of Port Fairy. They are the first Norfolk Island Pines to be planted in south-eastern Australia. They are heritage listed and therefore protected. These trees form avenues throughout Port Fairy and make a significant contribution to the character, community and history of Port Fairy. By the 1860's the land around the town was void of vegetation and had been cleared for agriculture and the timber was used to fuel steam flour mills. Landholders realised the pines were hardy and wind-resistant. The oldest Norfolk Island Pines still in existence in the town located in William Street near St Andrew's Presbyterian Church and were planted about 1868. A significant number were planted by schoolchildren for Arbor Day in 1903 along Gipps Street.
The Historic Port served passengers and cargo with ships originally anchored in the bay, transferring their passengers and cargo to the port area by boats and lighters (either sailing or towed barges), because the river’s entrance was too shallow. By the 1880s, the Port had developed and was being served by no less than four different steamship companies but, in particular, by the Belfast and Koroit Steam Navigation Company which served the town between 1882 and 1939, transporting wool, potatoes, onions and other local produce, principally to Melbourne. The west bank of the Moyne River included a number of warehouses and jetties, as well as a public wharf and government facilities at King George Square.
Self guided walking tours are available introducing visitors to the Martime and Shipwreck Heritage of Port Fairy.
[see PDF to download below]
Within the Moyne Shire is found the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape, set amid rugged stone country, woodlands, wetlands and lakes, owned or co-managed by the Gunditjmara. In 2004 this landscape was included in the National Heritage List and in 2019 was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The three serial components of the property contain one of the world’s most extensive and oldest aquaculture systems. The Budj Bim lava flows, which connect the three components, provide the basis for a complex aquaculture system developed by the Gunditjmara, based on deliberate redirection, modification and management of waterways and wetlands. The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape is Aboriginal-owned and/or managed and is managed to respect the customary and legal rights and obligations of the Gunditjmara Traditional Owners.
We are indeed fortunate to be part of such a rich, cultural and collective heritage tradition and take pride in being part of a community that works to recognise, protect, promote and share this with others.
Port Fairy Historical Society Inc. * Piecing out Past Together * Assoc. Inc. A0016131A
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