Portarlington is a historic coastal township located on the Bellarine Peninsula, 30 km from the city of Geelong and 105 km from Melbourne in the state of Victoria, Australia. On the northernmost tip of the Bellarine Peninsula, the seaside town is only 44 km from Melbourne as the seagull flies across Port Phillip Bay and on a clear day, the Melbourne city skyline is visible on the horizon.
Gathering people from near and far, connecting through the stories of ancestors and the richness of Celtic Culture is what gives meaning to this mighty celebration. To all our artists who have come to perform and share their talents, knowledge and passion; and to all of our festival community who have come along to be entertained, participate, and explore all that is on offer we hope that you are touched and inspired by the spirit of Celtic culture.
A scenic drive is along The Esplanade which is a coastal route of around 10 km in length that runs alongside the foreshore between Portarlington and the nearby beach towns of Indented Head and St Leonards. There is also a walking or bicycling track along the same route if you are feeling energetic.
Portarlington is a popular holiday destination, offering sheltered swimming beaches and an attractive foreshore featuring a pier, BBQ and picnic area, and a large camping area. Parks and recreation reserves occupy the sloping foreshore between the shops on Newcombe Street and the beach, providing spectacular views across the bay and towards the You Yangs mountain range north of Geelong. The town’s main street is dominated by the landmark Grand Hotel built in 1886 and there are plenty of shops to browse through and places to eat or drink al fresco.
The gently rising hills behind the town feature vineyards and olive groves, overlooking Port Phillip Bay and the town is a centre of fishing and aquaculture (mussels). The mussel fleet is berthed along the pier, some selling direct from the boat and there are often local fishermen dangling a line from the pier’s edge.