Port Fairy is quite close to Warrnambool, but for all intents, may be a great distance. Port Fairy is its own town and has all of the characteristics of a sleepy port and fishing town. Do not expect any raging at Port Fairy, but what you can look forward to a town steeped in history and heritage. The traveler will love Port Fairy.
John Griffiths established a whaling station in 1835 and a store was opened in 1839. In 1843, James Atkinson a Sydney solicitor, purchased land in the town by special survey. He drained the swamps, subdivided and leased the land, and built a harbour on the Moyne River. He renamed the town 'Belfast' after his hometown in Northern Ireland. The Post Office opened on July 1, 1843 as "Port Fairy" but was renamed "Belfast" on January 1, 1854 before reverting to the original name July 20, 1887.
Agriculture developed in the region, and Belfast became an important transport hub. By 1857 the town had a population of 2,190. In the mid-to-late 19th century, Belfast was one of Australia's largest ports, catering to the whaling industry. In 1887 the town went back to the original name Port Fairy, as a result of an Act of Parliament.