Portland's claim to fame is as Victoria’s first European settlement, founded as a whaling and sealing base in the early 1800s. Despite its colonial history, appealing architecture and beaches, blue-collared Portland feels much more like a regional hub than a tourist town.
Though with that said, there's a lot on offer. The Great South West Walk is a big attraction, as are seafood and fishing, whale watching in winter, plus other excellent wildlife encounters, and some good surf breaks outside town. It's also a good base for visiting the surrounding region.
The Gunditjmara people are the traditional custodians of this land. A visit to nearby Tyrendarra is a must to learn about their culture.