When most people think of Victoria, it’s Melbourne that springs to mind. But one of the state’s best little secrets lies to well to the west, less than an hour from the South Australia border. Portland was the first settlement founded by Europeans when they came to Victoria and today is a charming coastal city known for its fishing, whale watching and tours of nearby aboriginal sites. But when you pick up a car hire at Portland Airport, both Victoria and South Australia become your playground. Down the coast to the east is the world famous Great Ocean Drive, and if you’re prepared to set out on even more ambitious road trips, Adelaide and Melbourne lie open to you.
Of course, if you don’t have your own transport it’ll cramp your style pretty badly. Searching through a procession of hire sites trying to sort out your car rental in Portland, Victoria can be a real hassle but you can save yourself a decent whack of time just by using AirportRentals.com.au. This effectively cuts out the middleman and lets you browse and book from a massive selection of rental brands and vehicle types, so you can get the best possible deal with the least trouble.
Booking a Portland Car Hire
Sorting out a car hire from Portland Airport in Victoria is actually really straightforward when you’re booking through AirportRentals.com.au. All you have to do is type in a couple of basic details like where/when you’re planning to pick up/drop off and then hit Search. You’ll then have a whole bunch of great car rental deals from a range of different suppliers to choose from. Filter a little to narrow down your options and you’ll soon find a deal that’s perfect for your trip. You won’t even have to leave the site to finish your booking, which will only take a few minutes to complete.
Car Hire Brands at Portland Airport
When you’re picking your car hire from Portland Airport, Victoria, you can select from some of the world’s most trusted car rental brands. Avis, Hertz and Thrifty all rent cars out of Portland Airport, and are all well trusted suppliers.
Portland Airport Information
Portland Airport isn’t located in the city of Portland itself, but 13 kilometres northwest of Portland in Cashmore. This is one of only three airports in Victoria (outside of Melbourne) to offer regular passenger services, making it the main gateway to the southwestern side of the state. The airport had quite a bit of money poured into it starting in 2009 to bring it up to scratch - the works were completed in 2014.
Driving in Portland and beyond
When it comes to road rules, driving in and around Portland is pretty much the same as driving anywhere else in the country. Of course, if you’re new to driving in Australia there’s one important thing to know before you hit the road: Australians drive on the left hand side of the road. Even though this is the opposite side to what most of the world is used to, making the switch isn’t really too tricky. Remember to be careful around intersections and you should be driving like a born Aussie in no time. Just in case you’re in need of any more tips, check out our Australia driving guide for the lowdown on hitting the road in Oz.
Getting from Portland Airport to the CBD
Driving from Portland Airport into the city centre is fairly straightforward, though a little further than you might expect. It’ll take around 20 minutes or so to make the trip, maybe a bit longer if you’re travelling during peak traffic. Head north out of the airport, then turn right on Bridgewater Lakes Road (which shortly becomes Heath Road). This will take you right through to the C192, which in turn runs into the A200 - this will deposit you right in the heart of Portland.
As we said before, road rules around Portland, and the state of Victoria in general, are pretty similar to just about everywhere else in Australia. Most of the time when you’re in a built up urban/suburban area, the speed limit will be 50 km/h, but this is just the default - always be aware of speed limit signs which could signal a change in speed limit for various reasons. Likewise, outside of built up areas, the default limit is 100 km/h. When it comes to drinking and driving, the state of Victoria has very little tolerance. The legal blood alcohol limit is just 0.05, which could put you over the limit after just a drink or two, so if you’ve had anything to drink it’s best to let someone else do the driving. And remember, if you’re on a learner or provisional licence, the tolerance is absolutely nil.
Portland Petrol Stations
You can drive your car hire away from Portland Airport without worrying about the nearest petrol station, as car rentals usually come supplied with a full fuel tank. Before you drop off your keys at the end of your trip though, you’ll need to top up the tank to full again. There are a handful of petrol stations in Portland for you to choose from: Portland Service Centre and Alexander C Stores on Henty Highway are two stations relatively close to the airport.
Road trips from Portland
No matter why you’re in Portland, try to set aside some time get out of town and explore the city’s amazing surroundings. Victoria’s coast in particular has some incredible road trip opportunities, so don’t leave before discovering some of the world class destinations on display.
● The Great Ocean Road (Extended)
Officially, the Great Ocean Road runs between Torquay and Allansford, but that’s a pretty short trip all things considered, and there’s plenty more stunning coastal locations to uncover on either side of the famous route, so travelling from Portland to Geelong with the Great Ocean Road as the centrepiece of your trip is an ideal solution. If for some reason you’ve never heard about the Great Ocean Road, just know that this is internationally recognised as one of the most beautiful coastal road trip routes in the world. The Twelve Apostles (towering pillars of limestone which jut out of the sea) are the most iconic highlights of the Road, but there’s enough here to keep travellers fascinated for days.
● Portland to Adelaide
There are a couple of different ways to tackle this trip to South Australia’s capital city. One option is heading inland a bit to visit Mount Gambier and see the stunning Blue Lake, relax in the Cave Gardens or indulge your adventurous side with a bit of underground diving in Engelbrecht Cave. Then drive on to sample cab savs at the cellar doors of Coonawarra. Otherwise, you could stick to the seaside and make for Robe across the border in South Australia, passing through idyllic fishing towns on the Limestone Coast along the way. Either way, you’ll want to head toward the gorgeous Fleurieu Peninsula before finally arriving in Adelaide - whether you’re sighting little penguins, swimming at one of the peninsula’s pristine beaches or experiencing the foodie culture firsthand, this is one stop you won’t want to skip.
● Portland to Melbourne
If you’re keen to really stretch your road tripping legs and explore one of the world’s most exciting cities into the bargain, head east along the coast to take in the Great Ocean Road (because you’d be mad to miss it) but instead of stopping at Torquay or Geelong, keep heading east for the cultural capital of Australia: Melbourne. You’ll want to set aside at least a few days, maybe as much as a week, just to enjoy Melbourne’s attractions. Whether you’re exploring the city’s laneways for their amazing street art, browsing the huge Queen Victoria Market or getting close to koalas and penguins on Phillip Island, a visit to Melbourne is a brilliant way to round off any road trip in Victoria.
Portland Airport Car Rental Pick Up Depots
All of the rental brands at Portland Airport have rental desks in-terminal, which makes picking up your car hire super simple. Although there are only three car hire brands operating out of Portland Airport, Victoria, these three suppliers are some of the world’s most trusted brands: Avis, Hertz and Thrifty.
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