Great Ocean Road, Australia

Drift House

Rates per night from$294.11

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (AUD414.66), via, using today’s exchange rate.


Coastal couture


Pretty Port Fairy

At Drift House hotel in Port Fairy, reclaimed carpet covers doors, the owner's collage artworks decorate walls, mantelpieces grace ceilings and wrought-iron fence posts replace doorknobs. Breakfast hampers get each day off to a delicious start; generous maxibars mean you can stay in for dinner, too. 

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

One bar of hand-made Monsieur Truffe chocolate


Photos Drift House facilities

Need to know


Four suites, each occupying an entire floor of the building it sits in.


11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Late check-out will be charged at AU$100 an hour. Earliest check-in, 3pm.


Double rooms from $294.11 (AU$415), excluding tax at 10 per cent.

More details

Breakfast (a hamper with eggs, bread, yoghurt and muesli, dropped off each morning) is usually included.


Don't leave without nibbling on the in-room yo-yos, which have nabbed second prize in Port Fairy's regional baking competition several years in a row. Internet addicts: expect to be pleasantly surprised by the high-speed WiFi, something of a feat for regional Victoria.

At the hotel

Library, stash of CDs and DVDs, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: TV, DVD player, radio, iPod dock, maxibar, bathrobes, Aspar bath products. Each room also has a kitchenette with a hob (Two, Three and Four have a microwave), sink, kettle and coffee machine.

Our favourite rooms

Forget cookie-cutter rooms: each of Drift House's four bedrooms is completely different. We love ground-floor Three, whose walls are decked out in toffee-brown reclaimed timber from the original building. This room has an elegant rectangular bath positioned between the bed and the living area, a shower room decorated with hexagonal white tiles and an outside balcony with an open fire. To spy on Moyne River from the comfort of your own top-floor balcony, book green-and-grey Two, decorated with an urban mural by arty owner Colleen (bathing belles take note: this suite doesn't have a tub). Movie buffs: book Four and make the most of the massive projector.


There's a rectangular 10m solar-heated pool in the gardens, shielded by a reclaimed rock wall. (Of course, you've also got the beach close by.)

Packing tips

Indulgent groceries for dinners in; your smart phone for Instagraming the interiors; a bottle of champagne to sink in one of the tubs. If you’re bedding down in Three, bring thick socks to pad across the polished concrete floor in.


This hotel is for adults only – leave the little Smiths at home.

Food and Drink

Photos Drift House food and drink

Top Table

Your own: each suite has a kitchenette and cosy dining area. Both Two and Three have outside space with a table and chairs (ask Colleen or John to light Three's outside fire on cold nights).

Dress Code

Match your suite: pops of emerald for One; monochrome prints for Two; wooden jewellery and white linen for Three; colourful knits and aqua hits for Four.

Hotel restaurant

Rooms are designed for dining in: instead of a formal restaurant, each suite has its own kitchenette with a hob (all suites except One have a microwave, too). To encourage you further, maxibars are stocked with baked beans, pasta, parmesan, pasta sauces and other nibbles. If you do want to dine out, Port Fairy has a clutch of tempting restaurants.

Hotel bar

Play barman and barfly in your suite, which has a stash of locally sourced Basalt Vineyard red and white wine in its maxibar, along with beer, cider, sparkling juices and fizzy water.

Room service

There’s no room service, so dip into your maxibar, stocked with organic crisps, nuts, popcorn, chocolate and locally produced yo-yos.


Photos Drift House location
Drift House
98 Gipps Street
Port Fairy


Melbourne airport is closest, a four-hour drive away (


Warrnambool station is 30km from the hotel. You can catch the train straight to Warrnambool from Melbourne (using the V-Line service) and then hop on the bus to Port Fairy (a half-hour journey).


It takes around three-and-a-half hours to drive here from Melbourne (stop off at the delightful Red Door café in Inverleigh to break up the trip); allow six-to-eight hours if you take the Great Ocean Road. From Adelaide, the drive is around six-and-a-half hours. There are two car parks close to the hotel: Gipps Street is just a stroll away, and the second is on Regent Street, close to Suite 3. The hotel also has a few spaces just outside. Each one has an intercom; buzz this and a member of staff will arrive to welcome you.


Hop on a coach from Melbourne and be dropped off just a short walk from the hotel, in the centre of Port Fairy. If you’re planning a slightly more glamorous arrival, Port Fairy has its own air strip where guests can land their helicopters.

Worth getting out of bed for

Be sure to head down to the beach (a short walk from the hotel) to admire the surfers or to hop on your own board. If you want some guidance on the waves, give Go Surf a call (+61 (0)408 310 001). Explore Griffiths Island, strolling down the walking track from the carpark at the end of Gipps Street and following the loop anti-clockwise around to the lighthouse via white sand coves and rocky outcrops (allow an hour and a quarter for the walk). Hire a bike and pootle along the rail trail to historic Koroit. In need of pampering? Book a treatment at Port Fairy Day Spa (+61 (0)3 5568 1161). Potter around Port Fairy, buying lollies from the traditional sweetshop, collectibles from the antique shops, homewares (we picked up some colourful Danish candles) from the little design shops and clothing and gifts from the boutiques. Hop on your car and drive to Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve (10 minutes away) for a scenic walk; alternatively, drive for 40 minutes to reach Mount Eccles National Park (take picnic provisions with you). Nautical types will enjoy a boat charter trip to Lady Julia Percy Island. If you’re here between May and September, go whale watching. Wine buffs should visit Basalt Vineyard (especially if you like the bottle left in your room).

Local restaurants

Coffin Sally (+61 (0)3 5568 2618) on Sackville Street will have you thinking you’re in Fitzroy, thanks to its laidback young surfer owners, mellow tunes and fuss-free brick interior. The pizzas are excellent, as are the cocktails (alternatively, sink a jug of Pimm’s). For something a little more formal, book a table at little Merrijig Inn (+61 (0)3 5568 2324; at 1 Campbell Street. The ambitious chef rustles up dishes worthy of their price tag, including hot-tea-smoked salmon salad with smoked tomato, radish pods and a seafood consommé jelly with samphire. For relaxed lunches, fresh salads and delicious brownies, head to The Farmer's Wife Harvest Café (+61 (0)438 227 240) at 47A Sackville Street.


Photos Drift House reviews
Clare Cousins

Anonymous review

By Clare Cousins, Architect

Beach-obsessed Aussies love a weekender within two hours drive of the city. However, I find beach towns further out of town more desirable for their quiet demeanour and lack of day-trippers. Quiet, calm and recharge: our mottoes this weekend during our stay at home-away-from-home Drift House hotel in Victoria.
City lights fade behind us as we settle into the picturesque evening drive to Port Fairy passing through the golden landscape of the Western Plains. We arrive late and are greeted by our friendly host who offers to show us two available rooms for us to select from. Both are large and uniquely decorated – a difficult choice, as they both entice for our two-night stay. We choose the suite on the historic building’s first floor; it’s painted a calming soft green, and French doors lead to a large private veranda – the host agrees with our choice given the expectant fine weather. A breakfast hamper for the next morning is delivered and our newspaper preferences noted; we’re wished good night and left to settle in.

When the door closes my habit of inspecting hotels like I’m buying them kicks in: what’s in the hamper? Where is the storage? Which toiletries are there in the bathroom? Tick, tick, tick…  More apartment than hotel room, the suite is divided into living and sleeping spaces by a pod containing the ensuite bathroom. The living room has a large designer sofa and a selection of inspiring books and magazines. A kitchenette is integrated into a long sleek bench, with a hob, sink and concealed appliances. There are no electric corded kettles here, rather a classic kettle we place  on the hob to make herbal tea before bed. Under a small glass cloche are two home-made yo-yo biscuits, just like my grandmother used to make. A card extends informs us that these biscuits have won second place at the Port Fairy Show for three years in a row. Biting into one, I understand why. We unpack our belongings onto a long timber bench (much more practical that a wardrobe) then get comfy in bed, leaving our city thoughts behind.

In the morning we sit at our table for two in the living room to enjoy home-made granola, poached pears and coconut sheep’s milk yoghurt followed by soft-boiled eggs, avocado, Illawara bread and house-made dukka. Having to make your own breakfast on holiday sounds tedious, but it’s a pleasure to eat when you please, in your quiet sanctuary.  The room’s well equipped with teas and a Nespresso machine, but we head into town for a hit of caffeine. 

We discover a farmers’ market in full swing. 'Ooh, a market', I exclaim, Mr Smith rolls his eyes. Markets are my weakness, particularly flea markets with vintage trinkets just too good to leave behind. No vintage here, but a neat row of tents display local wines, lavender-scented skin products, home-knitted booties, freshly picked veggies and baked goods. Generous take-home tubs of yo-yo biscuits catch my eye. I resist, this time. A small sign signals the Farmer's Wife, a bijou café accessed via a narrow, stone-walled path. We order coffee and house-made chocolate brownies, then sit outside and savour, before wandering the quiet streets, admiring the extensive heritage buildings, many built in the 1850s. Their robust bluestone façades and external stone chimneys take you to another time, when Port Fairy was a booming fishing hub.

We buy some local delicacies to take back to our room for lunch, to enjoy with the free local Pinot Gris by Basalt in our room. Our veranda sits in the shade of Norfolk Island pines as old as the handsome stone hotel, and our elevated viewpoint overlooks the Moyne River mouth and a snippet of ocean – just enough to check the surf at Eastern Beach. The finely structured wine goes down nicely; just as I'm contemplating a siesta, Mr Smith suggests a walk to the lighthouse. We follow the river, inspecting delightful old-school timber fishing boats and cruisers tied to the jetty. The historic lighthouse stands alone on Griffith Island; it’s a unique nesting ground for shearwater birds (who migrate to Alaska each year!). We take the boardwalk path around it and sit on large beach rocks to take in the view. Later we opt for a casual dinner at pizzeria Coffin Sally, which is thronged with people on this balmy night. Known for their pizza, they live up to their reputation serving up topping-heavy 11-inchers that would fare well against Melbourne’s finest. We enjoy the short walk home before we ‘pull up stumps’ for the night.

We wake up, and with nowhere to rush to Mr Smith boils our eggs and we sit down for a long, lazy breakfast. When noon arrives we pack our bags, including a stash of show-winning yo-yo biscuits from the maxibar. As we say goodbye to our host in the fledgling garden, we realise we didn't visit the small plunge pool, a recent addition still settling into the landscape. But, it’s good to have a reason to return. We begin the scenic drive home, fuelled by yo-yos, both quiet, calm and recharged. Tick, tick, tick.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Drift House’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The decor and character of this property is amazing. Fabulous hospitality too! Try the back room bar at Coffin Sally.

Don’t expect

Anything average.


Stayed on 10 Apr 2017

We loved

The well designed and well equipped luxury of Apartment 4. It was so relaxing and beautiful and worked so well. Great gardens and breakfast hamper was superb. We sampled all of the dining recommended by Drift House and loved Conlans and Fen at the Stag for dinner and Bank St and Co for lunch.

Don’t expect

To be bothered about anything or anyone. Colleen determines your needs first and if there is anything you need you just ask


Stayed on 19 Jan 2017

We loved

Everything about this stay was great, from our friendly welcome to our checking out. Quality was paramount at this property from the bed linen to the produce on welcome (hand made chocolate and biscuits) and the breakfast hamper. Just delightful to sit in the apartment reading and relaxing. This was a very peaceful stay in a beautiful, historic building with a quirky, modern interior. Coffin Sally is a great trendy pizza restaurant and there is a great Thai restaurant in Port Fairy. This is but to name a couple of venues in a really 'foodie' little town.

Don’t expect

A dining room with a cooked breakfast. But instead, there's superb local produce in a breakfast hamper.


Stayed on 23 Nov 2016