In recent years I’ve become a regular visitor to Portland and have been thoroughly won over by its countless charms.
As well as being home to an array of interesting architecture, typified by charming country cottages and quaint shopfronts, the township has a fascinating industrial background and is surrounded by glorious countryside.
Forming part of the gateway to the Central West, Portland has a population of around 2000. It’s perfectly placed between the Blue Mountains, Oberon, Lithgow, Bathurst and Mudgee, so is quickly accessed by anyone looking to escape Sydney for a relaxing weekend.
Originally named Limestone Flat, due to the region’s natural limestone deposits, Portland was first occupied by the Wiradjuri people. The first European James Blackman, arrived in 1820 to survey the road leading from Bathurst to the present site of Wallerawang.
In 1863 Thomas Murray constructed a lime kiln and the railway station was constructed 20 years later, making the commercial use of local limestone possible. In 1902, Australia’s first cement works were founded in Portland – the cement produced here literally helped to build Sydney and was shipped all around the country until operations ceased in 1991. The old bottle-shaped brick kilns have survived and are now heritage listed.
The recent sale of the cement works in the heart of town included an undertaking from the new owners that part of the site will be available to house a museum documenting Portland’s fascinating history.
Well-known Australian brand names are a feature on many of the towns historic shops and buildings, – Arnott’s, Bushell’s, Toohey’s Ale, Uncle Toby’s, Goanna Salve, Federal Safety Matches, Kinkara Tea & Mother’s Choice create a strong visual link connecting the past and present.
Portland falls within the local government area of Lithgow, and along with economic activity generated by mining, wool & forestry the township is witnessing an influx of small business and tourism. The town offers a range of wining and dining options, a supermarket, butcher, gift shop, real estate agent, gym, library, post office and bank.
Portland is also home to our very own Village Voice newspaper who just celebrated their 1st birthday. Happy Birthday to you Village Voice! – long may you prosper in picturesque Portland!
Within this inspiring village reside a diverse range of artists and creatives, and if you need any added incentive to visit- the Annual Portland Art Show in March is a must see.
For those looking to purchase a home Portland is an affordable option for a tree change lifestyle. The median house price is $203,000 compared to $238,000 for the Lithgow Local Government Area and annual capital gain is keeping pace with neighbouring areas such as Bathurst and Lithgow.
The natural beauty of this region is showcased at the Portland Town Common- over 650 acres of pristine natural bushland. Portland’s climate showcases the seasons with distinct changes in the natural environment throughout the year. There is always something to enjoy in this picturesque country town and the locals are sure to give you a warm welcome when you drop in for a visit.
Picture: Australia Day car display on Wolgan Street.