Port Albert is a small town and a short diversion off the southern coastal route between Yarram and Foster. The diversion is well worth the effort. Port Albert is an historic and heritage town. There is some fascinating early history to discover.
Port Albert was one of the earliest ports established in Victoria. In 1841 the Gippsland Company investigated the area following favourable reports from explorer Angus McMillan. In May of that year the first settlers arrived.
Initially the area was known as Seabank or Old Port, but was changed to New Leith when the town started developing, and later changed to Alberton and Port Albert in honour of Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the husband of Queen Victoria.
As the Victorian Gold Rush began in the 1850s, traffic through Port Albert increased, bringing prospectors from Europe and China, many of whom were headed for the Dargo goldfields. This further added to Port Albert's prosperity.
During the 1870s and 1880s, Gippsland was gradually settled, and connected to the railway network. This reduced Port Albert's role as an important transport hub, and the population subsequently decreased.
Today the town acts as a commercial fishing port, and is popular was fishers and surfers. The town hosts a fishing competition each March.