The ultimate long weekend at The National Celtic Festival

Tartan kilts. Foam-capped pints of Guinness. Shamrock handicrafts. A few signs the National Celtic Festival isn’t far away.

The much-loved event held over the June long weekend returns for it’s 20th anniversary celebrating all that’s iconic from the Celtic nations on the other side of the globe.

Make the most of your trip to Portarlington.

Festival highlights

In addition to over 30 musical acts from across the world, pipe and drumming bands and several dance groups gracing the festival stage, there’s a bucketload of other memorable experiences not to be missed.

Dance

Put on those dancing shoes and join the packed schedule of dancing all weekend long!

Enjoy the Celtic dance tradition – whether you’re a complete beginner or an accomplished dancer, there’s something for everyone!

Find out more here

Arts & installations

Enjoy the art and installations at National Celtic Folk Festival.

The Focal Tree – an interactive artwork created by Tim O’Hara and Gillian Turner. Visitors are invited to add to the artwork by writing a message on a piece of materials and tying it.

Spirit of Story; Shadow Play – an interactive installation playfully explores the local landscapes as the Band Rotunda transforms into a giant lantern.

Find out more here

To market, to market

Discover unique artisans from around Australia selling everything from clothing and jewellery to traditional Celtic sweets and treats at the festival market. It’s free to browse and on throughout the long weekend.

Check out what else is happening and get your tickets:

Download the full program here

Buy tickets here

Enjoy everything Portarlington has to offer…

Makers and growers

Portarlington is a great central point to explore the many makers and growers on The Bellarine. There are dozens of passionate producers from olives and olive oil, smoked treats and butter to wineries known for producing top drops. The Bellarine Taste Trail is a good place to start when planning which producers to visit.

Indulge

Portarlington Mussel Tours is a tour not to be missed. Leaving from Portarlington Pier, guests are taken on an intimate three-hour journey and introduction to mussel harvesting from spat to plate. Jump on a tour and get hands-on with Portarlington’s famed Australian blue mussels.

Fuel up at Pier Street Café each morning before the festival kicks into gear. Coffee is in good supply and there’s plenty of brekky favourites for the kids – big and small. Sit back and watch the comings and goings at Portarlington Pier.

Getting there

Port Phillip Ferries drops you right at the doorstep of the festival action – it’s only a 5-minute walk from Portarlington Pier. Take a 70-minute ferry ride from Docklands or 40 minutes from Cunningham Pier in Geelong to arrive in Portarlington.

Alternatively, if you’re on the peninsula across the bay you can grab the car and take Searoad Ferries from Sorrento to Queenscliff. From there it’s a 25-minute drive to Portarlington.

Stay a while

Make a weekend of it with a stay at one of 18 luxurious art deco rooms at the Portarlington Grand Hotel or bring the whole family for a camping stay at Bellarine Bayside. The best bit? Each stay is only a short stroll from the festival precinct.

Explore more accommodation and things to do in Portarlington.

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