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The coastal town of Port Albert in Gippsland was Victoria's first established port and continues to operate as a commercial port and a recreational fishing hot spot. From the mid-1800s, Port Albert was the supply port for Gippsland's pioneers until the completion of the Melbourne-Sale railway in 1878. It has berthed ships from Europe and America and welcomed thousands of Chinese on their way to the goldfields. More than 40 Georgian and Victorian-style buildings still exist in the town, including The Port Albert Hotel, the oldest continually licensed hotel in Victoria. A beer and a meal of local fish and chips at the pub is a time-honoured ritual. Port Albert's reputation for recreational fishing sees its population swell considerably during summer, which has led to an increase in quality holiday accommodation in some of the town's historic buildings. The Port Albert Maritime Museum has an extensive collection of artefacts to browse in between scenic boat tours, fishing trips and bird watching. The Old Port walking trail is a tranquil way to spend a few hours, meandering through quiet coastal vegetation with glimpses of mangroves and salt marsh. Port Albert is around 220 kilometres from Melbourne, or 2 hours and 45 minutes by car along the M1 and South Gippsland Highway.
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