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I stayed at Secombe House in Port Fairy at the beginning of October 2010. There were no drinking glasses provided in our budget room so I went searching and found some in the lounge area. I got some water from the tap in the bathroom, took a mouthful and instantly wished I hadn't - it was foul! On asking at the front desk I was advised that the water wouldn't hurt me - it had been tested for e-coli and was free of it - but that it was ground water (also known as bore water or artesian water) and, like all such water, was excessivly high in minerals which make it taste foul - so I might prefer to drink bottled water which was on sale from the hotel at $3 a pop for a 600ml bottle...
In Port Fairy, the ground water is high in lime; in Newcastle NSW where I hail from, the bore water in our back yard is high in iron. We use bore water only to water the garden and wash down the driveway, if that: you're not even meant to wash the car with it! I wouldn't knowingly drink bore water unless I was dying of thirst in the desert, in which case I'd be looking for some way to filter it first.
Consequently I couldn't quite believe that this is what comes out of the tap in Port Fairy and that there were no notes or signs about it anywhere and that the hotel did not make it known. This information was confirmed however by the owner at the Caledonian or Stump Inn where we ate. Is water an issue in the area? I asked and he said that it was in the sense that 80% of the residents are quite happy drinking ground water, notwithstanding that it tastes foul and really isn't fit for drinking. On getting home I've done some research and found out that the water authorities put out a ballot in 2007 asking Port Fairy residents as main customers whether they'd be willing to pay more for their water to have it demineralised. The result? 80% of Port Fairy residents voted for no change. So they continue to drink bore water, with no doubt detrimental effects on their health over the long term. It may not contain e-coli or make you instantly ill - it apparently meets legislative safety guidelines - but the extra stuff in it is no good for you. Take a 6-litre pack of drinking water with you if going to Port Fairy!
Updated Oct 9, 2010
Don't get Fung Shui'ed out of your chair.... we had no IKEA that they would design something like this. Who ever thought it would be stylish to design a chair with only three legs, and make the back side the single leg, was obviously not considering normal human tendencies.
While at Wisharts, Sue (Sue&Gene) almost took a spill avoiding a picture when the chair snuck out from under her.
Keep the tip in front of you in case you eat here or anywhere else that uses 3 legged chairs!
Written Sep 7, 2005
From at least a spectator's point of view,
I'd say that if you're intending to surf the good waves here at Port Fairy, that you need to be quite experienced or very familiar with where the rocks are under the surface.
The surfers here looked very much in control, but I guess accidents can still happen, particularly when a wave can flip you backwards right off your board.
Written Apr 22, 2004