Belfast was the name given to Port Fairy in western Victoria, the town on Port Fairy Bay, 250 km south-west of Melbourne.
On 23 October 1843, a Parramatta entrepreneur, James Atkinson, was granted a Special Survey of eight square miles (21 square kilometres) on Port Fairy Bay. It was one of ten special survey grants made in Victoria, usually for land calculated to occupy a strategic location or to be capable of yielding good profit for a subdivider. Port Fairy was potentially a sea port for Western District pastoral interests.
Atkinson laid out a town immediately west of the Moyne, a river which enters Port Fairy Bay, and the town was surveyed for subdivision in 1846. Atkinson named it Belfast, probably after Belfast, Ireland. He was born at Armagh and had left there to emigrate to Australia in 1830. In 1847 the Melbourne Argus described Belfast as 'the capital of the Port Fairy district'.
On 1 July 1856, Belfast was proclaimed a municipal borough. The name was also given to the surrounding Belfast Shire (1863-1994). On 27 May 1887 the name of the borough was changed to Port Fairy. That year it was described in the Australian handbook:
A more detailed account of the township is found under the Port Fairy heading.
J. M. Powling, Port Fairy: the first fifty years 1837-1887: a social history, William Heinemann, 1980
Port Fairy and Belfast Shire entries