Visit The Bellarine
Soak up the good life in the Geelong and Bellarine region. Wander down historic streetscapes and tee off at lush golf courses, perfect for summer afternoons. Explore the burgeoning foodie scene, complete with craft breweries, local wineries, farm gates and provedores. Surf, paddle and swim at bay and ocean beaches, and get close to local wildlife in Port Phillip Bay.
Drive past the surrounding wineries and olive groves from Geelong or come across the bay by boat to Portarlington, a historic town and favourite holiday spot on the Bellarine Peninsula.
Sip, savour and discover
Spend a few days exploring the local wineries, restaurants and producers scattered across the landscape. Sample seafood fresh out of the bay, linger over a glass of cool climate red, or fill the boot with goodies from country provedores and farm gates stocked high with seasonal offerings. Keep the culinary adventure going by hitting the Bellarine Taste Trail, which snakes its way across the peninsula.
Discover local history at buildings such as the National Trust Flour Mill, built in 1857, and the Ol’ Duke, built in 1855, now a smart hotel and restaurant. Make your way to the northern tip of the Bellarine Peninsula on the drive from Portarlington to St Leonards and admire sweeping views of Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne’s skyline and the You Yangs.
Take a slow walk and have a swim at the bay beach, kick back on the beautiful foreshore or treat yourself to a day out on the water. Bring your boat, join a charter or hire one by the hour and try your luck with the rod and reel. Prefer to stay on dry land? Enjoy a cuppa and throw a line off the pier.
Finish the day with a feast of freshly caught mussels and oysters from Advanced Mussel Supply, a big player in the growing local mussel and oyster industry. And while you’re there, watch the progress of the eastern breakwater construction, part of the safe harbour project which has expanded the harbour including facilities for the daily ferry service between Portarlington and Docklands in Melbourne, operating year round.
Take the kiddies for a ride on the Portarlington Miniature Railway, open the first and third Sunday of every month. Seafood lovers will enjoy the Portarlington Mussel Festival, a celebration of the local industry and fun day full of music, local wines, beer and, of course, plenty of mussels. If you’re in town in June, join in the music, dancing and merriment of the National Celtic Festival.
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Coastal Convenience – Portarlington
Polished timber floorboards and fresh artwork decorate a light-filled space with three bedrooms in the main house and a bungalow in the back garden that sleeps three more guests. Whether you’re here for the sun or the surf, enjoy a laid-back stay just 35 minutes from Geelong.
Take a break and get some sun in Ocean Grove, a popular surf town surrounded by renowned wineries, pristine beaches and golf courses. Hit the ocean waves, build a sandcastle with the kids, or use the town as a base to explore the countless natural and contemporary attractions across the region.
Here comes the sun
Explore the unbroken stretch of sand that reaches out to the mouth of the Barwon River. Wander along the beautiful, wide surf beach or sign up for surfing and bodyboarding lessons. For a slow, relaxing afternoon, take a stroll in the flourishing nature reserve or pick up local art pieces and gourmet produce in the vibrant shopping district.
Refuel after a big day out on the water with a bite at one of the town’s popular eateries, burger joints or cafes. Head to nearby Oakdene Vineyard restaurant for some of the best cuisine on the peninsula and try out Mr Grubb, the onsite cafe with a family vibe.
Looking for somewhere to keep the kids entertained? Head to nearby Wallington and spend the day on Adventure Park’s rides and waterslides or play a round of minigolf at A Maze ‘n Games.
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