At just over an hour from Melbourne, Pelican Sands Portarlington and The Bellarine Peninsula offers the perfect weekend getaway. When visiting the Bellarine you can choose from all kinds of activities, involving water based activities (diving, fishing, boating, surfing, swimming with dolphins and snorkelling), other sports (particularly cycling and golf). But what we believe is the jewell in the crown for your time on the Bellarine Peninsula, The Taste Trail. You can spend your days here sipping at out world class wineries and supping at our superb restaurants and cosy cafes. With the majority of the wineries and restauants only kilometres apart, you can decide whether you want to ride a bike, drive yourself or take advantage of one of the many personalised tours offered across the region.
The trail runs beside the Bellarine Peninsula Tourist Railway hugging the water around scenic Swan Bay providing breathtaking views, before climbing through the rolling hills of the Bellarine Peninsula to Drysdale.
The tourist railway is happy to take bicycles on their trains if you don’t want to ride in one (or both!) directions of this section. They even have a bicycle hire facility at Drysdale station.
For something decidedly different and entirely enjoyable try the Bellarines Blues Train. As the Legendary Blues Train makes its way between stops, gently rocking from side-to-side, seemingly in beat with the music coming from the bands, patrons sit back in comfort enjoying the scenery of the Bellarine Peninsula.
Enjoy the entertainment over a beer or wine (including James Boag’s beers from Tasmania and local wines from Scotchman’s Hill) and have a good laugh.
The Blues Train departs between the months of August and May, offering a unique musical meal and show.
For more information or bookings go to https://www.thebluestrain.com.au/
Swim with the Dolphins and Seals or enjoy the view from onboard.
Available October to April
Dive the ex HMAS Canberra Reef for the wreck dive of a lifetime. As a new, large, accessible dive wreck, the ex HMAS Canberra FFG-02 is a wreck diver’s dream. You can certainly get a feel for the majesty of the wreck after even a few dives. You can dive the ex HMAS Canberra by booking with a Charter Boat Operator or Dive Shop.
Situated on the beautiful Bellarine Peninsula, no trip to Portarlington would be complete without a visit to the multifaceted Portarlington Golf Club. The clubhouse offers ample entertainment, including TAB, Keno and Foxtel, function areas and an award-winning bistro, which is open 7 days for both lunch and dinner.
The award-winning golf course welcomes green fee players and is ranked #73 in Australia’s public access courses. The course won PGA Regional Pro-Am of the Year in 2016. Book online for discounts to experience the best kept golfing secret on the Bellarine. We love to welcome new golfing members and visitors alike.
For more information go to https://www.portarlingtongolf.com.au
JACK RABBIT VINEYARD
Perched high on the majestic cliffs of the Bellarine Peninsula, amidst rolling paddocks and vines, is iconic winery and restaurant, Jack Rabbit. Patrons cannot help but delight in the ‘to die for’ views which span across the bay to Melbourne, the You Yangs and Geelong. The view isn’t the only thing that excites – a stunning a la carte menu – featuring an abundance of local produce – will indulge even the most discerning culinary whim. A stable of sophisticated cool climate wines guarantees to cap off a truly brilliant regional experience.
At Jack Rabbit Vineyard we have two amazing venues for you to choose from.
Both offer incredible views and great atmosphere The House of Jack Rabbit (Cafe) or Jack Rabbit Restaurant
Established in 1996, Bellarine Estate had the goal of producing premium Cool Climate wines on the Bellarine Peninsula. The 100-acre property occupies the northern slopes of the hills between Drysdale and Portarlington overlooking Corio Bay.
The fruit is carefully tended and hand picked while allowing it to fully ripen, ensuring that the flavours and tannins reach maturity. Since the first Vintage in 1999 our wines have continued to win acclaim in Australia and overseas.
We produce two labels. The Bellarine Estate label is one hundred per cent estate-grown fruit while the Portarlington Ridge label includes fruit from other growers in the region.
Realising there was also a niche market for ready to drink cocktails on the Bellarine Peninsula, Shaken Not Stirred was created. Established in 2017, we produce exceptional quality RTD style Espresso Martinis, Cosmopolitans, Mojitos and Margaritas with more to join the range soon. These are all available in 187ml bottles.
We have ample off-road parking and we are only 20 minutes by car from Geelong. The seaside resorts of Portarlington, Queenscliff, Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads are also close by.
For more information go to https://www.bellarineestate.com.au/
LEURA PARK ESTATE
Established in 1995, Leura Park Estate has firmly established itself as a renowned producer of premium cool maritime climate wines.
Leura Park Estate wines are 100% estate grown and predominantly hand picked. A commitment to grape integrity, voice and ‘methode traditionelle’ is showcased in a stable of wines boasting a distinctive and delightful French-style subtlety.
Specialist Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and the vineyard’s acclaimed Pinot Gris (25 d’Gris) will delight even the crustiest of palates. . . (that is if you can get past our brilliant stable of sparklings – Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay, Sparkling Blanc de Blanc and ‘6 Rows’ Sparkling Shiraz) Others stalk us for our renowned Pinot Noir and Shiraz. . . yes, they really do!
Open Thursday – Sunday 10am – 5pm for lunch, guided tastings, coffee, cake and cellar door sales.
See https://leuraparkestate.com.au/ for more information
Bellarine Distillery was established in 2015 and is the first Distillery on the Bellarine Peninsula and the first in the greater Geelong region since the closure of Corio Distillery in the 1980’s.
It was the original farm shed that has been fully renovated, which basically means the whole thing was pulled apart and put back together! The end result is a rustic and inviting space to have a yarn over a cocktail, gin or whisky with friends.
During warmer days the gardens and decks provide a relaxing environment and during the colder months a spot beside the fire is most enticing.
Primarily their own Gins are on offer for consumption and sale with the Whisky being available in due course – approximately 2021. They have a wider selection of whiskies also available for tasting.
The venue has a general licence where they also showcase local wines, beers and ciders. Please be aware that the venue is situated within a working distillery with associated hazards on the property as well as a non fenced dam. If parents choose to bring their children with them we ask that they are closely monitored / supervised and that they remain within the boundaries of the venue.
also on offer are cheese and fresh produce platters using as much locally sourced produce as possible when available and a selection of simple pizzas.
The cellar door can be accessed off Scotchmans Rd (corner of Portarlington Road and Scotchmans Road) – plenty of car parking on the property and space to throw down a picnic rug and take in the surrounds.
Trading hours are Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11am – 5pm. See https://www.bellarinedistillery.com.au/the-whiskery for more information.
THE Q TRAIN
The Q Train is a restaurant that travels along the historic Bellarine Railway between Drysdale and Queenscliff. The train usually departs from, and returns to, Drysdale Station, just an easy 15-minute drive from Geelong. However, on select services The Q Train departs from, and returns to, the Queenscliff Railway Station. Please check the timetable page before booking accommodation to choose a time and departure station that suits you. The Q Train runs for approximately 3 hours.
Never before has Australia seen a heritage rail line used for showcasing local food, wine, beer and cider. We’re inviting locals and visitors alike to come aboard our restored carriages and enjoy a gastronomical journey unlike anything else you have experienced.
We are serving local produce on every journey from the comfort of our refurbished dining cars; providing every customer with a delicious rail journey, and unique views of Swan Bay and the Bellarine.
Wine and dine in style with The Q Train.
CURLEWIS GOLF CLUB
Hip, green and seriously delicious! Under the creative direction of Head Chef Tara Thyer, Curlewis has fast acquired a reputation as a ‘foodie’ destination for a great, contemporary lunch and as a true Bistro ‘find’ for dinner on Friday and Saturday nights.
Everyone is welcome to enjoy the ambience and offerings. The retro-inspired clubhouse is open to the public, green fee players and members seven days a week.
Enjoy freshly ground, barista-made coffee, loose leaf Love teas, soft drinks and milk shakes. Both bars stock a range of premium local wines, draught, light and heavy beers, spirits as well as a large variety of non-alcoholic beverages. We happily cater for special dietary requirements upon request. Snacks are also available in the Golf Shop.
Clubhouse Dining Hours
Lunch: 7 days for lunch, coffee, snacks, cakes + more
Dinner: Friday & Saturday nights from 6 pm
Thursday night dinner service December & January
Please call (03) 5251 1111 Option 3 to make a booking or go to https://curlewisgolf.com.au/ for more information
If you can’t fit 18 holes into your trip to the Bellarine you could try your hand at “The Range” @ Curlewis.
This fantastic modern driving range has 18 indoor\outdoor driving bays, automated tees, ES15 monitors – Analyse club head & ball speeds, smash factor, spin, rate and distance, Dedicated teaching/training bay, Awesome distance targets, AFL goal posts.
There are Hip Driving Bay lounges where you can tee of with your favourite coffee or grab a bite to eat with a local craft beer. The Range @ Curlewis is open to the public 7am – 10pm . Last ball sales 9.30pm | Open from 10am on Tuesdays. No need to make bookings. Open everyday except Christmas Day. For more information follow the link to https://curlewisgolf.com.au/pages/the-driving-range
Searoad Ferries, operates 2 all weather car and passenger ferries on Melbourne’s spectacular Port Phillip Bay. Sailing between Sorrento and Queenscliff 365 days a year and carrying more than 800,000 people annually, SEAROAD FERRIES is Australia’s favourite car and passenger ferry.
The bay crossing is now a ‘must do’ attraction and a highlight of the Victorian coastal travel experience, connecting the Great Ocean Road to the Mornington Peninsula and beyond to Phillip Island. The 40 minute crossing is a great alternative to the 200km drive around the bay, on toll roads, freeways and in city traffic.
Ferries depart both Queenscliff and Sorrento every hour, on the hour from 7am to 6pm daily. An extra twilight service operates at 7pm from 26 December to 31 January, every day; in February and March on weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sundays) and on Public Holidays as well as the Easter Long Weekend (Friday – Monday).
For more information go to http://www.searoad.com.au/