Bellarine Peninsula sits opposite to its cousin, Mornington Peninsula. The two peninsulas are separated by Victory Bight, a narrow path leading toward Port Phillip Bay from the open seas. Corio Bay on the north and Port Phillip Bay on the northwest surrounded the peninsula which only has Barwon River as a major inland waterway connecting to the Bass Strait by Barwon Heads.
On the southernmost tip of the peninsula stands Point Lonsdale Lighthouse. The lighthouse has been in operation since 1902, guiding the ships that entered Port Phillip Bay for over a century. On the opposite side of the sea is the lighthouse at Fort Nepean on Mornington Peninsula.
Most of Bellarine Peninsula is part of the greater Geelong City that is home to over 55,000 people. Hosting several scenic sights, the peninsula emerges as a growing tourist region. Popular destinations and attractions are its pristine beaches, seaside resorts, wineries, and native wildlife.
Lake Connewarre Wildlife Reserve by the Barwon River is an important wildlife reservation area. The peninsula’s wetlands are home to many different waterbird species. BirdLife International recognized the wetlands as important bird areas. The critically endangered orange-bellied parrots live in this region.
You can also spot some marine mammals visiting the peninsula. Whales are a common sight as well as the endemic Burrunan dolphins. Also, on the rocky shores are the Australian fur seals and sea lions.
Bellarine Peninsula is the place to be if you are into a short excursion by the beach. It has stunning beaches and sights to hop around. And when it comes to alcoholic beverages, Bellarine competes with Mornington on wines, beers, and ciders. Of course, you cannot miss the fresh mussels and gourmet food served in its restaurants.
From the Docklands by the Yarra River in Melbourne, travel to Portarlington Pier aboard Port Phillip Ferry on a relaxing 90-minute journey, a scenic sail across Port Phillip Bay.
The first destination upon arriving at Portarlington is Point Lonsdale. Have morning tea there and then spend some time on its beaches and explore its local history. Visit the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse to get the stunning views of the Bass Strait, Port Phillip Bay, and Mornington Peninsula.
From Point Lonsdale, the next logical destination would be the historic town of Queenscliff. At the Queenscliff Harbour Observation Tower, you can have a 360-degree view of the ocean. You can explore this maritime town and discover some of its histories through its museums.
After visiting the museums of Queenscliff, a good place to have lunch is Flying Brick Cider Co. where you can savour their palatable gourmet platters and apple cider. Their cider is made from 100% fresh apples.
The afternoon would be the best time for wines. Oakdene Vineyard offers free samples of their wines in a relaxed artsy environment. You could also visit Scotchmans Hill Winery for some cheese platters paired with wine. Its rustic old French farmhouse hides some quality wines aged in oak barrels. As you feel the kick of the glass of wine or two, get an impressive view of Port Phillip Bay toward Melbourne.
Back to Portarlington, before you get on board the ferry to Melbourne, try the mussels and oysters. In an outdoor alfresco area of Advance Mussel Supply, you can enjoy dishes of fresh seashells. You can also buy and bring home some mussels and oysters fresh from the farm.
By Kelvene Requiroso, content writer and member of the SEO team of the Melbourne-based Get Lost Travel Group.