From Melbourne, Victoria’s main gateway, it would be much easier for you to reach the state’s major tourist hubs – the Grampians, the Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island, Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, and Bellarine Peninsula.
You have the rugged mountain terrains and sandstone formations in the Grampians and the ocean views and terrific landscapes of the Great Ocean Road. Phillip Island has wildlife, fur seals, and penguins to show. Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula are well-known wine regions and producers of gourmet products.
Of Victoria’s major destinations, Bellarine Peninsula seemed to be a lesser known one. Recently, the number of tourists visiting the peninsula has grown significantly.
The Bellarine Peninsula
Bellarine is as charming as Mornington, and perhaps more impressive and the best place to live. Ask a Bellarine resident, and they would tell you why. Its fertile soil grows organic and gourmet produce and excellent vines producing top-notch wines. Its ocean, rich in fresh seafood, impressive views, and pristine surf beaches. There’s a wildlife reserve to get up close to native wildlife. And of course, the beautiful and hospitable people.
Nestled southwest of Melbourne, Bellarine sits opposite to Mornington, its sister peninsula. Corio Bay and Port Phillip Bay surround the peninsula. Victory Bight, a narrow opening to Port Phillip Bay from the open ocean, separated it from Mornington.
The Barwon River is the only inland waterway in the peninsula, it connects to the open ocean of the Bass Strait. The river’s mouth is in Barwon Heads.
With a population of over 55,000, much of Bellarine is part of the greater Geelong City. Take a 90-minute cruise by land from Melbourne and explore the unspoilt coastal towns and surfs of the Bellarine Peninsula.
To get some panoramic views of Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne’s skyline, Mornington Peninsula, and Bellarine Peninsula, you could alternatively take a ferry from Melbourne to Portarlington. Catch a ferry from Docklands, Melbourne, by the Yarra River.
The peninsula showcases several scenic attractions.
Point Lonsdale Lighthouse
There’s a lighthouse that stands on the peninsula’s southernmost tip, Point Lonsdale. The lighthouse had been in operation for over a century. It started guiding the ships entering Port Phillip Bay from the open seas since 1902. Opposite the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse is Fort Nepean on Mornington. Get some breathtaking views of the Bass Strait, Mornington Peninsula, and Port Phillip Bay.
Lake Connewarre Wildlife Reserve
The wildlife reserve sits by the Barwon River. It is considered one of Victoria’s important wildlife reservation areas. Home to various waterbird species, Birdlife International recognised the peninsula’s wetlands an important bird area.
Dolphins and migrating whales
Marine mammals visit the peninsula’s waters including whales and the Australian native Burrunan dolphins. You can also spot on the rocky coastline some Australian fur seals and sea lions.
The peninsula’s stunning ocean views and pristine beaches are a come on. There are more places on the shoreline to hop around. Feel the cool ocean breeze touching your skin or take a dip in the shallows.
The historic Queenscliff
This historic maritime town has a lot to offer aside from its history as you visit its museums. You can also experience a 360-degree ocean view at the Queenscliff Harbour Observation Tower.
Flying Brick Cider Co.
Visit this quaint cellar door and enjoy a scrumptious lunch with refreshing ciders. Flying Brick Cider Co. serves some gourmet platters and ciders made from fresh apples and pears.
With a relaxed artsy environment, Oakdene Winery offers not only wine to taste but also artworks and impressive gardens. You’d feel like you’re in a movie set. Its rustic cellar door stores one of the region’s best wines.
Scotchmans Hill Winery
This rustic old French farmhouse hides quality wines aged in oak barrels to sample and taste. Pair the cellar door’s sensational wines with cheese platters over the stunning views of Port Phillip Bay.
Advance Mussel Supply
In Portarlington, before you start your ferry cruising to Melbourne, stop by at Advance Mussel Supply. Portarlington Mussels and Angasi Oysters fresh from the farm-gate await. You can also buy some to take back home. So, enjoy the fresh seafood delicacies.