Discover the towns of the Bellarine
The Bellarine Peninsula is one of Victoria’s favourite getaways. It has magnificent beaches, north facing bay side beaches and some of world’s most amazing surf beaches and resort towns along the south west coastline. The rural heartland of the Bellarine produces some of the finest wines, meat and vegetables and all under half an hour from central Geelong.
The townships of the Bellarine are quite diverse and are within easy reach from one another, offering their own charm, heritage, attractions own character.
The bayside township of Portarlington proudly overlooks Port Phillip Bay with Melbourne’s incredible skyline in the north eastern horizon. Portarlington is a bustling fishing port, being home to a large fishing fleet which catches the famous blue mussels. The township swells in population over the summer months with hundreds of campers along its long foreshore overlooking the sandy beach.
Further to the east are the relaxing townships of Indented Heads and St Leonards. These two towns are popular retirement towns with many retirees settling to the surrounding townships for a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Many of the houses have sweeping views of the bay an there are not too many which don’t have a small boat in the driveway. The townships grow over the summer months with campers flocking to the foreshore to enjoy the tranquillity and fresh sea breezes.
St Leonards is separated from Queenscliff by Swan Bay, one of the region’s most important ecosystems that is home to a vast array of marine and bird life. Queenscliff is one of the biggest towns on the Bellarine Peninsula and has many stately Victorian buildings. Hotels, Pubs, guest houses and mansions line Queenscliff’s wide streets. The city is so beautiful and one of the few towns in the state that has so much grand Victorian heritage. Take a horse drawn buggy around town, visit the historic fort or just relax in one of the cafes, restaurants or grand bars in the township.
Point Lonsdale is the sister township to Queenscliff and overlooks the mighty Rip, one of the most dangerous stretches of water in the world. This small township has some amazing beaches, great facilities and is a popular camping destination over the summer months.
Further south west along the vast sandy coastline is the biggest township on the Bellarine; Ocean Grove. This thriving surf town has some of the best sandy beaches and is a favourite for the surfers. The township has a large shopping strip with plenty of cafes, boutiques and specialty stores. Ocean Grove is one of the fastest growing towns on the Bellarine.
Across the Barwon River is Barwon Heads, protected by the huge Bluff at the river mouth. This cosmopolitan township was once a sleepy fishing village. In recent years the town has become one of the “places to live” in the Geelong area. Full of great cafes and restaurants, the township is booming. During summer the tea tree reserve along the Barwon River swell with hundreds of campers.
Wallington, Drysdale and Bellarine are the major townships in the heart of the Bellarine. These rural townships are home to many of the primary producers, farmers and vineyards on the Peninsula. Some of the best produce, wine and goods come from the heartland of the Bellarine.
Clifton Springs to the south west of Drysdale and in particular Leopold are two of the Geelong region’s booming satellite suburbs. These fast growing suburbs have seen many new estates open up over the past few years and now are homes to thousands who work in the Geelong region or Bellarine Peninsula. Being not much more than an hour to Melbourne they are also becoming popular with people commuting to the big city.
An often forgotten piece of the peninsula is Point Henry which separates Corio Bay and Port Phillip Bay this is where the Peninsula starts. To some this is an industrial waste land, but it is so much more with a very unique eco system, some secluded beaches and great views across the bay to Geelong and beyond.