Queenscliff are about 28 kilometres from the centre of Geelong and about an hour and a half’s drive from Melbourne. It is linked to the Mornington Peninsula by a short ferry ride and is the best place in the Greater Geelong region to enjoy the splendour of the Victorian era.
Many people visit Queenscliff staying at the many Bed and Breakfasts or one of the splendid hotels like the Vue Grand which is a complete indulgence. Only a few minutes walk from the main strip is Princess Park home to the Queenscliff market which operates on the last Sunday of each month from September to May, the market is a favourite for people visiting Queenscliff on the historic steam trains which travel from Drysdale to the town over the weekends and some holidays.
Queenscliff was protected by Fort Queenscliff a red brick fort which dates back to 1860. Standing on Shortland’s Bluff the fort is know for the first allied shot of World War 1 when it fired a gun across the bow of a German freighter the Pfalz. The Australian army still have a presence in the Fort with some administration functions being done there, but much of it has been turned into a very interesting an popular museum.
Other museums with are well worth a visit include the Queenscliff Maritime Museum which has a wealth of interesting items and stories of nautical nature including many artefacts from shipwrecks which have been found off the coast. The Queeenscliffe Historical Museum has a interesting display on the history and development of the town and surrounds. While the Marine Discovery Centre has an amazing and educational look into the life under the sea. This centre is a favourite for children where they can learn about the ecology and get up close to some underwater creatures. The centre offers programs which even take on exploring the rock pools natural landscape.
With magnificent guesthouses, ornate hotels and houses Queenscliff is full of charm. There a dozens of historic properties along wide tree planted boulevards. A tranquil way to enjoy them is by horse and cart rides which circle the township which quickly takes you back to a bygone era.
Queenscliff is bounded by the entrance to Port Philip bay and Swan Bay which is a wetland with international importance and is an magnificent place for recreation with many taking up sea kayaking, scuba diving, bird watching in the waters. Nearly 200 species of birdlife been spotted on Swan Bay.
Queenscliff has a significant fishing fleet with fishing popular in the calmer Port Philip Bay or open ocean of Bass Straight, the Rip as it is known between the Bellarine Peninsula and Mornington Peninsula is one of the more dangerous stretches of water in the world. Pilot boats are deployed helping ships enter and leave the turbulent stretch of water. The waters are rich in sea life with regular sightings of dolphins, seals and even the odd whale seen around the area. Many charter craft operate from the harbour with sight seeing and fishing tours available. The Queenscliff to Sorrento ferry is also a popular service linking the The beautiful beaches are a popular destination all year round, Queenscliff has it all, calm waters around Swan Bay, the beautiful beside beaches on the west side of the township and the pristine sandy surf beaches to the south which are very popular with local surfers.
The town is also the place for some of the regions biggest events, hosting several sporting events like the Blue Water Challenge held in January, the various surf carnivals. The biggest event of the year is held in November when some of the best music acts descend on the town for the Queenscliff Music Festival. Thousands flock to see the dozens of diverse acts perform in huge marques, the hotels and streets around the township. The town comes alive with markets, roaming entertainment and a host of fun for the whole family giving Queenscliff a real party atmosphere.