Classic Queenscliff is a step back in time. with its grand Victorian-era hotels and pole position at Port Phillip Heads, is a glorious place. In bygone eras visitors would arrive by train or paddle steamer from Melbourne to take in the fresh seaside air. The mode of transport may have changed, with visitors now usually arriving by car or ferry, but the appeal of a pretty seaside village has remained.
You can feel the history when walking through the town, with grand architecture everywhere and plenty of antique shops and galleries will let you take your own piece of history home. The still operating steam railway adds to the classic feel, and grand dining rooms in historic hotels offer an opulence and elegant experience that is not common in today's modern, minimalist society.
Expect to take home unique gifts from a terrific range of specialty stores. You'll find a place to suit every taste and budget - including what are commonly considered the best fish and chips in the region.
While retaining its charming historic features, Queenscliff has not been restrained by them; several contemporary developments in town mix well with the old to create unique experiences. The brand new Queenscliff Harbour is impressive and there are new features at the car ferry based in town - both at the terminal and on board the vessels.
The Queenscliff Visitor Information Centre run a guided heritage walk every 2.00pm every Saturday and take approximately one and a quarter hours. Group walks available at other times by appointment. For further information take a look at the Queenscliff Highlights.
Getting to Queenscliff
Between the Bellarine Peninsula and the Mornington Peninsula is a ferry service which operates from 7am-6pm (7pm during peak times) daily all year round. Searoad Ferries provides an excellent opportunity to continue touring the Great Ocean Road region by extending across to Philip Island (known for the Penguin Parade) and Wilson's Promontory National Park.
The ferry crossing operates between Queenscliff and Sorrento and takes 40 minutes. Two ferries are in operation, each able to take 80 cars on board and up to 700 passengers. Both ferries are purpose built and unaffected by rough weather conditions, making your trip a pleasant one all year round.