Things to See & Do
Food & Wine
Whether it is the distinctive maritime flavours of The Bellarine, the ancient richness of the Moorabool Valley Wine Region or the rugged, exposed coastline of the Surf Coast, the Geelong Wine Region is united by boutique, family owned winegrowers producing premium quality hand crafted wines.
With each sub region and winery displaying their own unique characteristics, visitors are invited to explore the diversity of the Geelong Wine Region's stunning scenery, touring routes and restaurants whilst sampling some of Victoria's finest cellar door experiences.
Geelong's family owned boutique operators maximise their wine's potential by hand pruning, hand picking and hand crafting their wines allowing regional characters to develop.
Areas within the region have varying microclimates influencing the depth of colour, bouquet and flavour of the wines. The Bellarine has a maritime climate with bay breeezes and spectacular views, whilst the hills and valleys of the Moorabool Valley – Anakie areas have a warm, continental style climate. The renowned Surf Coast is famous for its long summer days and cooling ocean breezes.
James Halliday in his Wine Atlas of Australia and New Zealand wrote:
"If there is a unifying feature in all of the Geelong wines, it is their strength and depth of colour, bouquet and flavour."
Not only does the Geelong wine region produce some of Australia's best wines, but the wineries are surrounded by some of Victoria's best scenery and touring opportunities.
The Geelong Wine Region. Fine wines – from our hands to yours.
For a map of the winery region visit: http://www.winegeelong.com.au/wine_region/map
Tuckerberry Hill is located on the North East slopes of Murradoc Hill, overlooking Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne and the Heads..
Pick Your Own Blueberries or Strawberries in a friendly family atmosphere enjoyed by all ages. Strawberry season November, February, March and April. Blueberry season December and January
They are five minutes east of Drysdale towards St. Leonards just off the Murradoc Road (Melways Map 458 B11). Follow their tourist signs from Drysdale or Queenscliff
The Tuckerberry Hill Café provides light lunches, blueberry cakes, muffins, scones and pancakes coffee / tea, milkshakes and their very own blueberry ice cream. Their local produce includes their very own Blueberry Conserve, Sauce and Chutney. Mason's Creek Olive Oil and infused olive oil with chilli, basil, garlic or lime and Beck's Honey.
Update: Now picking STRAWBERRIES - a great holiday activity for all the family (children very welcome in the U PIck orchard). Open - April weekends and Public Easter holidays.
The main road through Drysdale, the Geelong Portarlington Road features shops, cafes and historic buildings.
The Drysdale Community Craft shop has local, mostly hand-made products and is also home to a small visitor information outlet.
Turning left into Wyndham Street, or up Clifton Springs Road and left into Hancock Street again presents many more shopping choices, from antiques to the supermarket. Turning right into Murradoc Road is a more industrial area, but with an excellent seafood shop.
Introducing Drysdale Cheeses, the first commercial goat cheese manufacturer on the Bellarine Peninsula. Registered in December 2005, Drysdale Cheeses concentrates on a range of hand made cheeses, manufactured from the high quality milk from its herd of Saanen goats.
The goats live on the Scotchmans Road property in Bellarine, where they are milked daily. Drysdale Cheeses are a registered dairy herd and all of the animals are pure bred.
Their diet comprises of pasture, tree cuttings, hay and goat "muesli", a home recipe. They also love their daily offerings of fruit and vegetable scraps from the fruit shop in Drysdale -especially watermelon!! Extra essential minerals and vitamins are administered via seaweed meal and salt licks.
Although Drysdale Cheeses is not certified organic, they follow permaculture farming principles and adopt ethical animal treatment. They do not milk animals that are heavily pregnant and newborn kids will stay with their mums for those first few days of all-important colostrum (first milk). Each doe only kids once every two years, allowing for their optimal health.
The milk is then transported to the cheese making room at Drysdale. The basic method for making cheese requires pasteurisation in this country, although a small group of speciality cheese makers are working to allow raw milk cheese to be made legal in Australia soon.
After pasteurisation, cheese making cultures are added to the milk for flavour ripening and then an enzyme (rennet) is added to coagulate the milk, thus producing curds and whey.
These cheese making procedures use only vegetarian rennet. Different varieties of cheese will then require different temperatures and different treatments. The cheeses are made in small batches and require careful ageing and draining, and so may be unavailable from time to time.
Drysdale Cheeses are only available locally, from selected restaurants and providers.
Overlooking the vineyard and with views over Corio Bay, Bellarine Estate offers wine tastings from their Bellarine Estate range, as well as their Portarlington Ridge Label.
The historic seaside villages of the Bellarine Peninsula made a pleasant and picturesque drive to this small vineyard.
The vineyard is nestled in a valley that is sheltered from harsh winds, yet perfectly positioned to capture the sun's rays. A modern vineyard needs to extol it's philosophies through its passion for winemaking, quality craftsmanship and welcoming ambience.
In addition, beer tastings from the Bellarine Brewing Company's micro-brewed range are also available. This is beer with attitude, perfect for the first time beer drinker and loved by the mature palate of a seasoned connoisseur.
Please contact one of their friendly staff for further information.
The Barrgowan Vineyard and Winery is owned and operated by the Simonsen family. Vines were planted in 1994 with the objective of producing a high quality Shiraz for private consumption. This specialisation in Shiraz continues and the high quality is reflected in an impressive list of awards since 1998.
The production is very small from the half acre of vines, 50 cases in 2003 rising to an expected 200 cases in 2010 with no plans to expand further. This will ensure the continued high quality and attention to detail.
The vineyard is unusual in that five different clones of Shiraz are planted, and Barrgowan Vineyard believe that each clone adds just a little extra complexity to the finished wine.
Barrgowan Vineyard hand prune the vines, hand pick the fruit and basket press manually. Diligence, care and gentleness are applied at all stages of the wine making process; for example, most wine transfer is achieved by gravity, not pumped. By scientific measurement during the wine making process, we ensure the absolute minimum use of additives. The overall criterion is quality, not quantity!
The wine matures for over 12 months in the best, ultra fine grained French oak barrels available, and do not blend, filter or fine.
Barrgowan Vineyard do not have a distributor, all wine is sold by word of mouth, mail order or email. If you would like to be on our mailing list, or order wine.
There is a Cellar door, by appointment only. The tastings are an experience and generally include a tour of the wine making facility.
Please contact for orders of Cellar Door appointments.
Spas, Relaxation & Wellbeing
Bellarine Massage and Holistic Therapies focuses on clients who want a relaxing massage in the luxury of their own home.
Having a massage really allows you to slow down and switch off, both mentally and physically, from the pressures of society. On a physical level, massage treats the whole person, releasing tension from the mind and the muscles, communicating through caring touch, imparting inner peace and tranquillity. When you are receiving a massage, you may find that you tend to drift away into your own personal paradise.
Massage promotes self -awareness and treats the mind, body and spirit, enabling you to achieve a truly holistic state of homeostasis, returning balance and harmony to yourself.
Visit the website or call for more information. Gift vouchers available.
Super charge your summer at Victoria's biggest theme park!
Awesome family fun all day long, Adventure Park Geelong is home to some of the coolest water rides in Australia.
Victoria's hottest and biggest theme park, Adventure Park, located just ten minutes from Geelong boasts exciting rides and attractions, perfect for the whole family!
Just some of the ways you can make a gigantic splash and enjoy the unlimited rides all day long include:
- Raft the roaring rapids on The River Torrent Lazy River, with twisting tides and swirling gauntlets along a tropical river oasis
- Speed down head first and experience the ultimate adrenaline rush of the Six Lane Aqua Racer, a speed slide for the serious thrill-seekers which can take you up to 40km per hour
- Race down The Gold Rush Rapids in a speedy 20 seconds and take the two metre plunge
- Take a splash in the dark on the Wild West Canyon on a two-seater raft, experiencing twists and 360 degree turns!
Adventure Park is doing it for the kids, too! The Tiny Tots Splashzone keeps the young ones cool, safe and entertained, with waterfalls, mini waterslides and spray cannons throughout. While Bonito's Bay Water Play offers a state-of-the-art aquatic playground including waterfalls, water jets and more pirate-filled water fun.
On dry land, families can take a ride on the popular Go Karts and Little Buggy Speedway, try a hand at archery, discover the Galactic Games World, challenge family and friends to a game of mini golf, take a leisurely ride on the new Paddle boats and watch the world go by on the classic carousel.
Bring in a picnic, hire a barbecue and relax lakeside under shaded picnic areas, marquees and pavilions, set amongst 21 hectares of landscaped parkland.
You may have played mini golf or putt putt before but never like this, Bellarine Adventure Golf takes mini golf to another level.
Set amongst beautiful gardens complete with creeks and waterfalls, the 36 ingeniously crafted holes will keep players of all ages both entertained and challenged. Multi-level greens, balls that seem to defy the laws of gravity, tricky water hazards and sticky sand traps ensure that everyone's games certainly will be an adventure in which both luck and skill play a part!
There are two 18 hole courses to choose from: the Mill offers a great, fun course with plenty of shelter making it playable come rain, hail or shine while the Mountain course offers a bit more of a challenge for those wanting to really test their skills. Or play both courses, taking advantage of the generous discounts on second rounds.
Bellarine Adventure Golf have a café that offers great locally roasted coffee from Geelong's own Capra Coffee and a great selection of snacks and cookies to enjoy along with it.
Groups, clubs and schools love the function room and barbecue facilities plus the delicious catering that is available. Kids' birthday parties are also a specialty.
Check Bellarine Adventure Golf's facebook page for regular special offers or contact them for further information.
The railway hugs the water around scenic Swan Bay providing breathtaking views, before climbing through the rolling hills of the Bellarine Peninsula between Queenscliff and Drysdale.
Trains operate on Sundays and additional days during Summer and school holiday periods. Visit www.bpr.org.au for further timetable information, news and events.
A Maze 'n Games offers fun activities for the whole family to stimulate your relaxation. Lose yourself or the kids in one of Australia's largest timber mazes, relax and try a game of mini golf on the 18 hole mini golf course, or try and solve some of the large range of puzzles.
You can relax your mind inside the cafe with coffee and delicious, home-made cakes or light snacks.
You could also enjoy the great BBQ facilities undercover while the kids explore the playgrounds.
Enjoy browsing in the spacious shop, which has an extensive range of clever gifts for all ages; many are set up for you to try.
Searoad Ferries connects the Great Ocean Road and the Bellarine to the Mornington Peninsula, the 40 minute crossing is a stress free alternative to driving through the city, saving you time and kilometres.
With two specially designed all weather 60 metre ferries departing from both destinations on the hour, every hour, 7am to 6pm daily. Enjoy easy drive on/drive off facilities, spacious comfortable lounges with full length windows, a tempting cafe and plenty of deck space.
There are ever changing sights, watch out for dolphins, whales in winter and enormous ships as you breathe incredibly fresh air. Arriving at Sorrento, you will have a perfect view of multi-million dollar mansions sitting atop cliffs, tiny coves filled with boats, the beautiful foreshore and old limestone buildings.
Whether you are going home, or on a journey far away, there's no better way to see the bay than with Searoad Ferries.
The all weather ferries leave every hour on the hour, 7pm to 6pm, 365 days of the year. A 7pm departure operates in peak times please visit the website for more details.
Passengers with vehicles are advised to arrive at the terminals at least 30 minutes prior to departure.
The ferries depart from Queenscliff Harbour, Queenscliff and the Sorrento Pier, Sorrento.
On the 40 minute journey, unparalleled views of historic lighthouses, the Point Nepean fortifications, navigational features, seals and dolphins are available from the comfortable lounge areas, cafe style seating or numerous observation decks.
Both vessels are fully equipped to cater for passengers with disabilities, including an internal lift from the vehicle deck to the passenger lounge.
Coaches may be booked ahead. Seven days notice is advisable to secure passage.
The Bellarine really is paradise for golfers. With four courses inside the top fifty public access courses in Australia for 2012 (as rated by Ausgolf), it is an ideal destination to pack the clubs and try your hand at some of the most challenging and breathtaking courses in the country.
In addition to these nationally renowned links courses, there are several tree lined country courses that welcome casual players.
Clifton Springs Golf Club is a Mike Clayton designed 18 hole course. The course has superb Legend turf fairways and is located about an hours drive from the Westgate Bridge near the town of Drysdale where full facilities are available.
The club is the best located course on the Bellarine Peninsula and with superb views of Corio Bay across to Avalon Airport. The sight of the many ships sailing past as you play the course is a sight that will be remembered forever.
Being central to Port Phillip Heads and Geelong in the middle of the Bellarine Wine District with easy access to both surf and bay beaches it is perfect for a day or weekend visit.
The course has an excellent dining area that has views to dream about and would make any occasion a memorable one.
The Club's Open Week is held in November each year. Entry forms can be obtained by contacting the club or via our website.
Situated on a sandy base with a minimum of trees and naturally undulating couch fairways this Vern Morcom designed links type course has maintained its position as one of the best on the Bellarine Peninsula and has been further enhanced by a recent Michael Clayton Master Plan. With challenging bunkers and firm and fast greens, it is the wind however that often determines the level of playing difficulty.
The course measures 6150 metres from the championship marks and is a challenging par-72. A challenge for players of all standards and a true test of golfing ability. Green fee players welcome.
6100 metre Par 72 course Large contoured greens Naturally undulating couch fairways Well Bunkered, links style layout On the beautiful Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria One hour from Melbourne 10 minutes from Geelong
The riding school has been run by the Lamperd family for the past 40 years. Robin Lamperd began the school in Wallington as part of Koombahla Park Equestrian Centre in 1974 up until 2010.
Robin's son, Murray Lamperd, took over the running of the riding school in 2005. Murray's vision for the riding school and equestrian team meant there was a growing need for updated facilities and a more specific training environment. Because of this, the riding school made the move to the new location at the end of Barry's Lane, just behind the old property, in November of 2010.
This move has seen new life into the school horses with better grazing and an excellent surface for riding. It has also created a more inclusive and encouraging environment for the riders entering the competition world, and enabled Murray to focus more intensively on preparing his horses and students for the competition season.
Theatre, Music and the Arts
Victoria's historic coastal town of Queenscliff is home to the world's one and only Blues Train. It is a unique experience that combines four of Australia's best live acts and the beautiful scenery of the Bellarine Peninsula on the Drysdale Railway line while aboard a real moving vintage steam train. It is one of Australia's most spectacular entertainment experiences - it is a mini festival in one night and a progressive party you'll never forget.
Nothing captures the spirit of the blues quite like a steam train. Listening to the train whistle and the clickety-clack on the tracks you can imagine the old blues masters jamming it up on Mississippi freight trains as they were 'ridin' the blinds' around America's deep south.
The Blues Train leaves Queenscliff Railway Station after guests have enjoyed a delicious meal complemented by fine Australian and local wines. The steam train then makes its way along 16 kilometres of track, gently rocking from side to side, seemingly in beat with the music.
At each of the stops, Suma Park and Drysdale, revellers swap carriages to see another of the acts, so by the end of the night patrons have seen all four acts performing on the train. Drinks are available from the mobile bar that miraculously appears on each platform (from the converted guard's van). You can sit back, relax and listen to the music with a drinking on one of the seated carriages or get up and boogie the blues away in one of the dance carriages.
Please visit the website for the different show dates.
The ex HMAS Canberra dive site is the first artificial reef specifically created for diving in Victoria. It lies in approximately 28 metres of water, with the top of the mast about 5 metres below the surface at low tide.
The site provides opportunities for divers with varying levels of experience and certification, from open water level certificates to advanced wreck divers, to enjoy this site.
When the ship as prepared for scuttling many of the original working features were retained so divers still get a sense of being on board a working ship.
Dive charter operators based at Queenscliff Harbour can lead trips to dive the ex HMAS Canberra.
Skydive the Beach and Beyond has two exciting locations in country Victoria. The Great Ocean Road where you will see stunning coastal views of The Great Ocean Road, Bells Beach and Melbourne city. Also the Yarra Valley where you will see views of the 141 wineries, Dandenong Ranges and Port Phillip Bay!
You begin the day with a briefing with your tandem sky dive instructor. This includes what to expect and what you will see on the plane flight to height, in freefall, under canopy and upon landing.
You will walk out to the plane and there you will conduct your practice exits. Once all the ground preparation has been completed, it is time to get in the plane and get ready for take-off!
Once you reach height, it will be time to prepare you for the jump. The door opens and as you leave the plane, you and your tandem master will accelerate through the air reaching terminal velocity of 220 kilometres per hour. Freefall feels like riding a cushion of air similar to riding a big wave. In freefall, your senses will be able to take in stunning views as far as the eye can see. Then finally it is time to pull your parachute open.
From the loud rushing of air that you hear all around you, the parachute ride is very different as you sail around the sky, gliding.
The landing is easy, just lift your legs. The parachute will glide and you will eventually put your feet down to land.
Museums, History and Heritage
Stroll the beautiful Heritage town of Queenscliff and enjoy afternoon tea at one of Queenscliff’s grand old buildings to finish.
Guided walks run 2.00pm every Saturday and take approximately one and a quarter hours. Group walks available at other times by appointment. Check with the Visitor Information Centre for availability and prices. Bookings essential – Phone the Queenscliffe Visitor Information Centre 5258 4843 or call in to the Centre 55 Hesse Street Queenscliff.
A self guided booklet, “Queenscliff – A Living Heritage.” Is also available for sale from the Queenscliffe Visitor Information Centre. This short self guided walk will take approximately 45 minutes and take you past a few of the town’s historic buildings.
The Surf World Museum in Torquay, Australia’s surfing capital, celebrates the story of surfing.
It also charts Australia’s significant contribution to the development of surfing around the world. Through the colourful and exciting permanent displays and temporary exhibitions of important surfing artefacts and memorabilia, the museum commemorates Australia’s fantastic surfing heritage and rich beach culture.
An unforgettable experience, Surf World provides the opportunity to immerse yourself in one of Australia’s most popular pastimes. It’s a place where you can experience or relive, surfing’s sense of fun, and marvel at the changes that have taken place over the years. We look forward to welcoming you.
Romantic Getaway & Weddings
Only one hour from the Westgate Bridge you will find Saltair Spa. Situated in a unique location, offering stunning views of Torquay's rolling hills and crystal blue waters. Calm your mind as you are cared for by the exceptional therapists and Indulge in a complete menu of day spa treatments and therapies. Derma-Cosmeceuticals Skincare is available using the latest Multi-spectrum imaging.
Try something new like an Indigenous Inspired Rhythmic Massage or a Facial Treatment using a combination of the purist organic bases and pure oxygen gas. Captivate your senses while your stresses melt away in the Hydrotherapy Spa, Geisha Spa, Vichy Shower or Steam Sauna. Saltair treatments use only the highest quality aromatherapy oils, earth ochres, desert salts, ocean mineral polishers, moisturisers and elixirs used in the finest destination spas worldwide.
Saltair Spa uses and recommends Li'Tya Spa products. Capturing the potency of indigenous Australian plants, fruits, earth ochres, desert salts and sea plants, with each product depicting the wonder and beauty of the country. Li'Tya offers exquisitely pure health, beauty and wellbeing treatments - individually tailored to energise and beautify every part of your being.
Saltair Spa also use and recommend Heritage Healers facial treatments. Pure oxygen gas, in conjunction with vitamins and minerals, is used to nourish and revitalise the skin cells. With Heritage Healers O2 Oxygen Therapy they soothe away internal stress, then regenerate and boost the health of every skin cell with pure oxygen gas, plus essential vitamins and minerals. It is the most effective skin treatment program of its kind, designed to cleanse, nourish and revitalise every skin cell of the face, pore by pore.
Choose from body treatments, geisha tub, hydrotherapy, massage, facials, oxygen treatments, hand and foot treatments, Day Spa packages and Professional Skin Health Advice and treatments, spray tans, waxing and tinting.
With an international reputation as one of Australia’s best surf beaches, Bells Beach is amazing spot – either in the water or out. There isn’t much ‘beach’ at Bells, it’s mostly a glorious cliff-face, and views from the cliff-top car park are spectacular – a great spot to watch local surfers out in the water.
There are several quality surfing spots in the precinct from Southside to Steps Reef. Every Easter Bells Beach hosts the international professional surfing community for the Rip Curl Pro event.
To get to Bells Beach, travel along the Great Ocean Road past Jan Juc – turn left into Bells Boulevard and follow the signs.
General Beach Hazard Rating: 6
Least hazardous: 1-3
Moderately hazardous: 4-6
Highly hazardous: 7-8
Extremely hazardous: 9-10
Hazard rating refers to physical beach and surf conditions ONLY and does not include potentially dangerous marine life.
Bells is a world class right when above 1.5 m. When smaller, the waves break close in to the headland and produce a right called Rincon. Further around the head are two more reef breaks which work below 2 m, called Centre Side (a right) and Southside (a left).
The water is deep right off the beach, while at low tide you can fish from the reefs at each end.
One of the meccas of surfing and well worth a visit, if only to view the beach and surf from the bluffs.
Type: Formal parking area
We provide this information as a guide only. Surf conditions are variable and therefore this information should not be relied upon as a substitute for observation of local conditions and an understanding of your abilities in the surf. We remind you to always swim between the red and yellow flags and never swim at unpatrolled beaches.
Torquay lives and breathes surfing, and the region has a global reputation as an amazing surf destination. Bells Beach hosts the annual Rip Curl Pro, where the best surfers in the world compete each Easter.
Nearby Winkipop is also popular with experienced surfers. Torquay and Jan Juc offer good conditions for those wanting to learn to surf, and several schools operate classes at local beaches.
Surf conditions can vary greatly, check with the Visitor Information Centre or local Surf Life Saving Club.
Forrest is one of Australia's best mountain bike destinations. With over 60 kilometres of purpose built single track, there is more than three days of riding here.
You can stay in a variety of accommodation options and ride right from your front door of your accommodation.
Forrest is the gateway to the Otways, with places to stay, eat and ride. Platypus tours are also available.
Visit the Ride Forrest website to find all you need to know about Forrest and Mountain Bike riding in the Otways.