So you’ve just disembarked off the Port Phillip Ferries express to Portarlington from Melbourne Docklands. Welcome! I hope the fresh sea air has reinvigorated you, the uninterrupted bay views have inspired you, and the laid-back vibe has immediately brought you calm. Now that you’re here, I want to introduce you to some of my top 5 experiences to be had straight off the pier. I hope you’re hungry because there’s a lot of eating to be done...
Spot the stingrays
On a sunny summer’s day, stingrays can be seen basking in shallow waters right along the historic Portarlington Pier. Take some time to enjoy the glistening bay waters and make sure you keep your eyes peeled in case you spot a ray skimming along the surface.
Indulge in Donuts
I ‘do nut’ want you to leave Portarlington without trying one of our famous doughnuts (see what I did there?). Silly puns aside, Daniel’s Donuts on Newcombe Street is a must-try for every visitor to Portarlington. On a weekend, it’s not unusual to see a queue of people waiting for their sweet fix. And that’s for a good reason. My personal favourite? The Golden Gaytime doughnut. But there’s something for everyone here - yes, even the gluten-free and vegan crowd.
Sample Portarlington’s famous mussels
No trip to Portarlington is complete without sampling some of the region’s most famous exports: the mussel. The Little Mussel Cafe on Queenscliffe Road will serve you up a steaming bowl of mussels complete with tantalising sauces to slather them in. They also have a selection of local wines and craft beers to pair with your meal.
Escape to the vineyards
If you’re hoping instead to make a grape escape, take advantage of Port Phillip Ferries’ return transfer packages to one of our famous wineries. Choose from Bennetts on the Bellarine or Jack Rabbit. If you’re more of a spirited soul, then perhaps the gin tasting, craft beer tour is more up your alley. Click here to view all the packages.
Chill out at Grand Hotel
Enjoy a brew over a beautiful view at the Grand Hotel. Situated along the waterfront, this historic property is a local favourite and serves up classic pub meals such as fish ‘n chips, steak, chicken parma, burgers and of course, Portarlington mussels. Not hungry? The Grand Hotel also has a fantastic wine list comprised of local drops.
*Note* While the team at the Grand are in the midst of some seriously exciting renovations, but they'll be back and raring to go by November or so.