The Bellarine Peninsula
Looking for a weekend of fun, relaxation, good food and wine? Head to the Bellarine Peninsula, only 90 minutes from Melbourne with Around And About Travel. A short trip down the Princess Highway, through Geelong and you’re there. With a steep history in agriculture for wheat and grain, you can still see the remains of its past with wide open spaces, which now are often filled with vines. The peninsula is surrounded by water on three sides from Bass Strait, Corio and Port Phillip Bays and prior to European settlement the Wathaurong First Nations people occupied the land.
Now the region is filled with great food and wine, shopping, art and culture. With ten towns in the greater Bellarine region, there is so much to do and experience.
Eat, drink and celebrate
The Whiskery in Drysdale is the newest kid on the block. The Distillery sits on a property which was once a chicken farm where the old Cobb & Co Coaches used to stop and water their horses in the dam. With wide open spaces to enjoy a platter or a wood fired pizza either in the gardens, or by the fire in winter, it’s a must for anyone’s itinerary.
If a premium cool climate wine is more to your taste, pop across the road to Scotchman’s Hill Winery, one of the most established wineries on the Bellarine. Enjoying lunch with a paired wine from their range is a great way to celebrate a milestone occasion.
For a more casual feel, stop by Hanoi Kitchen in Barwon Heads and if you are down that way midweek, book into their cooking school for an afternoon of fun and a glass of bubbles. Or try the Dunes Café, overlooking the Ocean Grove Surf Beach, it won’t disappoint for food or views.
Arts, Culture and Markets
Bellarine Farmers’ Market runs the third Saturday of each month. As part of the Bellarine Taste Trail, Ocean Grove comes alive with the best local produce and coffee to start your day. Geelong Gallery has a rotating schedule of exhibitions – currently it has the immersive art installation by local artist, Rone.
Down the road you will find Rutland Street in Newtown, a creative’s goldmine. Boom Gallery is an extraordinary retail and studio space where you can see and speak to local artisans whilst they bring their next project to life. Or you can book into a workshop at The Papermill Gallery and try creating your own masterpiece.
A favourite weekend activity for many is browsing local bookstores. The hidden gem of the Bellarine is The Bookshop in Queenscliff, run by a local couple in an historic building. If yoga is more your thing, Blue Water Yoga runs small classes and retreats in their beautiful lakeside studio.
Lon Retreat and Spa is a hidden oasis, nestled in the sand dunes of Point Lonsdale. With luxury accommodation in an architecturally designed sandstone lodge, a private mineral spa with lap pool, and hidden bush tracks to the beach, this is a dreamy luxury getaway. The Lodges at 13th Beach are a welcome addition to the Bellarine Peninsula with a short walk to the Clubhouse for meals or a quick game of golf at one of the Peninsula’s prized courses. The Nest at Point Lonsdale has stunning views, and is well positioned for stargazing from the spa on your own secluded deck.
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