Geelong & the Bellarine Touring Route
Distance: 229 kilometres round trip from Melbourne
Duration: 1 day
Melbourne to Geelong
75 km, about an hour
Break clear of the city traffic and head west to Werribee, located on Melbourne's outskirts. Check out the elephants and rhinos at Werribee Open Range Zoo and enjoy a fancy cuppa at the Mansion at Werribee Park, a grand building built by the Chirnside family in the 1870s.
Hit the tracks and trails of the You Yangs on foot or on two wheels and discover why it's a mountain biking hotspot for riders across Victoria, or stop off at the Brisbane Ranges National Park for a picnic lunch amid the wildflowers.
Pause to pick up unique gifts at the vintage market precinct in North Geelong and then cruise into Victoria's largest regional city, located on calm Corio Bay. The city has fabulous waterfront eateries, landscaped gardens and walking paths. Have a coffee at a waterfront restaurant and wander past the famous bollard characters along the foreshore, or visit the multi award-winning National Wool Museum.
Geelong to Queenscliff
32 km, about 30 minutes
The route continues to Queenscliff through wine country. Scotchmans Hill and Bellarine Estate both have excellent cellar doors, while Jack Rabbit vineyard boasts the best views across the bay. Prefer cider? Stop on the highway for a cold one at the Flying Brick Cider Co. Take a detour to Portarlington for a lunch at a great cafe or tuck into fresh mussels bought at the pier then barbecued on the shore.
Queenscliff is an historic bay-side town well known for its Victorian-era buildings, galleries and excellent restaurants. Learn about 19th-century military history at the historic Fort Queenscliff or stories of the early mariners and fishermen at the Maritime Museum. For the more adventurous, dive to discover coral, sponges and shipwrecks around the bay entrance, charter a boat and swim with dolphins or take a fishing cruise.
Queenscliff to Point Lonsdale
5 km, about 10 minutes
Continue your journey south to the village of Point Lonsdale overlooking The Rip – the notorious entrance to Port Phillip Bay. Make the journey last a little longer by walking (45 mins) or cycling (15 mins) from town to town. Breathe in the fresh sea air, watch the boats out in the bay and take in the dramatic views from Rip View Lookout.
Point Lonsdale to Barwon Heads
15 km, about 20 minutes
Sip on a morning brew in At The Heads, a restaurant built in the old cold stores along the jetty. Follow it up with a wander down main street. Check out the boutiques and country cafes that have popped up in recent years and enjoy a bit of people watching during the busy summer months.
Play a round of golf at one of Victoria's most scenic golf courses with outstanding ocean views, fish the calm estuary waters or just amble along kilometres of sandy beaches before making your trip back to Melbourne.