Drive past the surrounding wineries and olive groves from Geelong or come across the bay by boat to Portarlington, a historic town and favourite holiday spot on the Bellarine Peninsula, on the lands of the Wadawurrung people.
Sip, savour and discover
Spend a few days exploring the local wineries, restaurants and producers scattered across the landscape. Sample seafood fresh out of the bay, linger over a glass of cool climate red, or fill the boot with goodies from country provedores and farm gates stocked high with seasonal offerings. Keep the culinary adventure going by hitting the Bellarine Taste Trail, which snakes its way across the peninsula.
Discover local history at buildings such as the National Trust Flour Mill, built in 1857, and the Ol' Duke, built in 1855, now a smart hotel and restaurant. Make your way to the northern tip of the Bellarine Peninsula on the drive from Portarlington to St Leonards and admire sweeping views of Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne's skyline and the You Yangs.
Take a slow walk and have a swim at the bay beach, kick back on the beautiful foreshore or treat yourself to a day out on the water. Bring your boat, join a charter or hire one by the hour and try your luck with the rod and reel. Prefer to stay on dry land? Enjoy a cuppa and throw a line off the pier.
Finish the day with a feast of freshly caught mussels and oysters from Advanced Mussel Supply, a big player in the growing local mussel and oyster industry. And while you're there, watch the progress of the eastern breakwater construction, part of the safe harbour project which has expanded the harbour including facilities for the daily ferry service between Portarlington and Docklands in Melbourne, operating year round.
Take the kiddies for a ride on the Portarlington Miniature Railway, open the first and third Sunday of every month. Seafood lovers will enjoy the Portarlington Mussel Festival, a celebration of the local industry and fun day full of music, local wines, beer and, of course, plenty of mussels. If you're in town in June, join in the music, dancing and merriment of the National Celtic Festival.