Although many may think Portarlington is a place to visit only in the warmer months, you’ll be surprised to hear there are events all year round to keep the visitors and locals entertained.
Major Events shine
Portarlington quite clearly has two marquee events that are most well-known.
Kicking off with the most popular, and for good reason, the Portarlington Mussel Festival will run for its 12th year, on January 13, 2018. Close to 30,000 people attend the one day festival, consuming up to 10 tonne of mussels. The event is led by volunteers to raise funds for the community and promote the mussel industry and it’s a smashing day out with loads of entertainment, food, drink, cooking demonstrations, market stalls and exhibitions.
It’s so easy to get there from Melbourne, with a ferry ride that delivers you right to the doorstep of the event. This is the busiest day of the year on the ferry so be sure to book your ticket way in advance!
If summer is known for the mussel festival, then it’s the National Celtic Festival that shines out over Winter. The National Celtic Festival is widely recognised as the premier Celtic festival in the southern hemisphere. With a program that highlights the arts – music, song, dance, theatre, play-write, workshops and more, this festival attracts audiences and performers from across the country and around the world. If you don’t know how to dance a jig, you’ll most certainly be kicking up your kilt by the end of this long weekend in June.
There’s wine in those hills
The Bellarine knows great wine, and they know how to celebrate it as well. It’s an absolute must to lock in these 2 events. Toast to the Coast, held over the Melbourne Cup long weekend, is one of the most anticipated events on the local calendar and showcases the best wines and gourmet food from around the region.
Now in its 16th year, the two-day event offers guests the chance to taste, drink and eat their way across a selection of award-winning wineries while enjoying the picturesque vineyard settings and live entertainment. Keep your eyes peeled for a possible wine event on our very own Port Phillip Ferries.
Step back to July, for the Winter Shiraz Weekend. Just having celebrated its second year in 2017, this event is all about the reds. Enjoy two days of beautiful wine, food and entertainment as the region basks in the midwinter glow.
Meet the makers and soak up the warmth of open fires and outdoor braziers in beautiful surroundings while enjoying award winning Shiraz. Talented Chef’s will match the region’s renowned cool climate wines with hearty winter fare and enjoy the chance to sit and soak in the atmosphere. It’s a feast of food and wine experiences, gourmet produce, local music and wine master classes.
Aside from these two fabulous wine events, each year the gorgeous wineries of the Bellarine host annual wine maker dinners, incredible lunches for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and there’s also a heap of family fun at Bellarine Estate for their annual Easter Egg Hunt
Let’s get physical
The air is fresh, the sea is clean and the views are inspirational. So why wouldn’t you feel inspired to take a run, swim or bike ride around the area?
For the serious and not so serious, there’s fun to be had at the Bellarine Sunset Run. Feb 3, 2018.
Bring your friends and family to join in on the 3rd edition of Bellarine Peninsula’s own coastal sunset run. You’ll enjoy the thrill of the chase with runners being challenged to outrun the Enterprize tall ship and its crew of pirates over 21.8km.
Challenge yourself to a run or a walk on the various distances on offer, and celebrate with an icy cider from the event sponsors, Flying Brick Cider Co. Supporters are welcome to sit on one of their oversized picnic rugs on the grass, cheering others in as the sun sets over Port Phillip Bay.
This is where you can show all your skills, and hopefully grab a moment to enjoy the picturesque scenery as you whiz by smashing your personal best. There are events for all ages but the most impressive have to be the Carman’s Tri Kids for ages 7 – 11. After the race the Portarlington Bakehouse is a super popular spot to stock up on well-deserved carbs and pastries.
Summer is undoubtedly one of the more popular times to visit the coastal town of Portarlington, and any families’ favourite event is the NYE Fireworks on the foreshore. They go off around 9pm and as you watch on from anywhere around Portarlington, you can also spot the Melbourne city fireworks in the distance. It’s spectacular.
On the Sunday of the labour day weekend, the 28th Annual Bellarine Agricultural Show will be held on March 11, 2018, in Portarlington. It’s a real hoot, with gumboot throwing competitions, farm animals, amusements, dog competitions and good ol’ fashioned fun. Get the kids involved, learn how to fleece a sheep and grab a feed while you’re there.