Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Port Phillip Ferries Blog

Embrace Winter

a man standing next to a body of water

Winter, don’t think about battening down the hatches, hiding under the doona and indulging in some serious comfort eating.  We’ll challenge you to change that perspective.  Just because winter is on our doorsteps doesn’t mean you have to be housebound.  The world keeps on spinning and a couple of our fav destinations (Docklands and Portarlington) continue to put on some dazzling winter entertainment for you.

Let’s get a little bit cultured this winter!  Portarlington and Docklands have some very impressive food/wine/art weekends and festivals coming up.  And how very handy that both sides of the bay are easily accessible via the very warm and very comfortable Port Phillip Ferries.  Let us transport you to a winter wonderland.



Winter Shiraz Weekend

A heart-warming glass of red on a cold winter’s day, does it get much better?  Well yes, it can, two glasses!!!  Have your glass or two at the annual Winter Shiraz Weekend held at a selection of wineries in the Bellarine.

BAIE Wines, Banks Road Vineyards, Barrgowan Vineyard, Basils Farm, Bellarine Estate Winery & Brewery, Jack Rabbit Vineyard, Leura Park Estate, Marcus Hill Vineyard, McGlashans Wallington Estate, Mermerus Wines, Oakdene Vineyards Scotchmans Hill, Terindah Estate, Wayawu Estate AND Yes Said The Seal are all partaking in this celebration of Shiraz with copious offerings of beautiful wine, food and entertainment.

Held over two delightful winter days, the program for the festival is jam-packed.  So much so you may want to make a weekend out of it.  With ample accommodation options a weekend of wine is more than a possibility.  If you are just looking to make a day of it, well that one is easy too with numerous transport options available upon disembarking the ferry.

Photo via Instagram – @mads_or


The Low Light Festival

Held over four consecutive weekends in June and July, the township of Queenscliff not only embraces the darkest weeks of winter but celebrates them too with The Low Light Festival.  The Low Light Festival revels in all the warming and immersive comforts that can and should be associated with winter.

The program is bursting with a dazzling array of art exhibitions, film premieres and screenings, spoken word and literary readings and music performances. Add to that meals and drinks that will warm your soul.  All of which are housed within the historic and grand spaces, galleries, cafes, bars and restaurants of the picturesque seaside town of Queenscliff.

Winter is upon Queenscliff and the light it sheds is spectacular.

Photo via Instagram – @sheltershedqueenscliff



Firelight Festival Docklands

Now the premier winter festival in Melbourne, Docklands. The 2018 Firelight Festival bursts to life on Friday June 29 with a dazzling opening weekend. The winter solstice-inspired festivities include pyrotechnic displays, roving performers, live music and plenty of comfort food (hello mulled wine!). You won’t feel the chill between the flame jets and fire drums. Plus the mix of music – everything from jazz to punky brass bands – will keep you entertained. Into art? Gaze up at Melbourne-based artist Christian Patton’s giant wooden sculptures, one of which will be set alight each night. Hot chocolate will be in abundance, so make sure you grab a mug (or two). And we are cruising direct from Geelong for this awesome event (oh and we will be dropping some people to watch the Cats play at Etihad) Find out how to cruise from Geelong here.





The Melbourne International Film Festival

Movie watching, one of the most favoured past times of winter, so what better time than winter to hold The Melbourne International Film Festival.  A festival that showcases the world of movies through curated and unforgettable screen experiences.

The festival’s team have worked tirelessly to source the best of the best in international and local cinema and have thus created a banquet of culture in their program.  The Festival kicks off with a spectacular Opening Night Gala and premiere screening of “Wildlife” (featuring Carey Mulligan, Jake Gyllenhaal) and then continues running and showcasing an array of features, documentaries and special events until the 19th August.

Spreading itself over three movie filled weeks and various venues in Melbourne, getting your winter movie fix is so very simple.

Photo via Instagram – @melbfilmfest



The National Gallery of Victoria has just commenced its major winter exhibition and it is nothing short of amazing.  Featuring more than 200 seminal works from New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the exhibition showcases 130 years of modern and contemporary art.

You will lose hours immersed in these masterpieces, some of which have never been seen in Australia before!  The exhibition unfolds itself across the entire ground floor of NGV, showcasing the works of highly notable, influential and game changing artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Umberto Boccioni, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock (only to name a few).

Coinciding with NGV ‘s exhibition, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival will also be hosting a series of New York themed events.  You are going to love sinking your teeth into The Big Apple!

Photo via Instagram – @nanettewhite


So there you have it, winter in all its glory.  Food, wine, movies and art, sounds pretty vibrant and warm to me!   Not a season to shy away from and lock yourself indoors.  Get out there, embrace winter and change your perspective on a season that is often viewed rather coldly.