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Things to do in Portarlington and Bellarine

Wander Through Portarlington

You can almost watch the world go by from the beautiful bayside of Portarlington. Nestled away on the Bellarine, surrounded by award-winning wineries, Portarlington is best known for its fresh mussels, beautiful vistas, and stunning coastline.

To visit Portarlington via the ferry visit our tickets pages below:

Geelong to Portarlington

Docklands to Portarlington

Secrets Only a Local Would Know

Portarlington is an excellent destination for walking through town, meeting the locals and most importantly, finding your own bargain. The local market is run by Lion’s Club and is popular within the Bellarine Markets circuit. It has stunning views and the stalls are filled with amazing items. Market-goers can look at locally sourced food products, handmade soap products, home decor, and special goods including jam and honey. Most of the produce is made by locals from Portarlington, or the surrounding St Leonards or Indented Head areas. Click here for details on the Bellarine Taste Trail.

In the winter, the main village and neighbouring beach towns becomes bright and vibrant during the Portarlington Celtic Festival. Being Australia’s most famous Celtic Folk Festival; over 18,000 visitors travel from across Australia to celebrate Celtic Folk culture. The 4-day event takes place in several locations across Portarlington including church halls, community centres, restaurants and a Portarlington pub. Festival visitors have the opportunity to attend concerts, workshops, dance and acoustic performance contests, market events, or simply enjoy some of our finest cuisine. Portarlington Celtic Festival starts on Friday the 10th of June from 10am. Tickets can be purchased online.

We’ve done all the heavy lifting for you… so grab a coffee (or a wine) and browse through more of our top picks for Portarlington!

Short breaks in Portarlington

It doesn’t get much better than escaping the hustle and bustle of the city. Especially boarding the ferry for an overnight stay on the Bellarine. From luxury villa escapes, beachside or vineyard camping and everything in between, the charming seaside village of Portarlington has got you covered. Read on for a round-up of some top…

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July 8, 2021

A Post COVID Guide to Portarlington

If we’ve learnt anything over the past few months, it is that there is so much enjoyment to be had from the simple pleasures in life… the explosions of flavour from a great feed, the much-needed breath of fresh air on a mindful walk and the gaggle of giggles from family time. Add to your…

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November 5, 2020

A Day Trippers Guide to Portarlington

Escape to Portarlington for the day.  A day of fresh sea air, wide open spaces and friendly faces does wonder!  While you are there, be sure to check out these superb seaside suggestions… The beautiful bayside of Portarlington is nestled away on the Bellarine, surrounded by stunning coastlines and scenic settings.  Discover it all at…

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June 23, 2022

Bellarine Packages

We’ve unlocked some of the best local spots to wine, dine, and relax by the sea. So go ahead, treat yourself to one of our curated packages with your favourite people this winter.

 

From A$115 - A$155

Sail across the bay via Port Phillip Ferries service and when you arrive hop on board the Wine Wheels shuttle bus to be transferred to the iconic Jack Rabbit Vineyard the ‘must do’ destination of The Bellarine. The casual and very friendly House of Jack Rabbit Cellar Door serves up terrific bistro-style fare whilst those opting for the Jack Rabbit Restaurant are in for a gastronomic contemporary dining treat. Guests can choose between one or two courses, and both experiences promise equally stunning vistas.

From A$93

Cruise across Port Phillip Bay from Docklands to picturesque Portarlington.  Your electric bike will be waiting for you, some quick instructions and adjustments then you’re off to ride your e-bike on the Bellarine Peninsula. Riding is a leisurely way to really see the Bellarine and e-bikes provide an automatic boost to help you to easily conquer any hills or headwinds. Ride along the waterfront to St Leonards, away from cars on the Esplanade trail.

Portarlington Attractions

Wondering what to do in Portarlington? We have compiled a list of the best activities to do in Portarlington in no particular order. Read through and pick some activities based on your interests and timeframe. We hope you have lots of fun!

Portarlington Mussel Tours

Sip, Taste and explore, while cruising in style on Port Philip Bay. All on your stunningly refurbished privately chartered vessel.

A local feast of seafood, wines and produce, a delicious way to celebrate with your group. With a maximum of 12 people, it’s a unique and exclusive way to spend time together, while appreciating the finer things in life.

Touch the mussel ropes as they’re pulled from the water and get a front row seat to the farming process, cooking demonstration and a delicious seafood lunch. Watch Lance shuck his locally grown Angasi oysters, before tasting them 3 ways.

Located just next door, as you jump off the ferry from Melbourne.

Terindah Estate Christmas Packages

When you’re looking for that special experience to treat your “crew”, Terindah Estate delivers. Unique spaces, breathtaking views and premium food and wine. The perfect setting.

Celebrate in style on a 100-acre property & vineyard. From large corporate groups, to small and intimate get together, our team will help bespoke an event that will be sure to please all your guests.

Choose from our architecturally designed Events space or our rustic Shed Restaurant, to our restored W Class Tram & deck, perched with outstanding views to complement any occasion.

The team at Terindah look forward to hearing from you soon.

Bennetts Christmas Party Packages

After a hectic year, it’s time to celebrate and Bennets on Bellarine has a range of food and drink packages that will make your Christmas party one to remember!

Start your day with a fun trip across the bay on the ferry to Portarlington. You’ll then be whisked away to Bennets on Bellarine for an amazing day on the Peninsula eating and drinking the local delights. There are three main options available:

  1. Grazing Package: 2 hrs – $35 per person
  2. Feasting Package: 2 hrs – 2 or 3 courses available from $49 per person
  3. Cocktail Package: 4 hrs *$50 per person

Daniel's Donuts

Treat yourself at Daniel's Donuts

Portarlington holidays aren’t complete without a visit to Daniel’s Donut Shop. Unlike any donut shop; Sweets lovers drive for miles to eat these delicious fluffy treats. There is a vast range of flavours, with their jam donuts being a local favourite. Pies and slices can be ordered along with sausage rolls, cakes and slices in both vegan and gluten-free varieties. Eat-in or relax outdoors to enjoy stunning views over the parks and the coast of the Bellarine Peninsula.

The Portarlington Mill

Step Back In Time At The Portarlington Mill

Located just 300m from Portarlington beach front is the historic Portarlington Mill. The beautiful building is four stories constructed from sandstone. This mill is one of the few remaining Victorian flour mills. The Portarlington Mill closed in 1874 and later became a brick and mortar manufacturing facility and a flat for vacationers. It contains numerous interesting artefacts including memorabilia of the steamship Edina which brought holidaymakers to the Portarlington beach.

Portarlington Pier

Portarlington Pier was built in 1859, and has been popular among local fishermen even today. It hosts commercial fishing vessels, as well as Portarlington Ferries to take you to Melbourne Docklands. The first Pier was deemed dangerous so it was recently rebuilt and expanded. It extends across the bay and walking along pier is a must-do tourist attraction in Portarlington. The port forms the shape of an “L” ), but the plain concrete is replaced by an aesthetically appealing wood-built boardwalk. The Pier is accompanied by a nearby boat ramp to dock your boats or Jet Skis at.

Portarlington Wineries

Visit some of Victoria’s best-kept secrets in terms of wine travel. The Bellarine Peninsula is a relatively small, but highly acclaimed area, with many established vineyards in the vicinity. With names like Scotchman’s Hill Winery, Bellarine Estate and Jack Rabbit, the list of critically acclaimed places goes on and on!
Here the specialists produce cold climate quality wines. Several vineyards offer their own unique growing environment and the wine is carefully harvested and grapes are carefully selected in order to obtain the best possible results. Enjoy a glass of wine, with an exquisite food offering accompanied by panoramic sea views of Port Phillip Bay. At Port Phillip Ferries, we have a list of winery tours and packages, with specials available if you are taking the ferry from Melbourne.

Portarlington Mussel Festival

The Portarlington Mussels Festival is a must-see on your next Bellarine trip. During the festival you can purchase the freshest, tastiest muscles to be cooked on your holiday in a nice Marinara or Paella. Alternatively, if the timeline suits, bring them back with you and enjoy the taste of Portarlington from the comfort of your home.
Portarlington is most famous for the Blue Mussels growing within its waters. These popular foodie treats are featured in restaurants throughout the state as well as on café-style menus. The Portarlington Mussel Festival is the perfect place to have a tasteful Portarlington seafood experience. The festival originally started in 2007 for street celebration and helped promote the local mussels industry. Since then the festival has become popular all over the Bellarine Peninsula with lot people feasting on these plump mussels. It is a great day for everyone, with live music, activities for kids, cooking demos and dozens of stalls to visit.

Portarlington Beach

The south facing Portarlington Beach offers uninterrupted views of Melbourne and the You Yangs during summer and is ideal to enjoy the company of your loved one’s. It is an attractive long wide beach with quiet shallow waters, perfect for families with children. A good option for adults who are seeking a different option from the rough coast on another side of the island. There are sandbars and a few stones, virtually no waves and is ideal for using your Blow-up beach toys. Portarlington beaches also offer a beautiful beachfront with tall cypress trees surrounded by grassed areas, a bicycle track, and picnic and barbecue sites.
Australia has many beautiful beaches but Portarlington has ranked amongst the best in Victoria. It’s an excellent shallow protected area, so the beach offers safe swimming for young children. The beaches are shelly, but the feeling of walking down the dirt, sand, or in the water can be liberating! A great place to relax on the seaside. You could even go for a walk to the Pier or maybe a paddle. With an attractive foreshore, and a view overlooking Port Phillip Bay; take the family along for a day trip at this hidden gem!

 

Portarlington Grand Hotel

The Grand Hotel has multiple dining areas serving a range of delicious pub style food with an open air beer garden if you just want a relaxing drink.

Only a short walk from the ferry terminal in Portarlington you can choose from the relaxed Atrium area which is an open-air beer garden-style space, or the Bisto and Frount Bar areas which are equally as impressive. There’s something for everyone when you visit this recently renovated hotel, however, one thing remains consistent, and that’s the fresh local produce and the welcoming relaxed atmosphere.

Portarlington Playground

With a complete makeover in late 2019, the new main playground has been designed to increase the range of play choices for children of all ages with a balance of traditional play equipment alongside nature-based and imaginary play opportunities. Features include a dry creek bed and water play, balancing logs, climbing ropes, swings, a trampoline and a flying fox. Close by are BBQ’s and space for picnicking. Click here for further details.

Local Tours and Transport

Looking for more to do or need some tips on transportation in Portarlington and Bellarine? Check out some of the best local tours and transit options we’ve put together.