There’s nothing quite like an Australian summer. Long, leisurely days on the beach with the kids. Surf, salt, sand, and sunscreen. Balmy evenings spent in the backyard with your nearest and dearest, the hum of cicadas in the background. The odd feeling of not quite knowing what day it is. And best of all? Having the time to choose your own adventures. And boy, are there a lot of adventures to choose from this summer. So, from us to you – here’s a snapshot of some of our favourites on either side of the bay.
⛱ Balmy on the Bellarine ⛱
Portarlington Mussel Festival
Sat 12 Jan, 9:30am – 5:00pm
This annual treasure returns for its 13th year on Saturday 12th January, bigger and better than ever. Around 120 gourmet stallholders will be there with cooking demonstrations, along with live music and roaming entertainment taking place all day long. We’ve no doubt that you lot will eat your way through over 10 tonnes of local mussels again. You can start planning your full daily meal itinerary at www.portmusselfestival.com.
Psst: We’ll be travelling to the festival direct from Docklands, with a 10.45am departure.
Book quick because this will definitely be a sell-out.
PLUS…. We’re excited to announce a special Mussel.Wine and Bay Cruise, on the day of the festival.
Departing Portarlington at 2.30 pm, for an hour cruise around the waters of Portarlington. Lock in this leisurely event.
Enjoy a wine in hand as you hear from local mussel farmer and take in the sights and sounds around the famous Portarlington mussel farms.
The Anchorage Bellarine Summer Festival
26 Dec – 6 Jan, 12:30pm -11:30pm Daily
Straight outta Christmas and straight onto the foreshore of Portarlington will rise the inaugural Anchorage Bellarine Summer Festival – a new laid back, family friendly event that ticks all the boxes. Enjoy a fine assortment of food trucks, container bars, local buskers, kids entertainment and an open-air twilight cinema. We think those New Year resolutions might have to wait? Head to www.theanchoragebellarine.com for the full scoop.
Wonderland Spiegeltent Barwon Heads Summer Series
26 Dec – 28 Jan, 11:00am – 11:30pm Daily
Fact: there’s no need to run away to the circus this summer – it’s coming to you! The Wonderland Spiegeltent is rolling back into Barwon Heads for another jam-packed series fantastic and impressive shows, and they are bringing a colourful array of characters with them. Take your pick of Circus, Cabaret, Comedy, Music, Kids shows or films that will keep everyone cool all summer long. Head to www.wonderlandspiegeltent.com.au to check out the full line-up.
Queenscliff Sand Sculpture Contest
Thurs 3 Jan, 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Buckets and spades at the ready! The Queenscliffe Neighbourhood House Annual Sand Sculpture Contest has come of age and returns for its 21st year with a ‘21st Birthday’ themed competition. It’s all taking place out front of the on Queenscliff beach in front of the Neighbourhood House and next to the Pilot’s Jetty in Tobin Drive. Start planning your designs now. www.qnhouse.com.au.
Summer Nights at Adventure Park
Most Friday Nights until 18 Jan
Bellarine’s premier purveyors of FUN are inviting you to splash under the stars at their ‘Summer Nights’ event series. For the first time ever, Adventure Park is opening in the evenings for a series of twilight events in December and January. Ride all the awesome water rides, action rides and family rides Adventure Park are famous for AND watch kids movies on the outdoor cinema while chilling to live entertainment. Mum and dad can enjoy beer, wine and frozen daiquiris from the licensed bar while listening to live music on the deck. Sounds like a tip-top night out. Head to www.adventurepark.com.au for more info.
Flying Brick Bellarine Sunset Run
Sat 9 Feb 2019
Let’s get physical! Bring your friends and family to join in on the 4th edition of Bellarine Peninsula’s own coastal sunset run. There are events for the serious and not so serious. Challenge yourself to a 21.8km, 10.5km run or a 4km walk, and celebrate with an icy cider from the guys from the Flying Brick Cider Co when you hit the finish line. Supporters are welcome to sit on one of the oversized picnic rugs on the grass, cheering the runners and walkers in as the sun sets over Port Phillip Bay. www.bellarinesunsetrun.com
😎 Hot Summer in the City 😎
Summer Beach Box at Melbourne Star
26 Nov – 28 Jan, 1:00pm – 9:00pm daily
The good folk at the Melbourne Star are bringing the beach to the city this summer. Two of their glass cabins have been converted into a cool Beach Box experience. Relax and recline on a beach lounge chair, sip on sangria, enjoy a seasonal platter of yummy nibbles as you enjoy views of Melbourne and beyond (plus PLENTY of air conditioning)! Head to www.melbournestar.com to nab a flight.
Summer Night Market @ Queen Vic
Every Wednesday, 5pm – 10pm: 21 Nov – 20 March
Melbourne’s original and favourite night market returns to the iconic Queen Victoria Market for its biggest summer yet. This bumper event features over 60 global street food stalls and festival bars, more than 100 specialty fashion, homewares and general merchandise stalls, plus a rotating weekly line-up of live music and entertainment. You can also get down with a variety of backyard-style games from the giant toybox, including giant Jenga, totem tennis and chess. More info at thenightmarket.com.au.
The Australian Open + AO Live Stage + Kids Tennis Day
13 Jan – 27 Jan
Go for the tennis, stay for entertainment (Craig David, Angus & Julia Stone, You Am I, the Teskey Brothers!!!). Alternatively, go for the music and treat yourself to a little world-class tennis in between. Whichever way you see it, the Australian Open is the perfect way to get your friends and family together to unwind with the beautiful city of Melbourne as the backdrop. www.ausopen.com.
Melbourne Zoo Close-Up Encounters
Daily from 14 Nov – 13 Feb, All Day
Meet your favourite animal and help fight wildlife extinction at the same time. Melbourne Zoo’s passionate and knowledgeable staff will guide you into your favourite animals’ exhibit for a chance to meet these amazing animals (lemur, giraffe, kangaroo, meerkat, seal or giant tortoise) face-to-face. Be sure to bring along your smart phone or point-and-shoot camera so that staff can capture the special moment, too. Bookings at: www.zoo.org.au.
NGV Kids Summer Festival
Daily from 5 Jan – 13 Jan
Get creative this January at the annual NGV Kids Summer Festival. Inspired by the power of imagination, this year’s festival focuses on the theme of ‘Make Believe’. Bring the whole crew for free hands-on activities and workshops, enjoy live performances, opportunities to get active, and making activities inspired by summer exhibitions on view. There’s also a dedicated artist-led workshop for teens will explore ways to get playful with portraiture. Head on over to NGV for more info.
NEW Season. NEW Schedule. NEW Adventures.
December 2018 marks the beginning of our new (faster) Timetable, so check it out before hopping on board. We’re getting pretty busy as well, so think about pre-booking tickets on line before travel. We wouldn’t want you to miss out 😉