Port Phillip Bay Holidays
Just an hour's drive south from Melbourne, the eastern side of Port Phillip Bay is formed by Mornington Peninsula, one of Melbourne's favourite beach and ocean holiday playgrounds.
The peninsula was also the point of first settlement in Victoria. Just a short hop on the "MV Queenscliff" puts passengers onto the western side of the Bay at Queenscliff on the the Bellarine Peninsula.
This is a quaint town for leisurely browsing the arts and crafts, specialty shops and historic buildings. A hours drive through Geelong and up the Princes Freeway completes the circuit of the Bay and returns travellers to Melbourne.
Places of Interest - Port Phillip Bay
Melbourne - Click here to link to the Melbourne city's own page.
Mornington Peninsula - This one of Melbourne's ocean playgrounds with a long stretch of sheltered bay beaches and ocean surf. The area is bordered by three bodies of water, so there is a strong emphasis is on water activities. There are several yacht harbours and surfing beaches on the Bass Strait side.
Mornington Peninsula is well known for its wineries, horse studs, orchards and wildlife areas and Frankston is the gateway to the peninsula. It is a place of beaches, golf courses, public reserves and gardens. Olivers Hill has gracious old homes and gardens and there are lookouts over Port Phillip Bay and the city of Melbourne.
Westernport Bay is, as the name implies, the western side of the Mornington peninsula and is the "Coast of Coves". Hastings is home to a large fishing fleet and impressive boating marina. Birdwatching hides and platforms bring visitors up close and personal with the birdlife at Coolart lagoon. Visit Coolart homestead and the popular surf beach at Point Leo - wetsuits needed. Take the walk to Bushrangers Bay on the promintory or play any of the very scenic golf courses.
Pay a visit to the markets and assorted attractions at Red Hill, Emu Plains and Mornington Race course. Ride the chairlift to Arthur's Seat and take in views of the entire peninsula. Walk or take the horse drawn tram for a tour of the historic residences and guest houses in Sorrento. Charter a fishing boat or take any of the many motor cruises to see the seals and dolphins in the bay. Have a family day out at the picnic races.
Bellarine Peninsula - Queenscliff is a ferry station overlooking the The Rip through which all shipping enters Port Phillip Bay. A place of original fisherman cottages and gracious restored Victorian period hotels and guest houses. Horse drawn coach and vintage steam train rides relive the local history.
There is highly rated fishing from Indented Head, St Leonards and Potarlington which also hosts an old steam powered mill. Ocean Grove is the commercial centre of the peninsula and adjoins pretty Barwon Heads and its renowned golf course.
Australia's largest airshow takes place at Avalon Airport near Geelong. Geelong hosts the annual National Celtic Folk Festival and the Wallington Strawberry Fair in March each year. Torquay is just off the southern side of the Bellarine Peninsula and is Australia's southern surfing capital. It is the site for the Bells Beach professional surfing competition. Several well known surfing brands operate in the area. There is a variety of beach types for families and surfing.
Phillip Island - not really part of Port Phillip Bay but lies just to the east of the Mornington Peninsula. Known to most Australians for motor cycle racing but the island has always been a popular spot with bushwalkers, bird watchers, rock climbers, surfers and fishermen. Phillip Island has some of the best surfing spots in Victoria.
The famous Sunset Parade of the Little (Fairy) Penguins at Summerland Beach. (Bookings essential during holidays). Get close to koalas at the Koala Conservation Centre. Take in the Nobbies and The Blowhole on the western tip.