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Victorian Holidays : Port Phillip Bay Region

Just an hour's drive south from Melbourne, the eastern side of Port Phillip Bay is formed by Mornington Peninsula, Melbourne's favourite beach and ocean playground. 

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 On Port Phillip Bay

Melbourne - Click here to link to the Melbourne city's own page.

Mornington Peninsula - Melbourne's playground with a long stretch of sheltered bay beaches and ocean surf.  Bordered by three bodies of water, strong emphasis is on water activities.

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. Frankston is the gateway to the peninsula. Beaches, golf courses, public reserves and gardens. Olivers Hill for gracious old homes and gardens. Lookouts over Port Phillip Bay and the city of Melbourne.

Westernport Bay is, obviously, the western side of the peninsula. The "Coast of Coves". Hastings is home to a large fishing fleet and impressive boating marina. Birdwatching hides and platforms at the Coolart lagoon. Visit Coolart homestead. Popular surf beach at Point Leo - wetsuits needed. Take the walk to Bushrangers Bay on the promintory. Several very scenic golf courses.

Take in the markets and assorted attractions at Red Hill, Emu Plains and Mornington Race course. 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. Original fisherman cottages and gracious restored Victorian period hotels and guest houses. Horse drawn coach and vintage steam train rides.

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 at Avalon Airport near Geelong. Geelong's annual National Celtic Folk Festival. 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. Home of the Bells Beach professional surfing competition. Several well known surfing brands operate in the area. 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 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. 

Victoria photo mosaic

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