The Bellarine Peninsula is one of Victoria’s most popular weekend spots. With its close proximity to Melbourne, friendly locals, gastronomic attractions and opportunities for outdoor adventure, the Bellarine has established itself as a go-to for Victorian and interstate holiday-makers alike.
The coast and the lush inland areas of the Bellarine provide plenty of options for daytime and night-time activities, from surfing and mountain biking for the daring traveller, to wine tasting and golfing for those looking for a more relaxing getaway.
At the You Yangs Regional Park, located on the volcanic plains between Melbourne and Geelong, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for adventure. The park is very popular with mountain bikers, who take to the 50 kilometres of bike tracks to test their skill and endurance. The tracks vary in difficulty, so there’s something suitable for bike riders of all ages and abilities.
Also at You Yangs, you can enjoy a morning on horseback as you ride around the park; a picnic at Yellow Gum, Kurrajong or Big Rock; followed by an orienteering course in the afternoon.
If you’re keen to try your hand at surfing, or you’ve packed the board and you’re all set to go, the Bellarine has plenty of top-notch spots to suit you. Thirteenth Beach – seven kilometers of waves between Barwon Heads and Black Rock, and perfect for intermediate surfers – and Raffs Beach – a slightly calmer stretch of surf where the Barwon River meets the Bass Strait – are frequently ranked as some of Victoria’s best surf beaches. Always check the surf conditions before you head out!
You might even notice one of the shipwrecks that have called the Bellarine home for more than 100 years: the wreck of the PS Ozone can be found about 50 kilometres off the shore at Indented Head, and the Earl of Charlemont at Barwon Heads.
Burrunan dolphins – a species endemic to Victoria, which are slightly smaller than a bottlenose dolphin – can be found around the Bellarine, too. Only about 150 of these dolphins have been found in just two locations, so consider yourself very lucky if you catch a glimpse of them.