An indulgent short break is the perfect way to recharge your batteries and The Bellarine is the ideal place to do it – with charming coastal villages, stunning accommodation, fine dining, day spas, boutique shopping and renowned golf courses. Pleasure seekers will find everything required for a luxurious escape, just over an hours drive from Melbourne.
A great starting point for indulging in the best of the region is the restaurant at Oakdene Vineyards. Award winning Executive Chef Marty Chichester serves up modern Australian and European cuisine, and the four course tasting menu showcases fresh, local produce, best enjoyed with a glass of Oakdene wine.
Jack Rabbit Vineyard Restaurant has quickly gained a reputation for its excellent contemporary cuisine and fine dining experience. Savour a glass of award winning Jack Rabbit wine while you soak up the breathtaking views across Port Phillip Bay to the You Yangs and Melbourne.
The Vue Grand in Queenscliff summons the grandeur of a bygone era, and the majestic surrounds of the Grand Dining Room set the scene for a truly decadent dining experience. Try the five-course Bellarine tasting menu, which is matched with local wine and beer.
Guests at the Vue Grand can now also enjoy a stylish Grand Afternoon Tea in the Grand Dining Room. Here you can relish a glass of Pimms or sparkling wine before sipping on a cup of tea and enjoying delicate canapés. Thispopular event is held monthly on Sunday’s. High tea can also be enjoyed at the award winning Van Loons Nursery in Wallington or High Tea on the High Sea aboard Searoad Ferries, which transports visitors between Queenscliff and Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula
There’s nothing like a day of pampering to achieve total relaxation. The Queenscliff Day Spaoverlooks Queenscliff Harbour, with calming water views providing a picturesque backdrop for leaving every day stress behind. A great range of massage, facial and body treatments can also be found at the recently opened Mud Day Spa in Queenscliff.
For a sense of seclusion, privacy and everything in one, you can’t go past Bellarine Day Spa and Retreat. Tucked away from everything in Portarlington, Bellarine Day Spa and Retreat offers three beautiful accommodation suites in the same complex as a well appointed day spa.
An impressive collection of boutique shops can also be found on the Bellarine. Kiitos Living by Design in Barwon Heads is a great spot to visit for bright, designer homewares, gifts and fashion. Housed within a former retro-style garage, the shop stocks items from some of the world’s best-known design houses including Marimekko and Orla Kiely. KYO in Ocean Grove is an emporium filled with eclectic and wonderful homewares sourced from across the globe, or visit Salt Contemporary Art Gallery in Queenscliff for exquisite paintings, sculptures and the chance to relax over a cocktail or wine in their lounge.
The Great Ocean Road – a picturesque drive
The Bellarine is home to some outstanding golf courses, consistently rating highly in Australia’s top public golf courses, including Barwon Heads Golf Club, the Beach and Creek Courses at Thirteenth Beach Golf Links, and Curlewis Golf Club. The coastal landscape is a stunning backdrop for an enjoyable challenge.
At the end of a long day of shopping, pampering, dining or golf, Starhaven Retreat is much more than a comfortable place to lay your head. This award winning, luxury bed and breakfast in Indented Head is beautifully appointed with magnificent views across Port Phillip Bay. Visitors can enjoy a dip in the jet stream swim spa, a glass of wine on the rooftop terrace or relax with a movie in the 15-seat theatre room.
The Vue Grand hotel’s Turret Suite at the top of the hotel will have you feeling on top of the world. The room boasts 180-degree views of Swan Bay, Hesse Street and Port Phillip Heads. A king size bed, and spa overlooking the ocean complete the experience.
A little closer to earth, Lonsdale Views offers a luxurious beachside escape. This amazing property is nestled on 200 acres of farmland, with 360-degree ocean views. Features include an indoor heated pool, billiards room, open fireplace, private beach access and a choice of luxury suite or deluxe apartment. In-house spa treatments can also be arranged for guests.
Superb accommodation can also be found at Number 35 Bed & Breakfast in Point Lonsdale which boasts three light-filled, luxuriously appointed suites and at Pelican Sands Bed & Breakfast in Portarlington which offers five individually themed rooms which have been designed to inspire romance.