About the Bellarine
Queenscliff has long been one of Victorias most desirable destinations. Settled in 1835, it was originally named Shortlands Bluff. It was in 1853 when the town was proclaimed Queenscliff in honour of Queen Victoria.
Starting as a fishing village Queenscliff grew quickly through the Victorian era and by the late 1800s had become the fashionable holiday destination for Melbournes elite.
After a long list of ship wrecks due to the natural dangers of the Rip (entrance to Port Phillip Bay) it was decided that the area required a pilot service to ensure safe passage. In 1841, four pilots were stationed here initially living in tents on the beach. In 1860 construction of a military fort began, over the years the military presence grew with the addition of the military college. The army presence at Fort Queenscliff still continues with its soldier careers centre house here.
Nowadays Queenscliff boasts a wonderful marriage of old and new. The beautiful heritage streetscapes offer art galleries, fine dining and an array of homeware, giftware and clothing shops. The harbour area offers picturesque views of Swan Bay and beyond or a birds eye view from the viewing tower as well as great cafes and coffeeshops. Great pride is taken in the environment which is witnessed by its beautiful beaches, bays, marine park and nature reserves. The Queenscliff-Sorrento ferry service is a lovely way to travel to “the other side”and often you can see dolphins riding the wake.
Neighbouring Pt Lonsdale overlooks the Rip which is the treacherous entrance to Port Phillip Bay and long regarded one of the worlds most dangerous stretches of water. Point Lonsdale boasts the beauty of two distinct beaches the front beach is a lovely bay beach and a great spot for young families. And the back beach is a very popular spot for surfing. It has the presence of the Surf Life Saving Club and is patrolled by lifeguards over the summer season.
A great point of interest is the Lighthouse where you can take conducted tours, the beach underneath the light house on low tide offers lots of little rock pools which children and adults alike like to explore. And not far away is the cave of the infamous William Buckley whom is reputed to have been an escaped convict who lived with the local aboriginal people between 1803 and 1835.
Point Lonsdale also offers a great golf course with a new clubhouse and restaurant, bowls club, tennis club, boardriders club, surfclub and kids nippers programs.
Scattered around the Bellarine are many fine wineries, all worthy of a visit – some with fabulous restaurants!