Sunday, March 22, 2009

Queenscliff: Delightful resort town on the Bellarine Peninsula

Queenscliff is one of those delightful seaside resorts which is both a popular beachside destination and a sophisticated retreat characterised by elegant hotels, guesthouses, galleries, some substantial public buildings, chic restaurants, cafes, a fine golf course, ferries, wide streets faced by terraced houses and both bay and surf beaches.

In Australia most beach resorts are either very sophisticated (Palm Beach, Noosa) or very popular (Surfers Paradise) but rarely do they combine the two. At the same time Queenscliff is, and always has been, a working town with modest 19th-century stone and timber fisherman's cottages, a working wharf, boatbuilders and anglers galore. In the case of Queenscliff the mixture is unusual and makes the town both distinctive and special.

Reminders of Queensliff’s elegant past are everywhere you look – from imposing Victorian-era hotels, a huge military fortress guarding the entrance to Port Phillip, solid old churches and quaint fishermen’s cottages. But there’s more to Queenscliff than nineteenth century history, including art galleries, shops, great places to dine, safe beaches and a tree-lined foreshore.

How to get there
Queenscliff is approximately 1.5 hours from Melbourne on the Princes and Bellarine Highways. A vehicle and passenger ferry operates between Queenscliff and Sorrento taking approximately 40 minutes.