HOW TO GET THERE
Just over an hour's drive from Melbourne, you can reach Geelong by driving via the Princes Highway over the West Gate Bridge into the city of Geelong. From here you can venture out into the Bellarine Peninsula.
V/Line runs frequent train services from Southern Cross Station in Melbourne to Geelong. V/Line coach services operate from Melbourne to Geelong Railway Station.
We caught up with Erena, co-owner of the Barwon Heads Winestore, who has lived in the Bellarine all her life. When she isn’t selling wine in her shop, she works on community events in the area and can often be found having a glass of local Chardonnay at many of the wineries of the Bellarine Taste Trail. Follow Barwon Heads Winestore on Instagram for a taste of what this region offers.
The stunning Geelong and Bellarine offers a scenic waterfront precinct with many seaside villages and historic streetscapes for you to explore. You can also eat your way through the delicious Bellarine Taste Trail where you can mingle with the local wineries, craft brewers and food producers.
Here are Erena's top tips for you to plan the perfect gourmet getaway, including places to eat, drink, stay and explore.
- Igni - I can’t pick a favourite dish, the whole dining experience is amazing and well worth its recent accolades!
- Terindah Estate – Their local tasting plate is a must with delicious house made bread and local olive oil. The spectacular view over the bay to the You Yangs doesn’t hurt either!
- Piknik – My go to place for a brilliant breakfast and a punch-above-its-weight dinner. If you’re lucky to get a table for their weekend dinners, take it!
- At the Heads – This is honestly, the prettiest place for a wine in Barwon Heads. Sip on a beautiful Chardonnay and take in the view of the river. It’s gorgeous in any weather.
- Tulip – I am in love with their cured fish and have it every time I’m there. Order a few dishes and share to try a bit of everything.
- Geelong Cellar Door – Order a glass or a bottle and either way, you won’t be disappointed. John has an incredible range of local Geelong wines with a few visiting wines thrown in. Nibble on a combination platter made up of charcuturie and cheese and you’ll find it very hard to leave! Thank me later.
- Basils Farm – An afternoon wine never looked so good and with sweeping views over Swan Bay this is a must do stop.
- Jack Rabbit Vineyard – What is it about views that make an afternoon sipping wine so spectacular? Jack Rabbit has one of the best views in the business and is a great stop off on the Bellarine Taste Trail.
- Vue Street Bar at the Vue Grand – The Vue Grand has an award-winning beer list and is a great place to try something different. They’ve got an everchanging range of craft beer on tap and plenty more to choose from on their list.
- Grow Naturally Café at Point Lonsdale – A morning coffee from Grow with a sneaky muffin is a holiday-makers breakfast of champions. I usually get mine as a takeaway and drink it down on the beach. Not a bad way to start the day!
If you're in the area, check out our events for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2018:
- View from Point Lonsdale lighthouse – Now that you’ve had your morning coffee, wander up to the lighthouse and take in the amazing view of the rip and ships coming through the heads. Deep breathes of the sea air relaxes and invigorates all at once.
- The relatively unknown Breamlea beach – When it’s a really hot day and we need a swim without the huge crowds, we love the surf beach at Breamlea. In the peak seasons, it’s patrolled so great for families and the water is heavenly.
- Geelong Waterfront – Have you been to Geelong recently? Update your GPS, things have changed. The Geelong waterfront has it all, great places to eat and drink, lovely views and a fabulous botanical garden.
- Barwon Heads Winestore – Our shop is a must visit after you’ve tried the wines of the Bellarine. We stock many of the local favourites together with a wide range of wine, beer, cider and spirits that make choosing a wine for dinner easy. We have regular free tastings and we’re always happy to help with a recommendation.
- Boom Gallery – Some of the best emerging artists are showing their work here, join their mailing list to get to the openings.