If you find yourself in the Geelong weekend on a relaxing weekend away from city life, make sure to give Queenscliff a look-in. Only 15 minutes drive out of Geelong city and just an hour out of Melbourne, this sleepy coastal town is an unsung hero of the Bellarine Peninsula for both couples and families alike. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best things to do around the town, so that you don’t miss a single thing!
The beaches in Queenscliff are plentiful, with 8 in total surrounding this picturesque town. We’ll take a look at each of them now, because they’re all uniquely suited to their own activities.
Located on the Bellarine Highway in Queenscliff, this beach is affectionately known as “dog beach” by the locals. The surf here is minimal, making it a safe place for man’s best friend to play, supervised in the water. This is the borough’s only year-round off-leash dog beach, so it’s super friendly for travelling pet lovers.
Point Lonsdale Back Beach
The back beach is a pretty decent surf location, if catching a wave is your thing. Located on the aptly named Ocean Road, Point Lonsdale, it’s also home to the local Surf Lifesaving Club. This is a very good thing, as you really need to use caution with the rips there. Make sure to swim between the flags when lifesavers are on duty if you’re ever unsure, and never swim alone in the surf.
Point Lonsdale Pier Beach
Located on Point Lonsdale Road, Point Lonsdale, this beach is a great one to visit if you’re looking for some peace and quiet. It’s out of the way and not well-known to tourists. This means that you can hang out here with very few other people around and just enjoy the serenity. Just don’t tell everyone about it!
Point Lonsdale Front Beach
The front beach is a great option for those with families, as it’s pretty quiet and lends itself to being suitable for younger kids and newbie surfers. It’s also got a few shops nearby, so it’s a good place to bring some lunch along for a beachside picnic. This one is also located on Point Lonsdale Road.
Queenscliff Pier Beach
If you’re looking for a beach wedding venue, the Pier Beach at Queenscliff is the primo location. The water here is calm and there’s plenty of sandy flats to make your walk down the “aisle” a memorable one. This is also a great option for tourists that have driven down to Queencliff, as there’s heaps of parking available and nearby shops too. This beach can be found on Symonds Street, close to the town centre.
Queenscliff Ocean View Beach
This is another well-known local wedding venue, with great views but a little harsher seas. It’s also a popular photography spot. Just be mindful of rocks under the water surface and big rips. You might be better off just hanging out on the beach at this location. To get there, look for Hesse Street in town, it’s just off the road.
Santa Casa Beach
Located off Henry Street in Queenscliff, Santa Casa Beach takes its name from a religious retreat that was built nearby. This beach offers calm waves for learner surfers, and boasts some of the cleanest sea water in the entire area. A relaxing spot located off Henry Street in Queenscliff.
If you’re after a disability friendly beach then Springs Beach is the one for you. The shore line is highly accessible, and backs off Golightly and Royal Parks, meaning there are play areas nearby too. There is a ramp all the way to the beach, which makes life easier for pram and mobility device users. Springs Beach is located on Bowen Street near the town centre, and camping is also available nearby.
For a small town, Queenscliff has a few really nice spots to have dinner. Here are a few of the highlights.
If you’re after something for the more refined palate, 360Q has got your back, and at a decent price point too. This venue is a fantastic restaurant, located at Wharf Street East in Queenscliff. They function on set price dining, where the prices are $59 for a two course meal or $75 for a three course meal, per person. The style is modern Australian, with peking duck a stand-out, right alongside delicious Greek Salads and Tandoori. There’s something for everyone at this place, which also caters to events and wedding receptions.
Lombardys on Hesse
Lombardys is Queenscliff’s best Italian restaurant, and is sure to impress. Dinner runs until late and the pizzas are to die for. Make sure you try out the marinara pasta sauce while you’re there as well – featuring fresh local mussels. You can find Lomboardy’s at 38 Hesse Street in town.
Scully’s Oyster Bar and Grill
If you love your seafood and want to try some of the local catch, Scully’s Oyster Bar and Grill is top notch fare. They are open for both lunch and dinner, and do a mean seafood taster platter, if you’re not sure of what to pick. For those not so keen on seafood, there are also burgers and salads on the menu, so it’s a place sure to please everyone. Look out for it at 4 Wharf Street East, Queenscliff.
If you love a good beer, you’re going to love the Queenscliff Brewhouse. Founded in 1878, the establishment also includes a traditional pub area overlooking the picturesque bay. This place has a real old school country town feel, with sports playing on the pub screen, traditional pub fare and pizza, and a selection of both popular and local beers on tap. The brewhouse can be found at 2 Gellibrand Street for those who seek it.
If you feel most at home on the water rather than beside it, go and take a look at the Queenscliff Harbour. Drop into the cafe onsite before asking a receptionist for a look around the local marina here. They have some really nice mooring options for private yachts and catamarans. Beyond that, it’s just a really nice place to visit while you’re in the area. Check out all of the local boats, listen to the ocean, and perhaps even enquire about a fishing tour or short cruise.
Caravan Parks in Queenscliff
There are a few options for caravans, tents and cabins in Queenscliff. Depending on what you’re after, you can find yourself close to the beaches and parks, close to town, or hidden quietly away from the town centre. Here are some great options.
Queenscliffe Tourist Parks
Located at 134 Hesse Street, this park is right in the heart of Queenscliff, making everything local accessible and at your fingertips. Queenscliffe Tourist Parks offers seasonal packages per week, delivered by the local council.
Royal Park Caravan Park
If you’re after a nice quiet spot with decent mobility access and good amenities close to the beach, this place is for you. Royal Caravan Park is a nature-filled park right on the beach at 172 Pt Lonsdale Road, just west of Queenscliff. There’s a senior’s month in February too, when the park is extra peaceful.
Big 4 Ingenia Holidays Queenscliff Beacon
If you’ve got a young family in tow, Big 4 Ingenia is likely to be your first choice. This place has exemplary ratings and is very fairly priced. It’s also jam-packed with fun activities on-site for the kids, including a huge outdoor jumping pillow and a heated pool. Cabins are also available here, in sizes to fit the entire family. It’s a safe, well respected and fun place for a holiday with your little ones.
Queenscliff Golf Club
What other small town can boast that their golf club is located on an island? Well, Queenscliff can. Fortunately there is a permanent bridge across from the mainland, so you can still get there by car rather than by boat. Located on Queenscliff’s Swan Island, the Queenscliff Golf Club is a peaceful place to sink a few holes with mates. For public bookings, make sure you call ahead, contact details can be found on the golf club website. Make sure that you always book ahead for any adventures on Swan Island, as part of the island is a training site for the armed services – once you are a confirmed visitor, you will gain access through a manned security gate that lets you onto the bridge, it’s a bit of an experience!
Quenscliff’s local ferry services are operated by Searoad Ferries and usually depart hourly between Sorrento and Queenscliff. There are heaps of boarding options available – you can even load up the family car and take that across. Prices start at $34 return for adult foot passengers, and kids under the age of 3 ride for free with an adult accompaniment. You can even bring the motorbike if you’d like. Buses to and from the ferry are also bookable via the Searoad Ferries website. The ferry at Queenscliff is located at 1 Wharf Street East in Queenscliff.
Queenscliff is the perfect example of a quiet coastal town that has a place for everyone. From the quiet retiree looking for a cozy campsite, to the young thrillseeker looking for some great waves, there’s going to be something here for you, and not even that far out of the city.