When you decide to backpack across Australia, you should plan a day trip, or more, in the Bellarine Peninsula which is only an hour and a half away from Melbourne. Not only is this one of the most beautiful places in the country, but it also offers tons of things to do. Many local restaurants offer delicious dishes made from local produce that will get your mouth watering. Once the sun goes down, you can take advantage of some of the hottest clubs and dance the night away.
Check out some of the best things that you can do in the Bellarine Peninsula. (Make sure you organise a sober driver or get a group of your together and hire a taxi back to your hostel in Melbourne.)
A Night Out On The Bellarine Peninsula
The Q Train
Start your night off right on the Q Train. As a backpacker, you probably spend a lot of time on your feet, the Q Train gives you an excuse to rest your feet and kick your night off in style. Known as the Geelong restaurant train, it picks you up at the railway station in Queenscliff and takes you on a journey around the city. Club Loco is one of the best features of this train. It is a retro car that features loads of fun drinks. You’ll find ciders, beers, wines and other drinks available from local distilleries and breweries on the menu.
It only takes one visit to this brewhouse for you to realise why locals and tourists love it so much. Thanks to an extensive selection of craft beers on tap, you can try something different each night until you find your favourite. Though the brewhouse is popular every night, it really comes to life on Saturday nights. That is when you’ll find live music playing and a packed dance floor that will make you want to get up and dance. The Queenscliff Brewhouse is the ultimate place to make new friends and experience the exciting atmosphere of Australia.
Barwon Heads Hotel
As long as you have an internet connection, you can reserve a table at the Barwon Heads Hotel. Known for serving classic dishes with a twist, the on-site restaurant offers amazing views of the nearby river and an exciting atmosphere that many love. The Beer Garden is a great place to relax with a pint of local beer, but you may want to check out the upscale menu in the cocktail lounge. You’ll also find a bistro and two other bars at the hotel as well as menus that you can view before you book a table.
Ocean Grove Hotel
The Ocean Grove Hotel is more than just another hotel because it’s also home to the OGH Surfside Bar. This bar has an authentic pub feel with a large wooden bar and a pool table where visitors wait in line to compete against each other. When you venture beyond the doors that you see at the end of the bar, you can head outside to the beer garden to talk about sports and hang out with your new friends. The hotel is also home to the OGH Bistro, which offers amazing dishes such as porterhouse steaks cooked your way and side dishes that incorporate fresh produce.
No matter what type of video games you like, you’ll want to stop by Ms. Bartronica on your backpacking adventure along the Bellarine Peninsula. Not only will you find classic arcade games, but you’ll also find console games that you can play on a big screen. The staff here are friendly and welcoming. They can answer any questions you have about the games and suggest the right drinks to order. When you come during happy hour, you can take advantage of discounts that include pints priced as low as $6 each. The menu includes some fun specialty drinks too.
Not everyone who visits Australia loves beer. If you have a preference for wine and want to have a great time at night, head over to Noble Rot. This wine bar has a convenient location on the main drag through Point Lonsdale and offers a wide selection of wines made in Australia. You’ll also find an extensive tapas menu that includes small bites you can share with friends. Noble Rot also offers coffee that comes from Cartel, a popular option in Geelong. Some foreign wines are available on the menu too.
Fans of small plates and sharing menus will also like Banks Road, a winery that has a great atmosphere. This winery offers something called a grazing menu that lets you try small dishes made from local ingredients. If you visit in the summer, you’ll also want to order one of the wood-fired pizzas that are made when you order. These pizzas include unique recipes that you’ll only find at Banks Road and some classic combinations.
One of the more unique things that you can see in the Bellarine Peninsula is the Aurora Australias. This refers to the southern lights that are the opposite of the northern lights that you can see in other countries. Visible from different spots in southeastern Australia, the lights are clearly visible in Point Lonsdale. You can head down to the beach in the early morning hours after a night of pub hopping to see the lights change. Depending on the weather conditions, you may not see much until you look through your camera lens. You can capture some amazing and once in a lifetime shots of these lights.
Other Things To Do On The Bellarine Peninsula
Eastern Beach Reserve
If you’re on the hunt for something fun to do in the middle of the day, head to the Eastern Beach Reserve. Located in Geelong, this is easily one of the best attractions for beach lovers. You can spend hours wandering along the water and relaxing in one of the cool cafes. The Promenade is full of cafes and pubs. Not far away are a series of carved sculptures that depict the history of the area as well as an antique carousel. Museum buffs will also find a few worthy museums close by, including the Narana Aboriginal Culture Center and the National Wool Museum.
As a backpacker, you probably left your surfboard at home. That doesn’t mean you can’t hit the beach and ride the waves that tourists come from all around the world to ride. Thirteenth Beach is the ultimate spot for surfers because it has more than four kilometers of sandy shores. The conditions here range from wild enough for those who never stepped on a board before to challenging waves that even experts may find tricky. You can rent all the equipment that you need nearby and sign up for a lesson if you need one. The beach has plenty of spots where you can relax and people watch too.
The Bellarine Peninsula offers hundreds of things to do as you backpack through Australia. Thanks to the brewhouse in Queenscliff, you can sample all the amazing beers that the country produces and have experiences that you’ll want to share with your friends and family back home. You also have the chance to explore the region and check out the museums and beaches during the day before enjoying some fun parties and events at the top clubs and pubs.
Author: Suzie Vee – Digital Marketing Expert Otway Group. Suzie is a passionate traveller and loves the region’s foodie trail.