The Bellarine Region is just over an hour’s drive from Melbourne, making Ocean Grove & Barwon Heads very desirable holiday locations. Activities on The Bellarine include all the water-based sports and pleasures you can think of – snorkelling, jet-skiing, swimming with dolphins, surfing, kayaking, fishing, marine sanctuaries, sailing and more.
World class wineries are peppered throughout the area, as are superb restaurants, quaint cafés, fresh local seafood and Sunday markets.
For families and those looking for some fresh air, there are cycling trails, picnic and barbecue areas, playgrounds, golf courses and tennis courts in each township. There is also a great selection of entertainment for children including mini-golf, mazes, and a steam train. For an adrenaline burst plan a visit to Adventure Park, a state of the art water park featuring giant water slides and activities.
The Bellarine doesn’t stop being a tourist destination just because it’s not swimming weather. Ask any local and they will tell you that the beaches are a place of peace and relaxation on those brisk winter mornings. Skydiving, scenic flights dolphin watching, golf, wineries, sightseeing, nature parks, bike riding, the abundance of restaurants, day spas, cafes and boutique shops, indoor swimming adventure pool (Bellarine Acquatic Centre, Ocean Grove), Blues Train, and retail therapy are just a few of the activities on offer. So why not take the plunge and book a winter holiday.
Whatever the reason for your visit, or the season, you will be warmly welcomed into friendly communities, see beautiful villages and take home happy memories.
Ocean Grove is the largest town on The Bellarine, covering about 20 square kilometres to the east of the Barwon River mouth and enjoys a range of river and ocean activities. A bustling shopping centre is located in The Terrace. The long foreshore reserve features beautiful, wide beaches on one side, and across the Barwon Heads Road, the sandy river mouth of the Barwon River offers sheltered days on the beach.
With a beautiful, wide surf beach, flourishing nature reserve and upbeat shopping precinct, Ocean Grove is a fantastic place to enjoy the summer sun.
Barwon Heads is the sister town to Ocean Grove, separated by the Barwon River. The streets of Barwon Heads are bordered by seaside grasses and ti-tree. Barwon Heads is a popular seaside community, offering a diverse variety of coastal attractions from the shallow and sandy shoreline of the Barwon River to the windswept surf beaches which front Bass Strait along 13th Beach Road. Some roads are still unsealed. The town is smaller than Ocean Grove and still retains an older charm. The town area is low-lying, protected by a levee bank from flooding.
Beaches along the river are safe and popular swimming spots. On the ocean beach, high hummocks shelter one of Australia’s best links golf courses. Nearby 13th Beach is loved by surfers. The commercial centre of Barwon Heads includes the town's major hotel just near the river bridge and a strip of shops including cafes and restaurants along Hitchcock Avenue.
The main street ends near Barwon Heads Village Park with facilities for most sports, including a state of the art Skate Park (built 2010). The wind and water-swept river mouth make Barwon Heads a great place for water sports of all sorts. Just north of Barwon Heads is the expansive waterway of Lake Connewarre and surrounding wetlands which make an ideal spot for fishing and bird watching.
Geelong is a vibrant regional city just down the road from Melbourne featuring a stunning waterfront and a fabulous wine region on our doorstep. Geelong is Victoria's second largest city, located on Corio Bay, and within a short drive from popular beach-front communities on the Bellarine Peninsula as well as being the gateway to the famous Great Ocean Road.
The city itself boasts a large commercial centre which extends down to the foreshore, offering visitors the chance to explore popular beach-front attractions such as Eastern Beach with its swimming enclosure, the Steampacket Gardens, the dining options available on Cunningham Pier, and several coastal walks, dotted with collections of bollards depicting historic characters. Elegant architecture, colourful gardens and parks, and the backdrop of Corio Bay are all symbolic of what locals refer to as the "city by the bay".
Locations of interest for visitors include the National Wool Museum, the Old Geelong Gaol, the Ford Discovery centre, the Botanic Gardens at Eastern Park, and a number of other museums, galleries and historical buildings.
And there is so much more. Geelong has an amazing mix of dining and entertainment options.
The beautiful Barwon River winds its way through the city past lush parks and gardens. Walking trails are everywhere so its very easy to explore.
Geelong has a colourful history which you can discover via many of the local attractions, museums and galleries.
The Otway Ranges is a spectacular, lush rainforest found within the 12,876-hectare Great Otway National Park and is about 1.5 hours drive from Barwon Heads. It is an unforgettable place with spectacular sunsets and where the national park meets the ocean. Frequently sighted animals and birds include koalas, eastern grey kangaroos, swamp wallabies, possums, blue-winged parrots, sulphur-crested cockatoos, galahs and kookaburras. Many other species are seen on occasion and require more discreet observation such as feathertail gliders, long-nosed bandicoots, platypus and long-nosed potoroos. There are also a number of rare and threatened species surviving in the area Otwayssuch as the spotted-tailed quoll and rufous bristlebird.
The Great Ocean Road technically begins at Barwon Heads, but is more widely recognized to start near Torquay which is a 25 minute drive away. Spend a full day travelling from your home to the must see Great Ocean Road and it’s many towns along the way. Attractions in this area include the Otway Fly, Turtons Track, The 12 Apostles, the Great Ocean Road drive, the township of Lorne, and nature walks in the Otway Ranges.