The charming coastal village of Queenscliff springs to life next month with the 18th annual Queenscliff Music Festival running from November 28 to 30. Top acts such The Jezebels, Xavier Rudd, The Waifs, Kasey Chambers and The Church will be joined by emerging artists, buskers and children’s entertainers to deliver a great weekend of fun for music lovers of all ages.
Queenscliff is on the Bellarine Peninsula, an easy 90 minute drive from Melbourne. There are many great dining, accommodation and activity options for visitors to discover, whatever the season.
Grab a relaxed lunch right on Queenscliff harbour, and be assured of super-fresh fish and chips. Burgers and sushi are available too, as are cold beers, perfect for sitting at the outdoor tables overlooking the water. Shop 8/4 Wharf St, Queenscliff Harbour, Queenscliff, +61 3 5258 1277.
Just down the road in Swan Bay, Piknik has some of the best café fare in the region. Housed in a converted roadhouse, Piknik does fabulous breakfasts, relaxed lunches and some of the best home-made ice-cream around, using ingredients from the orchard next door. 1195 Queenscliff Rd, Swan Bay, +61 3 52 58 5155
The Vue Grand Hotel offers several dining options. Head to the Vue Street Bar for share plates, gourmet pizzas, local wines and a choice of over 70 craft beers while you people-watch from the terrace or rooftop bar. The Grand Dining Room is just as it sounds, with impeccable high-end meals served in lavishly decorated surrounds. 46 Hesse St, Queenscliff +61 3 5258 1544
The 132-year-old hotel offers a range of room types done up in a romantic style with all the mod cons. Simple rooms on the lower floors are perfect for overnight stays, or go for more space and luxury with spa rooms, contemporary Tower Suites or the sensational Turret Suite with jaw-dropping 180 degree water views. 46 Hesse St, Queenscliff +61 3 5258 1544
An Edwardian-era guesthouse that now offers B&B in the heart of the township. The 12 guestrooms are beautifully decorated and offer views of Swan Bay or Hesse Street, Queenscliff’s main drag. 59 Hesse St, Queenscliff +61 3 5258 4600
Perfect for groups and families, the resort offers a range of accommodation and excellent facilities that will keep kids entertained for hours. Swim at the indoor pool, hit the tennis courts, take the kids to the children’s playgrounds, or enjoy the bike hire, yoga classes and day spa. 78 Bellarine Highway, Queenscliff +61 3 5258 1133
Explore the watery wonders around Queenscliff with South Bay Eco Adventures, an accredited ecotourism operator that offers a number of tours of Port Phillip Bay. Learn about lighthouses, shipwrecks and the bay’s rich maritime history while dolphins, seabirds and fur seals frolic nearby. Shop 1B, 4 Wharf St East, Queenscliff, +61 33 5258 4019
Queenscliff’s legendary Blues Train has been wowing music fans for almost two decades with its unique offering of live music aboard a moving historic steam or diesel train. Travelling between Queenscliff and Drysdale on the old Bellarine Railway line, the Blues Train includes four great acts, a meal at Queenscliff Railway Station and several stops along the way for refreshments. 20 Symonds St, Queenscliff, +61 3 5258 4343
Visit Fort Queenscliff to get a real understanding of Queenscliff’s strategic military importance during the 19th century. See inside Victoria’s premier coastal artillery fortress on a guided tour, wander around the grounds, or check out the exhibits at the on-site museum. King St, Queenscliff, +61 3 5258 1488