If you are looking for off-the-beaten-path places in Victoria, I can recommend Portarlington. And to help you plan your trip, here are the best things to do in Portarlington.

It is a historic coastal township and one of the Melbournians’ fav family getaway destinations located on the Bellarine Peninsula, 28 km in the greater Geelong. You can almost watch the world go by from the beautiful bayside of Portarlington. It is situated on a hillside overlooking Port Phillip Bay 104 km south of Melbourne and 31 km east of Geelong at the tip of the Peninsula which extends out into Port Phillip Bay. Surrounded by award-winning wineries, Portarlington is best known for its fresh mussels, beautiful vistas, and stunning coastline.

Best things to do in portarlington

Best things to do in Portarlington

How to go to Portarlington?


You can take the Ferry from Docklands, Melbourne to Portarlington, and back. Ferry Tickets as of 2020 are:

Docklands to Portarlington: Adult: $16.50, Students/Concession: $15
Portarlington to Docklands: Adult: $16.50, Students/Concession: $15

By train, would take approx 2 hours and have to switch to Bus from Geelong.

Myki (Optional – Only if you plan to visit a Vineyard for Wine Tasting):
Myki Money: $6.50
Concession: $3.25

The ferry departs 131 Harbour Esplanade. Victoria Harbour, Docklands. Boarding opens 20 minutes before departure and closes 3 minutes before departure. This service is on a brand-spanking-new vessel that comfortably sits 400 passengers. They also have the following options onboard:

  • On-board licensed café
  • barista-made coffee
  • FREE Wi-Fi
  • Charging stations
  • Endless scenic views.


Self-driving will take you about 1.5 hours from Melbourne.

Fun things to do in Portarlington

1. Portarlington Pier

This is a historical landmark that goes way back in time. It is basically a great pier to walk on a nice sunny day, fantastic place to visit and you can see the Melbourne skyline from there. You can parked down by the jetty/pier and walked to the water also. Plenty of Fish n’ Chips as you would expect and few restaurants, Post Office, Bakery (to die for).

2. Portarlington beach

Australia is full of stunning beaches and although it maybe not be the No#1 beach in the country, Portarlington beach offers a good shallow protected area. The Beach could be Shelley but the feeling of taking off your shoes, and walking on the grass, sand, and water is freeing! A great spot to just sit and soak up the seaside. You can also walk to the pier or perhaps have a paddle.

3. Portarlington Golf Club

Best things to do in portarlington

If you want to do more than strolling, Portarlington Golf Club can be your safe bet. It is a stunning course and a joy to play all year round. The course has excellent drainage, well-placed bunkers, and generous fairways that will accommodate players of most skill levels. Also a good spot for lunch, alternatively you can pop by the hotel beer garden or the local pub for some drinks and a meal.

4. The Portarlington Mussel Festival

If you are a big fan of mussels then the Portarlington Mussels festival is a must. At the festival, you could buy fresh muscles to take home also. Heaps of food stalls, local business stalls & entertainment. It’s a great day out with the family or solo! Just have to time it right, the next festival was supposed to be Jan 2021 but it has been canceled for now. Keep an eye on their website for the new date.

5. Portarlington wineries

Portarlington is surrounded by vineyards, wineries, and cellar doors and travel there wouldn’t be complete without visiting a couple of wineries along the way. Some recommended ones are Scotchmans Hill Winery and Cellar Door, Bellarine Estate, or Terindah Estate.

6. Portarlington Mill

Portarlington city’s other famous landmark is this mill which goes back to the 18th century. Run by volunteers who will share the 150+ years of Mill history with you. Decades ago, it was a steam-powered flour mill when the Bellarine region was “the breadbasket of the colony.”

7. The Portarlington Celtic Festival

This is another festival you may want to attend at Portarlington but gotta time it right. Usually, it happens over the long weekend in June. So keep an eye on their website so you are ready to dance at the festival hopefully in 2021!

8. The Portarlington Market

Portarlington market is a vibrant, volunteer-run, community market offering a range of products and a fun day out, held on the last Sunday of each month. And their first market is coming up soon on the 27th of December.
Browse the stalls and shops on the market, great way to support the local community.

9. Portarlington Bayside Miniature Railway

Another best thing to do in Portarlington is to ride the miniature train which is only 7.25 and 5 inches! Nah it is not only for kids as although it is miniature it is made to fit adults too and it is Australia’s only railway located on a foreshore! A hidden gem, fun for all ages, run by volunteers who really care. The best value experience for kids on the Bellarine. you can feel the freshness of the ocean breeze, as the train winds through picturesque parklands.

10. Indented Head

Last but not least, I had to include the neighboring beach towns in this best thing to do in the Portarlington article. Indented Head is a small residential community area but is becoming a popular bayside camping resort! The foreshore is pleasant and broken into reserves and camping areas. It is a tranquil spot located 6 km out of Portarlington and the water there is perfect for fishing. The beach offers safe swimming and there is a bicycle track, a camping area, toilets, a boat ramp, and a caravan park also.

Best things to do in portarlington

Here are some blog posts to help you

Best things to do in Portarlington, Victoria

14 thoughts on “Best things to do in Portarlington, Victoria

  • December 18, 2020 at 8:03 am

    Portarlignton sounds like a great place. I’d love to take a trip there. The mill looks really cool.

  • December 18, 2020 at 8:17 am

    History, sports, and a festival devoted to shellfish? I have to go here. I think it would be a great family vacation.

  • December 18, 2020 at 8:27 am

    Portarlington sounds like a great place to visit! I think my husband and I would have a lot of fun exploring the area.

  • December 18, 2020 at 11:34 am

    If we ever make it to Portarlington, I know exactly what we would do! Looks like so much fun.

  • December 18, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    How cool is that?? All of these ideas sound like so much fun, would love to visit the festival, winery and market!! Definitely going to have to add this to my travel list!

  • December 18, 2020 at 7:04 pm

    I would love to try out golfing! Evnethough I live really close to a golfcourt, I have never tried 🙂

  • December 18, 2020 at 7:43 pm

    Australia is my dream trip, but I must say that I don’t want to always touch the usual discounted destinations and with your advice I certainly won’t!

  • December 19, 2020 at 5:41 am

    I can’t wait until it’s safe to wander around again outside of my home. I miss exploring new places like this!

  • December 19, 2020 at 11:58 am

    This is the first time ive heard about Portlington. And because I love off beaten paths I truly enjoyed this post. Most especially the Music Festival. Nothing says party than great food and good music.

  • December 19, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    as soon as covid flying restrictions are over i am so visiting Portarlington

  • December 21, 2020 at 8:06 pm

    This is the first time I heard about Portalington. It looks like a fun place. Hope I can travel soon after the lockdown is over in sydney!

  • December 22, 2020 at 3:10 am

    Wow! I did not know that there is a festival where you can enjoy mussels. This is my favorite and I would love to experience this. Will definitely keep an eye for the new date. Thank you for sharing.

  • December 22, 2020 at 3:24 pm

    that looks like a great time. i would love to visit in person. i miss traveling and can’t wait to get back to it.

  • December 24, 2020 at 11:33 pm

    This sounds like a perfect outing for those who love the outdoors. I would love to visit Portalington some day.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Don`t copy text!