Top tips for a coastal escape in Queenscliff

If there’s one thing that Queenscliff excels at, it’s defying expectations

Nestled along the serene Victorian coastline, Queenscliff beckons with its Victorian-era charms, offering a perfect destination for a weekend escape. This year, it’s your turn to escape from the daily grind, uncover this enchanting village’s treasures and revel in the delights it has to offer.

Seascape Serenity via Searoad Ferries

Start your weekend escapade with a scenic voyage aboard the iconic Searoad Ferries. Depart from Sorrento and revel in the breathtaking views as you sail across the bay, arriving in style at Queenscliff’s newly minted terminal. Admire the sleek lines of the terminal’s modern architecture, and on the ground floor, there is the casual dining café and gift store before setting off to immerse yourself in the town’s coastal wonders.

A Rugged Welcome: Queenscliff Pier and Beach

Kick off your exploration with a leisurely stroll along Queenscliff Pier. Feel the crisp sea breeze and take in the panoramic views of the rugged coastline that stretches out into the horizon.

Continue your journey down to Queenscliff Beach for a bracing winter walk while taking in the ultra-still, turquoise waters. If the sun is out, a picture-perfect morning picnic is always a treat. With white sandy beaches sheltered by trees, the beach provides ample shade and shelter from the sun and wind.

Retail Treasures on Hesse Street

Meander through Hesse Street, where vintage boutiques and quaint shops beckon. Unearth unique finds, from retro fashion gems to one-of-a-kind homeware treasures. You’ll find antique stores with a variety of details such as interior designing antiques as well as common house improving antiques at affordable prices, and for book lovers, Queenscliff has a chain of incredible bookstores. The Mystery Bookshop and Bookshop of Queenscliff are the biggest bookstores and are both located on the main street of Queenscliff. Hesse Street is home to stunning gift shops too, like Sea Jargon, Tenby Store, Coastal Road and Homewares and Gift shops.

As you stroll the shops, make a pit stop at Salt Gallery, where local artists’ creations adorn the walls, offering a glimpse into Queenscliff’s vibrant artistic scene.

Gastronomic Delights: From Pies to Degustation

Savour a culinary adventure in Queenscliff. Swing by Rolling Pins Bakery and experience their award-winning pies—perfect for nourishing your soul. Let the rhythmic clatter of the tracks be the backdrop as you enjoy meticulously crafted dishes showcasing the region’s finest produce.

Enjoy a picture perfect brunch at Piknik, offering an insight into the produce at the Bellarine peninsula, or opt to dine with a view at 360Q, an iconic two-storey dining venue situated on the waterfront at Queenscliff Harbour serving higher-scale, modern fare.

Cheers to Local Flavours

Embrace the vibrant local scene by sampling the offerings at Italian delights at Lombardys and the best of the best at Queenscliff Brewhouse/Distillery. A real favourite, the Queenscliff Brewhouse resides in a historically hotel/pub setting. With a generous selection of Queenscliff Brewhouse and Prickly Moses varieties on tap, tasting offerings and a cellar door, this spot is a rounded spot to suit all acquired tastes, providing a sip of Queenscliff in every glass. There’s also a big outdoor beer garden, a generous menu of seafood options, classic pub and fresh recipes, and it’s dog-friendly!

Don’t forget to pop into Queenscliff General Store—a trove of local goodies, a true embodiment of the town’s spirit.

Unveil History: Fort Queenscliff and Beyond

With over 150 years of Australia’s heritage on display, Fort Queenscliff Museum is one of Victoria’s most important historic sites and one of the largest and best preserved forts in Australia. For a real touch of history, embark on a tour of Fort Queenscliff. Immerse yourself in tales of yesteryears as you explore the well-preserved military fortifications and uncover the secrets they hold.

Afterward, don your snorkel gear and dive into the underwater wonderland with the team at Sea All Dolphin Swims — swim alongside seals in an unforgettable marine adventure and then warm back up with a hot chocolate on the way back to the shore.

Artistic Flourish and Elegance

Marvel at the artistic prowess of local creators at The Royal Queenscliff Art Gallery, where captivating works of art grace the walls and bespoke interior pieces impress.

Cosy Retreats

Planning an overnight stay? You’re spoiled for choice with snug lodgings like Sagres Queenscliff, Vue Grand, BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Queenscliff Beacon, and Circa 1902, plus an impressive selection of luxury Airbnbs. Imagine curling up by the fire with a good book, knowing that the comforts of the town are just a stone’s throw away.

This article was originally published on Forte Magazine.

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