As you sail into Portarlington harbour you know you are somewhere special
The journey in is the perfect time to be spotting local wildlife, dolphins, sea birds, seals, and if you’re lucky, a whale at the right time of year.
You might pass a variety of vessels on the way. A yacht visiting from across the bay, the Spirit of Tasmania on its new route from Tasmania to Geelong, or the stunning Bellarine Express from Port Phillip Ferries. You’ll be guaranteed to see a mussel boat working out on the famous Portarlington mussel farms, but we’ll talk more about mussels here!
As you near land, you view the bay beaches spreading along the foreshore. The clean waters sparkle in the sun and the sand is dotted with beach umbrellas beckoning you in for a dip. Looking up the hill you can sense the beauty and bounty of the Northern Bellarine, with rolling hills and the promise of unforgettable experiences. And there is no missing the turret of the Portarlington Grand Hotel, standing proud in the main street since 1888.
The Portarlington safe harbour has come a long way over the last 5 years, with the addition of a stunning rock wall where many people enjoy a relaxed walk, chatting to fishermen or watching children enjoy an ice-cream. More yachts and sailing boats can now anchor for a visit and Port Phillip Ferries can easily come and go every day of the year.
The ferry is a superb 35 metre catamaran, seating up to 400 passengers. It’s fully decked out with comfortable seating, 20 bike racks and bathroom facilities. There are two internal levels to chose from and two outdoor decks which are always popular, especially in the warmer months. The licensed café on board is perfect for grabbing a coffee and muffin or a local wine and seafood pate to enjoy on your journey. With two daily departures and arrivals between Docklands and Portarlington, connecting Melbourne and the Bellarine has never been easier (and more relaxed!)
The journey takes only 70 minutes so we recommend getting out on that deck as soon as you can to enjoy the fresh sea air.
Once you’ve docked into Portarlington, whether that’s on your own boat or with Port Phillip Ferries, just head straight for the turret and you’ll be on our doorstep within a few minutes walk. Our team will be ready to welcome you in no matter if you’re here just for the day or staying overnight. We will make sure your visit to Portarlington will be memorable and we know you’ll be sailing back here again very soon.