The Bellarine is Melbourne’s forgotten peninsular. It doesn’t have the upmarket appeal of the Mornington Peninsular with its glass walled mansions facing out towards the bay at Portsea and Sorrento, marking its place as a playground for the rich. The Bellarine is laid back, scattered with small producers of artisan foods, its lush rolling hills are swathed in grapevines and its beaches are less crowded than their eastern bay counterparts. Its bay and ocean towns do experience an influx of visitors over summer but outside of the school holidays it is almost completely forgotten by the people of the big smoke.
Portarlington is only about 40kms from Melbourne as the crow flies but because of that pesky bay it’s a 100km drive. Looking out over Portarlington beach the Melbourne skyline rises out of the bay looking like a modern day Atlantis and acting as a reminder of the stressors that aren’t a part of life on the Bellarine.
This was the view that we had from under the awning of our van at the Bellarine Bayside Holiday Park. For an extra few dollars a night we set up camp on a beachfront site. This meant uninterrupted views over the bay.
But even on standard site you could count your steps from tent or caravan to the sand. There are almost 900 sites at this park so outside of peak periods there is plenty of space. Come Christmas school holidays however this stretch of beachfront becomes prime real estate for camping families who often return year after year.
So I wasn’t residing in a glass fronted mansion for my weekend away but the view was just as spectacular. And most importantly we’d parked the van within walking distance of the pub.
Bellarine Bayside Holiday Park
1 Sporat St Portarlington