SET AGAINST a backdrop of sun, surf and sea on the Bellarine Peninsula, Queenscliff Music Festival has once again attracted an array of exciting and eclectic local and international talent.
Held annually on the last weekend of November in the historic seaside village, the festival has carved a clear position as one of Australia’s great music festivals, boutique in size and family friendly, yet broad in its appeal.
From indie, blues and rock’n’roll, to singer-songwriters and country and soul, this year’s festival has every taste covered.
Now in its 21st year, the festival in Princess Park from November 24-26 boasts an impressive line-up including Australian hit-makers Bernard Fanning, The Temper Trap, Bob Evans, Mia Dyson, The Teskey Brothers, Nai Palm, Xavier Rudd, Beccy Cole, The Beautiful Girls, The Bamboos, and popular international outfits Two Many Zooz (USA), and Lindi Ortega (Canada).
As well as music there’s an arts and comedy component and locally sourced gourmet food and wine.
Queenscliff comes alive for the festival with entertainment spilling into the township. Restaurants and hotels host solo and group acts and concerts are held at a number of other venues.
- Tickets: qmf.net.au
If you go...
Wander the streets past elegant Victorian-era hotels, heritage architecture, stately churches and quaint fishermen’s cottages.
Art lovers can explore galleries, those needing some retail therapy can try the shopping and there are some great dining spots.
Lovers of water activities will be spoiled for choice on Port Phillip Bay. A range of charter boats call Queenscliff home and the adventurous can dive on reefs and shipwrecks, including the wreck of HMAS Canberra or swim with dolphins and seals.
For a more relaxed time, try a few hours on the beach, a spot of fishing or ride the ferry from to Sorrento, a 40-minute journey, to the other side of the bay.
At Queenscliffe Maritime Museum you’ll discover the area’s rich maritime heritage, shaped by its proximity to the entrance of Port Phillip Bay and the notorious Rip. A highlight is the lifeboat Queenscliffe, which operated for 50 years rescuing people and ships.
You can also tour a 19th-century coastal artillery fort, view fascinating artefacts and historical objects and try on uniforms from different moments in time.
Popular with cyclists and walkers, the Bellarine Rail Trail starts at the showgrounds on the outskirts of Geelong and climbs gently towards the half-way point of Drysdale, providing views back over Geelong and north to Corio Bay and the You Yangs. From the restored Drysdale railway station, the trail runs alongside the Bellarine Peninsula Railway, where vintage trains operate regularly. It’s an easy ride through areas rich in wildflowers and birdlife to Queenscliff.
Visitors are spoiled for choice when it comes to accommodation with everything from hotels and motels to camping and caravan parks, B&Bs, cabins and cottages and resorts.
Travel further afield to visit the region’s wineries and gourmet producers and historic villages.