Portarlington is a small seaside town with a population of approximately 3200 and is situated on the north-eastern corner of the Bellarine Peninsula, 31 km from the city of Geelong and 106 km from Melbourne. The drive from Geelong takes you through the undulating hills of vineyards, olive groves, canola fields and stock grazing land with amazing views of the You Yangs to the tranquil waters and views of the Bellarine Peninsula situated right on Port Phillip Bay. As you enter Portarlington, you can see the Melbourne city landscape as a backdrop to the waters of the bay and the Portarlington Pier. Stop and take the time to meander along the main street, take in the relaxed atmosphere of the town and enjoy a coffee or brunch while looking out on the pier with its many boats and, at various times of the day, a hive of activity.
The town of Portarlington has a mixed history. Once it was a major potato, peas and onion growing area. It was also internationally recognised for cheese making, with the local cheese factory winning a major prize at the Great Exhibition in London in 1850. These days it is renowned for mussel farming which you will find on the menu at many eateries across Geelong and The Bellarine. Portarlington even hosts an annual Mussel Festival in January each year where you can taste these delicious crustaceans in a variety of recipes, take in a cooking demonstration or even buy them directly off the boat.
Portarlington has a large recreation reserve, which is home to the Portarlington Football and Netball Club who play in the Bellarine Football League. It also boasts an 18-hole golf course, all weather bowling club, skateboard park, several boat ramps, safe swimming areas, and a walking/cycling coastal trail that hugs the foreshore and extends through Indented Head to St Leonards. There are also several self-guided walks through the Pt Richards Flora and Fauna Reserve.