Wondering what to do these school holidays?

So, you’ve finally managed to get away for a much-needed mid-year break after what can only be described as an unpredictable few months … but what is there to do on the Bellarine with kids in winter?

Unlike summer holidays – when all you need to do is rock up, park the van or set up the tent (or unpack your belongings in the cabin) and the job’s done – a beachside break in Victoria during winter calls for a little more imagination.

We’re here to help, with five ideas to keep the family busy these school holidays:

1. Play in Portarlington

It’s easy to entertain the kids in Port. Explore the harbour, walk along the pier and watch the fishing boats, or watch the kids fly on the redeveloped play space at WG Little Reserve. Then wander up into the main street for boutiques, gift shops, Daniel’s Donuts and the lolly shop.

2. Go fishing

If long walks on the beach sound like a yawn, try your hand at fishing. Drop a line off the pier at Portarlington, or head out off Point Richards for whiting and squid. You could even take the family on a fishing charter for something truly memorable. Bellarine Fishing Charters runs 1/2 and full day trips all year-round, weather dependent.

3. Get glowing

A new winter festival is set to enthral families visiting the Bellarine:  Winter Glow at Wallington’s Adventure Park features snow, dazzling light installations, spectacular fire twirling  and ice-sculpting displays. It’s on throughout the school holidays and bookings are a must.

4. Take a magical train ride

Bellarine Railway is combining the thrill of a heritage train ride with a magic show and workshop these school holidays. Join Dazzling Dan the Magic Man for an experience the kids will never forget on board a heritage train from Queenscliff station. Book your seat with Bellarine Railway.

5. Visit a village

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and we’ve got villages aplenty to keep them busy.  Bellarine towns all have a unique character and something different to offer:

  • Walk or ride from Indented Head to St Leonards, stopping off at the popular St Leonards’ playground for hours of free fun. Grab a coffee from Wildings Pantry or stay for a relaxed lunch at the St Leonards hotel.
  • Drysdale is a busy town centre where you can stock up on all your essentials. It’s also home to many of the region’s top producers, from goats cheese, to olives and gin.
  • Queenscliff boasts the region’s best collection of art galleries, museums and boutiques, as well as a stunning harbour where you can spend hours just watching the boats come and go. For the best views around, climb the 42 metre observation tower.
  • In nearby Point Lonsdale, watch ships navigate the Rip, visit the lighthouse (tours available on Sundays, bookings recommended) or wander along the rugged rock formations.
  • Ocean Grove is renowned for its beaches and surfing (of course you’ll need a wetsuit in winter) but also has a lively town centre bustling with shops, restaurants and cafes.
  • Head across the bridge to Barwon Heads for surfwear and fashion boutiques, homewares and gift shops – as well as plenty of rock pools to ramble in.

That should fill a few days!