Portarlington is a seaside town situated on the northern side of the Bellarine Peninsula with expansive views across Port Phillip Bay towards the You Yangs and the Melbourne City skyline. Stroll along the main street taking in the relaxed atmosphere of the town, and stop for a coffee or meal at one of the many cafes.
Portarlington has a mixed history, having once been a major potato, pea and onion growing area. These days, it is renowned for its aquaculture industry and a wander down to the Portarlington Pier will reveal a variety of boats. Mussel farming began in 1982 and is celebrated at the annual Mussel Festival, held in January. Here you can sample delicious produce, enjoy a cooking demonstration or buy mussels direct off the boat to cook at home!
If getting active is more your style, the Portarlington-Drysdale Bendigo Bank Play Space at W.G. Little Reserve is great for the whole family – have a picnic or sip a coffee while the kids play! Portarlington also boasts two ovals, cricket nets, netball courts and tennis courts, an 18-hole golf course, lawn bowls club, skateboard park and several boat ramps.
There are also opportunities to escape the crowds and immerse yourself in nature with the 62-hectare Point Richards Flora and Fauna Reserve containing a number of self-guided walks or head off on the Bellarine Coastal Trail, a walking/cycling trail that hugs the foreshore and extends through Indented Head to St Leonards.
Indented Head is a sleepy town for most of the year, but in summer the population increases drastically as the area attracts campers, fishermen, boaters and families.
The town consists of a post office/general store that sits across The Esplanade from Batman Park, our largest and most popular seasonal campground. Anderson Reserve and Taylor Reserve are our smaller seasonal campgrounds in Indented Head, located to the north of Batman Park.
Bellarine Bayside manages the strip of coastal Crown land in Indented Head including the Indented Head boat ramp, Indented Head Tennis Court and Basketball Facility, and the Indented Head Community Hall, which has a sweeping view of Port Phillip Bay and is a great place to hold a wedding, party or other social events. Historical boat sheds also dot the beachfront at Indented Head.
The hull of the Ozone paddle steamer was sunk off Indented Head in 1925 to form a breakwater for small craft and sits 50m offshore. The Ozone wreck is a great place to snorkel during summer and view the array of underwater life in Port Phillip Bay. One of the anchors from the Ozone is also a monument that sits on the cliff-top near Taylor Reserve, overlooking the wreck.
St Leonards has a well-earned reputation as a friendly bayside village with a seemingly endless beach, an abundance of grassed foreshore and a centrally located pier that is popular with anglers and visitors year-round. The town consists of a small supermarket, several cafes and take-away food stores, retailers and an 18-hole golf course. The iconic St Leonards hotel featured prominently in the hit TV series SeaChange (shown on the ABC in the late ’90s) and is renowned for its large beer garden overlooking the bay.
Bellarine Bayside operates two seasonal camping grounds in St Leonards – Bengalat Reserve and Karrong Reserve. These names were selected in conjunction with Wadawurrung, the Traditional Custodians of the region, with Bengalat the name of the original clan and Karrong meaning ‘site where people camped’. Along the foreshore we also maintain a four-lane boat ramp and lease the Sirens Boathouse & Kiosk at the foot of the pier.
There are some great bird-watching options in St Leonards with pelicans frequenting the beach, Edwards Point Wildlife Reserve boasting habitat for the endangered Orange-bellied Parrot, and the St Leonards Lake Reserve a nice easy stroll to spot a range of water birds.
Bellarine Bayside respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Custodians – the Wadawurrung People – upon whose ancestral lands we work, live and play.
We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
We recognise their unique ability to care for Country and the intrinsic spiritual, cultural, economic, social and environmental connections they share with the land and waters. We value genuine partnerships with Wadawurrung to achieve effective management of our coastal regions.