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Bellarine Peninsula: Top 5 Rainy Day Activities for Families

Don’t let a little rain spoil your day!

Holidays and downpours might not be your typical match made in heaven, but with these suggestions, your kids will be wishing for the next wet weather day.

1. Supatramp

3000m2 of pure, unadulterated, indoor fun. Leave the gumboots at the door and take to any one of the eight different activities under the one roof. There’s zillions of tramps of course plus Clip ‘n Climb rock climbing, a Kids’ Playground, Supaslam basketball and Dodgeball

Address: 174 Torquay Road, Grovedale

2. Bellarine Railway

Step back in time to a rainy day one hundred years ago. The Bellarine Railway runs a fleet of steam and diesel trains dating back to 1917. Jump on board for a historic journey from Queenscliff to Drysdale or check their special events calendar for popular happenings like the ‘Day out with Thomas’ the Tank Engine.

Address: 20 Symonds Street, Queenscliff

Check out the Searoad Ferries + Bellarine Railway packages


3. Hot Chocolate at RORO Café on the Beach

RORO café on the Beach might be as close to the sand as you’ll get on a rainy day. Located in Queenscliff right next to the Searoad Ferries terminal, the action from the café window is constant with waves crashing, birds flying and ships entering and exiting the heads of Port Phillip Bay. And then there’s the hot chocolate. YUM!! What a perfect wet weather stop off.

Address: 1 Wharf Street, Queenscliff

4. Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre

If you’re lucky enough to catch a rainy day during the school holidays, head down to the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre in Queenscliff. Daily kid friendly activities will keep your little tackers immersed in fishy fun.

Address: 2A Bellarine Highway, Queenscliff

5. Searoad Ferries

With plenty of indoor space and windows facing every which-way, a return trip across the bay to Sorrento is just what the wet weather wizard ordered. Whilst the kids smoosh their faces against the glass, spotting birds, dolphins and the very occasional whale, parents can hover by the on board café, enjoying a espresso coffee or glass of locally produced wine.

Address: Wharf Street, Queenscliff


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Mornington Peninsula: Top 5 Rainy Day Activities

Don’t go calling a wet weather day just yet. A little rain doesn’t need to spoil your fun.

There is so much to do on the Mornington Peninsula, and a gloomy sky might be just what was needed to drag you off your beach towel. Come explore some of our favourite wet weather activities and see if we can brighten up your day.

1. Mark Gray Gallery

With 100m2 of floor space, the Mark Gray Gallery displays an inspiring collection of Mark’s landscape photography. The gallery features a good number of local landscapes as well as national and international representations. Mark has won a stack of awards for his work and his gallery is worth checking out even if the sun is shining.

Address: 65 Main Street, Mornington

2. Blue Mini Café & Emporium

If you’re a breakfast (or brunch) kind of person, you are going to want to check out Blue Mini Café. Blue Mini is the newest retro eatery on the Peninsula, and has quickly become a local’s favourite.

Address: 2 Colchester Rd, Rosebud

Check out the Searoad Ferries + Blue Mini Café packages

3. Mornington Peninsula Brewery

Not that you needed an excuse, but the Mornington Peninsula Brewery is recognised as one of the best craft breweries in Australia. Have we got your attention?

The brewery is headed by Andrew Gow, who outside of the classic varieties, is always working on a seasonal concoction. That means when the weather is cold, Andrew will have just the brew for you. The brewery also serves delicious pizzas and hosts the occasional live band.

Address: 72 Watt Road, Mornington


Check out the Searoad Ferries + Mornington Peninsula Brewery Packages

4. Peninsula Hot Spring

It’s not like the rain can get you any wetter, so why not go for an intentional soak.

If you are wondering how good the Peninsula Hot Springs is, it’s good enough to win the World Luxury Spa Award in 2016 and 2014. If you need any more convincing, it has public and private pools, indoor and outdoor areas and amazing treatments if you are looking to really indulge.

Address: Spring Lane, Fingal

Check out the Searoad Ferries + Peninsula Hot Springs packages

5. Green Olive at Red Hill

Set on a spectacular property, Green Olive at Red Hill serves food that will warm your soul through to your frosty fingertips. Much of what’s served in the restaurant has been grown on site, with the team producing olives, grapes, herbs and vegies, raising sheep, chooks and fish. They even roast their own coffee beans. How good is that!

If the sun pokes out for just a moment, a walk around the grounds is highly recommended.

Address: 118 Mornington Flinders Road, Main Ridge

Check out the Searoad Ferries + Green Olive packages


The post Mornington Peninsula: Top 5 Rainy Day Activities appeared first on Ferry Tale.

And the Kid’s Entertainment is FREE!!

When the boat docks on the other side of Port Phillip Bay, the first thing your kids will say is ‘can we sail back’.

The 40-minute crossing of the bay can seem too short for our smallest, wide-eyed guests. Rain or shine, there’s so much to see and do on board. Here are a few of our favourites.

1. Climb to the top deck

Strap your hat on tight as you walk up the stairs to the roof top deck. Up on the captain’s level, you can help navigate the ship, spotting marker buoys, the bluestone outcrop of Popes Eye, soaring birds and even the occasional dolphin.


2. Spy through the binoculars

On the back deck, a pair of binoculars provide a pirates view of the passing land (ahoy!). Take a closer look at the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse, the Point Nepean Quarantine Station (circa 1852) and the sand-cliffs that line Portsea’s beaches.

3. Smoosh your face against the full length windows

The full length windows that surround the indoor cabin area sit right above the boats wake. Watch the boats sleek exterior cut through waves, making smooth sailing for the passengers on board.


4. Go have a play

If the weather makes outside fun difficult, bring the fun indoors to the Searoad Ferries playground. The playground is located inside the main cabin and is surrounded by comfortable seats to help Mum and Dad relax.

5. A treat from RORO on board Café 

RORO on board Café serves food, drinks, espresso coffee and hot chocolate. So when the batteries start to run flat, grab a seat by the window and a delicious treat from the café.

Baby changing facilities are available on board.

Looking for something fun to do during the School Holidays? Join Searoad Ferries for free kid’s activities on board selected journeys. Click here to find out more.

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Queenscliff Music Festival Line Up

Our friends at the Queenscliff Music Festival are set on turning the 20th year of the event into the biggest celebration ever and they have the line-up to match!

Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Ash Grunwald, Paul Kelly & Charlie Owen, Peter Garrett & The Alter Egos, Alpine, Urthboy and Abbe May.

Our tip this year for a fun gig is the Melbourne based Pierce Brothers.

If you are looking for a true ‘family friendly’ festival (meaning all-ages gigs, designated alcohol free zones and fewer festival fools) with unbelievable music, Queenscliff Music Festival (QMF) is the one for you. The QMF runs on the fringe of summer from 25 – 27 November 2016, with stages and venues dotting the Queenscliff foreshore precinct.

We will be helping to get festival goers to QMF safely all weekend with discounted Festival + Ferry package:

  • Return Ferry for a Car + 4 passengers – $114 (saving $66) (festival ticket not included)
  • Return Ferry (foot passenger only) + Sunday festival ticket – $95 (save $7)

See you all at the Queenscliff Music Festival

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Come Aboard These School Holidays

Ahoy, me mateys. The buccaneers at Searoad Ferries have a treasure chest full of FREE fun waiting for the wee lads and lasses these Septemberrrr School Holidays.

Bring the scallywags aboard between th’ 18th – 29th Septemberrrr, for daily activities starting with a seadogs favorite, Talk Like A Pirate Day. Aaaarrrrrrggggghhhh!! We be raising mast from both Queenscliff and Sorrento.

Read the holiday schedule below if ye dare.

18 September – Captain Jack Pirate Show

Departing Queenscliff ?1pm and ?3pm
Departing Sorrento ?2pm and ?4pm

19 September – Captain Jack Pirate Show

Departing Queenscliff ?1pm and ?3pm
Departing Sorrento ?2pm and ?4pm

20 September – Aquatic Pirate Puppets

Departing Queenscliff ?1pm and ?3pm
Departing Sorrento ?2pm and ?4pm

20 September – Sammy the Seal

Departing Sorrento 1pm and 3pm
Departing Queenscliff ?2pm and ?4pm

21 September – Tommy Terrific Balloon Artist

Departing Sorrento ?11am and 1pm
Departing Queenscliff ?12pm and 2pm

22 September – Phillip Island Nature Park Pirates

Departing Sorrento 11am and 1pm
Departing Queenscliff 12pm and 2pm

23 September – Face Painting & 3D Pirate Ship Building

Departing Queenscliff ?1pm and ?3pm
Departing Sorrento ?2pm and ?4pm

26 September – The Crown of the Sea

Departing Sorrento 1pm and 3pm
Departing Queenscliff 2pm and 4pm

27 September – Professor Brains Science Show

Departing Queenscliff ?12pm and ?2pm
Departing Sorrento ?1pm and ?3pm

29 September – Phillip Island Nature Park Pirates

Departing Sorrento 11am and 1pm
Departing Queenscliff 12pm and 2pm

Follow the treasure map to searoad.com.au for more details and to book ye adventure on the high seas.

The motley crew be looking forward to seeing you landlubbers aboard these school holidays. Aaaarrrrrrggggghhhh!!

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Winter Warmer Offer at RORO Café on the Beach

3 x Course Lunch + Return Ferry for $25.

Don’t lock the doors just because of winter! Don your winter woollies and head to RORO Café on the Beach to embrace winter.

Valid until the 31st of August 2016, Searoad Ferries are putting on a Winter Warmer, with a 3 x course lunch and return ferry to/from Sorrento for only $25. Yum!

RORO Café on the Beach provides a cosy nook for diners, right on the Queenscliff foreshore. Entertainment is included with Port Phillip Bay’s busy ship lane and coastal birdlife passing by your water facing window.

RORO Café on the Beach is open for breakfast (7 – 11:30am) and lunch (12 – 3pm 7 days a week.

Address: 1 Wharf Street, Queenscliff

For booking enquiries, please call (03) 5258 3244

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High Tea on the High Sea

Take your tea at sea every Sunday between February and mid-December on board Searoad Ferries.

Served in the Portsea Lounge, surrounded by a captain’s view of Port Phillip Bay and coastal-lands, Searoad’s team unpacks the fine china and white table cloths every Sunday to serve a selection of tea, espresso coffee, finger sandwiches, cakes and deserts.

Departing Sorrento at 11am or Queenscliff at 2pm, visitors will be treated to a new and delicious way of enjoying Port Phillip Bay. The return journey navigates the houses of the rich and famous along the Portsea foreshore, the historic Point Nepean Quarantine Station, Point Lonsdale Lighthouse and populations of bird and marine life.

Bookings for the High Tea sailings are essential and can be made online or by calling 5258 3244.

High Tea Schedule

Every Sunday between February and mid-December

Departs from Sorrento at 11am
Departs from Queenscliff at 2pm

For more information on the High Tea on the High Sea, visit the Searoad Ferries website.

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The Millionaire’s Walk

The waterfront properties running from Portsea to Sorrento Pier, where Searoad Ferries depart, are known to be some of the most exclusive in Victoria.

Look port side (left for those land-lovers) as you depart Sorrento’s pier on board Searoad Ferries to appreciate the grand architecture, well-manicured gardens and private beach entrances.

Visitors to Sorrento are welcome to walk amongst the waterfront properties with sometime voyeuristic access being granted via the Millionaire’s Walk. The Millionaire’s Walk is a 1.5km (return) section of the Sorrento-Portsea Artists’ Trail, running between Lentell Avenue and Point King Road.

For a short trail, the Millionaire’s Walk holds big appeal, with a mix of natural, historical and aspirational check points turning this walk into a full afternoon activity. Starting at Lentell Avenue, follow the fence lines and gate entrances, keeping the sparking bay in check. On a clear day you can see all the way to the Dandenong Rangers, sitting above the opposing side of the bay. Lining the cliff face are numerous native shrubs and low lying coastal trees.

Facing the water, overlooking the Millionaire’s Walk are the landscaped gardens and stunning homes of the few lucky enough to snap up property on these exclusive shores. At times you will feel like you have over stepped your bounds, but be assured public access is welcomed.

Point King

Finishing the walk at Point King Road, a white rig station and stone monument marks the landing point of the English into Port Phillip Bay in 1802. Aboard was Lieutenant John Murray, who claimed the area for Great Britain using a flag displaying the Union Jack for the first time in Australia’s history.

Near the monument, search out the two paintings by acclaimed artists Sir Arthur Streeton and Arthur Boyd. Both painting show the artists interpretations of the view back towards Sorrento.

The Lentell Avenue entrance to the Millionaire’s Walk is 1.3km from the Searoad Ferries terminal. The return hike for Searoad Ferries foot passages including the Millionaire’s Walk is an estimated 4km of well-maintain, undulating track.

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Discovering Phillip

Port Phillip Bay was named after Governor Arthur Phillip(1738 – 1814) in 1805.

Did you know Port Phillip Bay was originally named Port King Bay, after the sitting NSW Governor, Philip King in 1802.


Phillip King was the Governor of NSW when the first British ship led by Commander John Murray, entered the bay. Governor King renamed the bay in 1805 to honour his predecessor, Governor Arthur Phillip, who retired from service in the same year.

Who was Arthur Phillip?

Arthur Phillip (1738 – 1814) was a British Royal Navy officer credited amongst other things as being the founder of Australia’s first penal colony and being the first Governor of New South Wales.

Arriving in Botany Bay as Commodore of the First Fleet in 1788, Arthur Phillip quickly moved camp to Port Jackson (encompassing Sydney Harbour) to establish Australia’s first penal colony. Phillip named the area Sydney Cove after Lord Sydney, the Home Secretary at the time.

Arthur Phillip remained in Australia as the Governor of New South Wales until 1792. In his tenure, Phillip set up official land-grants, systematic farming and a steady water-supply as well as establishing a second colony on Norfolk Island.

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RORO’s New Winter Menu has Docked

Wow, it’s getting cold out there. Time to batten down the hatches and get the soup on the boil. The new winter menu, created by head chef Brent Love, has arrived at RORO Café on the Beach.

Sitting against the sand of the Queenscliff foreshore, looking out at the wild headlands of Port Phillip Bay, RORO Café on the Beach is a spectacular location to watch the winter waves roll in to shore. The café is warmed to a treat, creating the ultimate in winter coziness.

The new winter menu at RORO Café on the Beach has docked, featuring hearty favorites like the signature Seafood Chowder, Wagyu Beef Burgers and daily soup specials served with yummy crusty bread. Cup your hands around a barista made coffee or a warming glass of locally produced red wine to ensure your cheeks glow red.

Come in and try the Winter Warmer Menu Special, including a soup,
main dish from the specials menu and a glass of wine for $18.

Check out the full winter menu including vegetarian and gluten free options.

Roro Lunch

Visiting from Sorrento? Try the 3 course lunch package for $25
including free return ferry travel with Searoad Ferries.

Roro Café, located next to the Queenscliff Searoad Ferries terminal, is open for breakfast (7 – 11:30am) and lunch (12 – 3pm) 7 days a week.

Address: 1 Wharf Street, Queenscliff
For booking enquiries, please call (03) 5258 3244

The post RORO’s New Winter Menu has Docked appeared first on Ferry Tale.

Tourism Award Win 2014



Searoad Ferries, has taken out the Major Tour/Transport Operator category at the Victorian Tourism Award for the second year in a row.

The family owned business will now go on to defend the title at the 2014 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, to be held in early 2015.

CEO of Searoad Ferries, Matt McDonald, said the award is recognition for the hard work and dedication of the entire Searoad Ferries team.

“We are ecstatic to be the recipient of such a prestigious award two years in a row, and to have our business recognised among a winners list that includes some of the state’s largest and most popular tourist attractions is really humbling,” Matt said.

“Our business continues to grow each year and I’m so proud of what we have achieved at Searoad. What started out as a single vessel operation transporting around 300 passengers and 30 vehicles in 1987, is now the country’s busiest car and passenger ferry with three vessels carrying more than 737,000 passengers each year.”

“The Searoad team works extremely hard to provide passengers with a unique, exciting and memorable tourism experience. Whether a passenger is taking part in a traditional crossing or a special crossing such as High Tea of the High Seas or a Twilight Cruises, we strive to ensure their experience is enjoyable  and something they will remember forever.”

“We are looking forward to representing Victoria at the National Awards early next year,” he said.

Bring on Summer….. more ferries, less queues and cheaper prices!

This summer, we will run a third ferry creating more capacity, less waiting and a better travel experience. Our CEO, Matt McDonald, said “The extra ferry will operate from Boxing Day through to the 6th of January and will ease congestion and get passengers to their destination quicker. We are also encouraging all passengers who know they are travelling to go online and book their ferry ticket. Not only will this speed up ticketing and boarding, customers will also get cheaper online prices.”

Our ferry service has been operating for over 25 years and has recently made many upgrades to our facilities, including: onboard children’s playground, revitalized café, wi-fi, installment of a lift on both ferries and air conditioning, as well as larger viewing windows.  New family fares, seniors discounts and return priced tickets have recently been introduced as well as a discount card for locals.  If you live in the 3222-3227 or 3938-3944 postcodes you can become a Loyal Local Cardholder with the ferries and earn points, receive discounts and exclusive offers.

Searoad Ferries Celebrates 25 years!

Over the 15th & 16th of September, Searoad Ferries celebrated 25 years of crossing the Bay. Both vessels had onboard activities including wine tasting with vineyards from both peninsulas, gourmet food samplers from both pensinsulas, Peninsula Hot Springs bathing tubs and more! The festivities went off with a bang on Saturday night with fireworks on both Sorrento and Queenscliff sides.

Thank you to everyone that took part in the event. We have had a fantastic 25 years and look forward to the next 25!

Ferry delayed by endangered whale, but we don’t mind!

The 5:00p.m. Sorrento bound ferry was delayed in the Queenscliff harbor for 15 minutes due to an endangered Southern Right Whale swimming close to the vessel. Passengers said the junior whale surfaced several times beside the ferry and was easily visible under the water. After the ferry departed, the whale seemed to have left, but surfaced again when the next ferry arrived. It frolicked in the waters in and around the harbor until late into the evening. This is the third whale sighting for the Searoad Ferries since Saturday, two of which were Southern Right Whales and one Humpback Whale. Crew members on board Searoad Ferries said, “each year we have been seeing more and more whales on our route from Queenscliff to Sorrento.” This year the crew predicts to see at least one whale a week during the migration period, which finishes in November.

To view related news articals visit:

Geelong Advertiser – Whale delays thrilled passengers

The Mornington Peninsula Leader  – Endangered whale holds up Sorrento ferry

Whales in Port Phillip Bay!

During the month of June passengers onboard the ferries have been experiencing the magnificent Humpback Whales which have been visiting southern Port Phillip Bay…

Check out this video taken from the ferry on the 13th June.

Click here to watch

Launch of the MV Queenscliff

After an extensive Re-Fit in late 2011,  the MV Queenscliff has been a great hit with Passengers traveling between Sorrento and Queenscliff.   Some of the new features onboard include;

  • An new Cafe with fresh coffee
  • A Children’s Play Area
  • New Observation lounges
  • Tourism and Historic Information

Check out the images below – or even better – come down and see her for yourself !

MV Queenscliff departs Queenscliff on the EVEN hours and Sorrento on the ODD hours

Billboard named "new-ship" does not exist