15 September, 2022

Foodie Tour of the Bellarine Peninsula

With its craft breweries, cellar doors, farms and bountiful, fresh seafood, the Bellarine Peninsula is a foodie’s dream. Fine restaurants are aplenty here, but dig deeper and you’ll uncover places that give a raw, authentic taste of what the region has to offer – straight from the farms and the ocean. Whether you’re looking for a memorable gourmet experience en route to Tasmania, or to stock up on artisanal local produce to take home for your own creations, these are some of the most unmissable stops for the passionate foodie.


The Q Train

Running between Drysdale and Queenscliff, The Q Train is a train journey like no other. This heritage rail restaurant showcases the finest local food, wines, beers and ciders from Geelong and the Bellarine, in a frequently changing degustation menu informed by the freshest seasonal ingredients. You would hardly believe the dishes are prepared in the onboard kitchen: smoked wild barramundi with native lemongrass lavosh, venison with pepper leaf and Lonsdale tomato gnocchi and lemon meringue cheesecake with river mint syrup showcase the best the region has to offer.

The Q Train. Photo: The Q Train.

Basils Farm, Queenscliff

Nestled amid sprawling gardens and leafy vines, with panoramic views across Swan Bay, Basils Farm provides an idyllic setting for indulgence. Wholesome fun for the whole family can be found here, where adults can indulge in wines made at the onsite vineyard while little ones can visit the llamas. Dishes are crafted using the finest from the kitchen garden and local producers, such as slow-cooked beef short ribs with Asian apple slaw and sticky plum sauce, spiced grilled squid and roasted spiced cauliflower.

Basil's Farm. Photo: Basil's Farm.

Merne at Lighthouse, Drysdale

Embraced on all sides by farms, orchards, olive groves and dairies, Merne at Lighthouse is in a prime position to celebrate the produce of the region. And that it does: sharing-style dishes such as Alchemy bakehouse bread with olives from the onsite grove, kangaroo with buckwheat, parsley, pecorino and pickled walnut, and trout with coconut, fingerlime and jalapeno always keep the produce as the hero. The setting, overlooking leafy vineyards and olive trees, is particularly magical when lit up at dusk.


Photo: Amy Lee Carlon Photography.

The Little Mussel Café, Portarlington

Nestled on the main street of Portarlington is pearl of a place: the family-owned The Little Mussel Café. Giving a new meaning to ocean-to-plate dining, this waterfront eatery serves up the freshest mussels imaginable. Dine in on dishes such as mussel chowder and mussels in creamy white wine broth, or take away by the kilo or the box – the knowledgeable staff are more than happy to share their tips and tricks for how to get the best out of your haul at home.

Saltbush Fine Foods. Photo: Saltbush Fine Foods.

Saltbush Fine Foods, Queenscliff

Gourmands will be in their element at Saltbush Fine Foods, a provedore and café selling Victorian farm-fresh and artisanal produce. Within its heritage walls is an Aladdin’s cave of flavour, from house-made jams and chutneys to fragrant herbs, truffle oil and straight-from-the-oven Portuguese custard tarts, offering that perfect transition from crisp, buttery pastry to creamy sweetness. Stock up to take home or linger a while beside the fireplace with a cup of warming almond chai.

Annie's Provedore. Photo: Moby Dick.

Annie’s Provedore & Produce Store, Barwon Heads

Annie’s Provedore & Produce Store brings the taste of Italy to the Bellarine Peninsula. Treat yourself to a barista-made coffee and grazing plate as you peruse the wares, including cheeses from the fromagerie, leafy local veggies fresh from the farm, boutique gins and spirits, oils, pastries, gourmet chocolates and luxury store cupboard essentials. Inspired by her grandparents’ Italian heritage, owner Annie is passionate about sharing the country’s gourmet delights and also runs foodie tours to Venice.

Find out more about Spirit of Tasmania's new Victorian home, Spirit of Tasmania Quay, opening 23 October.


Information included in this blog is correct at the time of publishing. Please contact individual operators for further information.

Book now

Come aboard and experience the joys of sailing for yourself. Book now

Geelong Terminal

Discover Spirit of Tasmania Quay, Geelong, the new Victorian home of Spirit of Tasmania. Geelong Terminal


Read our latest blogs on experiences in Tasmania and the mainland Discover
Close Window