Portarlington - grand dame on the Bay

The winds of change are blowing into Portarlington with a three year commitment by Port Phillip Ferries to the Portarlington Docklands service. For Melbourne worker bees, you can depart at 7am each weekday and arrive into Docklands at 8.30am. The return service departs at 5.30pm. A 10 pass return ticket offer better value for the journey length than Vline, with free wifi to boot. Who needs Sydney Harbour…!

Portarlington marks the outer reaches of feasibility where Bellarine to Melbourne commuting by car is concerned. At just over an hour and a half before taking traffic into consideration, it’s a significant investment in time during peak hour shenanigans. A work commute into Geelong is far more manageable. Completion of the Drysdale bypass should improve the car commute time eventually.

Saints and Sailors

There’s plenty of investment action taking place around town. This is chiefly the domain of maturing types with an eye to retirement, who appreciate the beach-meets-country vibe and affordability, relative to other parts of the Bellarine.

Beyond the babyboomers, Portarlington has plenty going for it, with pretty north facing views over Port Phillip Bay to Melbourne’s twinkling skyline by night, and CBD towers by day.

Newcombe is the main street and home to several rather grand historic buildings, adding considerable appeal before you even throw in the expansive public parklands leading down to the waters edge.


There’s both a primary school and pre-school- the latter has some primo real estate and stunning water views. It’s a ten-minute drive to secondary schools in Drysdale or onto Geelong for single sex options.

Beyond Newcombe St, town rises uphill from the water, so there’s no shortage of water views beyond the absolute waterfront Esplanade or Ramblers Rd addresses.

Gradually, new home builds are spreading. Newer estates with some large homes are quite visible on the waterside of Portarlington Rd as you come into town. More recent additions extending into pastures south of town are steadily increasingly the population. As a result, there’s a new larger supermarket (Woolworths) on Brown St which will better service the summer swell of caravanning folks and influx of permanent resident newbies.



Port also has a live music heartbeat. It’s home to Saints and Sailors, a bar hosting regular live music from locals and touring acts week in, week out, whilst the National Celtic Festival takes over town each Queens Birthday weekend in June.

Watercraft lap lazily against the jetty and off moorings in the bay. The Portarlington Golf Course and indoor pool provide further recreational pursuits between famous Portarlington Mussels cooked one thousand ways. There’s plenty to do, only if you are so inclined. There’s no shame in lapping up the tranquility of the old Duke balcony either.

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