If you are wondering what to do in Melbourne to entertain yourself and the family then ...
One of the best things to do on a day trip out is to experience Melbourne's searoad Sorrento ferry.
This operates down on both the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsulas.
You can either catch it at Sorrento, on the Mornington Peninsula or Queenscliff, over on the other side of Port Phillip Bay on the beautiful Bellarine Peninsula.
The trip from one side of PortPhillip Bay on the Sorrento Ferry, over to the other side, takes a good 40 minutes.
You can experience it either in the comfort the ferry's lounge inside or out on the top deck.
Here, you can wander from front to back or side to side taking in all the viewing vantage points.
Ferries depart both Queenscliff and Sorrento every hour, on the hour from 7am to 6pm daily
An extra twilight service operates at 7pm from 26 December to 31 January, every day
In February and March on weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sundays)
On Public Holidays as well as the Easter Long Weekend (Friday – Monday)
There are 2 ferry's operating at the same time. As you travel across the bay, you pass the other ferry coming back from the opposite direction - always a great opportunity to wave to fellow travelers.
The Sorrento Ferry docked at Queenscliff
The Sorrento Ferry transports not only passengers but you can take your bike, your car, truck or caravan, making it a great way to explore so much that Victoria, Australia has to offer.
The Searoad Sorrento Ferry From Sorrento To Queenscliff
What You Can See Traveling On The Sorrento Ferry
The Sorrento Pier - constructed in 1870, the pier became essential to the development of the township. Steamships brought visitors from Melbourne and from here they traveled by steam tram over to the Sorrento backbeach.
The Boiler - sometimes you can see the remains of the Steamer Wauchope sinking in 1918.
South Channel Fort - South Channel Fort is an artificial island in southern Port Phillip, Victoria, Australia, 6 km north-east of the town of Sorrento. It was part of a network of fortifications protecting the narrow entrance to Port Phillip. Since 1995 it has been managed as part of the Mornington Peninsula National Park. Public access is permitted during daylight hours and it is a popular diving site.
Mud Island - The Mud Islands are made up of three low-lying islands surrounding a shallow tidal lagoon connected to the sea by three narrow channels. Because of the movement of sand caused by tidal currants these shapes are constantly changing.
South Channel Pile Light - The Light is a single-storey octagonal lighthouse in Port Phillip, Victoria, Australia. Built between 1872 and 1874, it was used to guide ships through the narrow South Channel and until 1925 it was occupied by lighthouse keepers. The light was finally switched off in 1985 and actually ceased operating since then. The structure has since been restored by Parks Victoria and is relocated three kilometres off the coast of Ryde Beach.
Portsea - Portsea has become a popular holiday destination. It is the last western most settlement on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula. Portsea front beach is overlooked by the world famous Portsea Hotel. Events held at Portsea include the iron man competitions, the Portsea Pro-Am Classic, the Pier to Pub Swim, the Portsea Swim Classic, the Melbourne to Hobart and Melbourne to Davenport Yacht Races.
Chinaman’s Hat - Once the site of a former Militry structure it has been renovated and is now the new seal platform erected by Victoria’s Park Authority in 2002. The post-war structure was built to replace a dilapidated military installation erected on a dolphin as part of the Port Phillip bay defence system shortly before 1942.
Quarantine Station - In 1852 the sailing ship 'Ticonderoga' sailed through the heads and due to the fact that over 100 passengers had died during the voyage from Liverpool this area of Point Nepean was established as a Quarantine Station. It's purpose changed over the years, once used as a training college for army officer cadets, the Department of Defence for training medical personnel and a stop over for immigrant of war-torn Kosovo in 1999. Now the place is open to the public and makes for an interesting place to explore.
Point Nepean - This marks the southern point of The Rip (the entrance to Port Phillip) and the most westerly point of the Mornington Peninsula, in Victoria.
The Rip -There is only one sea passage between Port Phillip and Bass Strait and that is through a narrow entrance called the ‘Rip’. The headlands at the entrance to Port Phillip are Point Lonsdale and Point Nepean, know as the ‘Heads”. The Heads are 3.05 km apart however because of the reefs on either side entering is restricted as the channel is only about 300 metres. There are over 20 shipwrecks between the ‘heads’.
Point Lonsdale - is a coastal township bordering Queenscliff. The headland is dominated by the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse.
Shortland’s Bluff - here you can find 2 Queenscliff Lighthouses. The upper High or Black Lighthouse is situated in the grounds of Fort Queenscliff was built in 1863. It is built of solid bluestone from the Maribyrnong district and has never been painted. It is the only black lighthouse in Australia. The building of the Low Light lighthouse started shortly after on the South side of Shortlands Bluff. The Low Light is also referred to as the White lighthouse. Both lighthouses sit within the walls of Fort Queenscliff and it light ships through the RIP.
Queenscliff Harbour - now a modern marina precinct established in a true Victorian working harbour. Watch the Pilot boats returning from their trips into the rip, book yourself in to dive the bay, swim with the dolphins or partake of a delicious meal in the restuarant, this harbour has it all. Why not climb the observation tower and check out the amazing 360 degree view .
Onboard Facilities On The Queenscliff/Sorrento Ferry
Comfortable lounges and café style seating.
Full length windows for maximum viewing.
Various external viewing decks with outdoor seating.
On board CAFE providing light snacks and refreshments.
Lift from car deck to passenger lounge available. Lift can accommodate prams and wheelchairs.
Dogs permitted on leash on external decks only. Not permitted in lounge areas.
Baby change facility available.
Getting on and off the Sorrento Ferry is easy as you are able to drive straight in and drive straight off - no backing required.
Except for coaches booking are not required however to secure your position I would strongly recommend that if you pre book and that way you won't be disappointed.
Otherwise you can purchase a ticket right at the dock from the ticket booth and that you arrive 15 - 20 minutes before departure to do so.
During our busy period, 26 December through to 31 January and Easter Weekend, it is recommend booking online or arriving 30-40 minutes prior departure to avoid disappointment.
Car drivers and passengers need to advise the ticketing personnel of any special needs, so that they can ensure the placement of your car is on the lift deck.
Loving the views on the Sorrento Ferry
There is a lift that can accommodate prams and wheelchairs.
Queenscliff Harbour 1 Wharf Street East, Queenscliff, Victoria Melways Reference 499 J10
Sorrento Pier Sorrento, Victoria Melways Reference 157 C5
Operating hours are 7 days per week 9am till 4:30pm.
A great way to connect the Great Ocean Road to the Mornington Peninsula and Phillip Island.
Experience the beauty of Port Phillip Bay as the ferries glide past spectacular coastal scenery, big ships and maybe even a dolphin or two.
If you are a foot passenger why not take advantage of this fun service - The Bongo Transit
This little fun vehicle operates both in Sorrento and Queenscliff. Enjoy exploring both township shops and sights - perhaps take in the Queenscliff Market
Getting picked up and dropped off at the ferry terminal, how convenient is that! One price is charged in both towns. You can also pre-book your transit experience. Just click on the Bongo transit link above for more details.
Operating: 11.30am – 3.45pm
Saturdays & Sundays
School Holidays & Public Holidays
Special Return Ferry and all day Bongo Offer ticket now available.
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Cards, t-shirts, Australianna and so on - if it's a gift you are after that is unique I am sure you will find something here.
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