I'm a Victorian freelance writer & photographer living in the Macedon Ranges north of Melbourne.
Published December 6th 2013
The Queenscliff to Sorrento Ferry
What could be better than a near-Melbourne peninsula boasting fabulous beaches, historic townships & settlements, scenery to die for, great places to eat and some of the best wineries on earth? The only obvious answer is two and Melbourne has just that with the Bellarine and Mornington Peninsula's.
But the really good news is that despite them being a 3 hour drive and 400 kilometres apart by road, it's entirely possible to sample all the delights of both these magnificent places in a single day thanks to SEAROAD FERRIES operating regular services between Queenscliff and Sorrento.
Searoad Ferries operate between Sorrento on the eastern side of Port Phillip Bay to Queenscliff on the western side
SEAROAD operates two purpose-built, drive-on/drive-off vessels on the route departing both Queenscliff and Sorrento every hour, on the hour between 7 AM and 6 PM daily with additional sailings scheduled in summer peak periods.
The first vehicular ferry service across Port Phillip Heads was introduced in September 1987 using the MV PENINSULA PRINCESS, a purpose-built vessel which rarely cancelled a service in her six years on the run, not a bad record when you consider that the winter seas in this area can be monstrous.
Increased patronage and the proven viability of the route led to the construction and introduction of two new, larger and much improved vessels. The MV QUEENSCLIFF in 1993 and MV SORRENTO in 2001, both capable of carrying 80 cars and 700 passengers.
Searoad Ferries depart Sorrento and Queenscliff every hour on the hour between 7 AM and 6 PM daily
You can bring the car, travel as a 'foot passenger' or ride your bike (bikes are free) and take in the historic and spectacular scenery at the southern of the Bay or simply relax in the comfortable lunges with a coffee and snack from the on-board café to while away the 5.6 nautical mile, 40 minute trip to the other side.
During the crossing the visibility through panoramic windows in the lounges or from the open decks provide spectacular views of the old fortifications at Queenscliff and Point Nepean, Pope's Eye and Chinaman's Hat, the stately homes atop the cliffs at Sorrento and Portsea, big ships negotiating The Rip, whales, dolphins and countless pleasure craft. No two trips are the same.
Searoad Ferries are a great way to visit two of Victoria's most historic seaside towns, Queenscliff and Sorrento
For that special event SEAROAD also offer a 2 hour return trip twilight cruise complete with a spread of award-winning wines, ale and cider, cheesed, meats, mussel's and salmon, a gourmet presentation of everything the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsula's have to offer. The deal is available on Friday's and Saturday's on-board the 5 PM departure from Queenscliff and the 6 PM sailing from Sorrento.
Each of the Searoad Ferries is capable of carrying 80 cars and 700 passengers on the Bay crossing
Check out the website for other special events & sailings, special deals and a complete list of fares.