There are few places where strolling around doing nothing are as appealing as Queenscliff, once the de rigueur holiday destination for Melbourne’s rich and famous.
Many Victorian-era buildings and an old-style pier (right) remain intact in this historic old resort town, 30 kilometres from Geelong by road and a ferry ride from Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula.
Many visitors enjoy taking a steam train ride along part of the old railway track to Melbourne, while others are content just to walk out along the pier past the stoic fishermen.
This is also a slow-paced shoppers’ heaven with a wide range of arts and crafts stores, old-fashioned sweet shops, places selling hand-made jewellery (my wife was particularly taken by the earrings at Portobello and underwent some retail therapy) and second-hand bookshops. There are half-a-dozen galleries selling the work of local artists.
The Vue Grand Hotel serves modern cuisine to an appreciative local audience. Casual Ginger Mai's and the Couta Boat Café are also popular.We were also delighted to find an excellent providores store that would not be out of place in Paddington or South Yarra; Farm Foods.
There are probably a couple of dozen places to stay if sea breezes and long walks are your thing, ranging from the Athelstane House and the venerable Vue Grand to self-catering options including Banks at Queenscliffe and Ruby's bed and breakfast.