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Each town on the Bellarine has its own unique character.

With a permanent population of around 55,000, that number swells to three times that amount during the summer school-holiday period.

But the Bellarine is much more than a summer destination. It’s truly a place for every day of the year.

Ocean Grove is the largest town and the epicentre of the peninsula.

This bustling place of around 14,000 permanent inhabitants boasts an excellent surf beach, extensive shopping facilities, cafes and restaurants.

Begola Wetlands, Blue Waters Lake and Ocean Grove Nature Reserve are haven for birds and other wildlife.

Across the bridge, Barwon Heads is no longer the sleepy little seaside village of yesteryear.

It’s a 365-day a year town now with superb fishing, a sheltered river beach and two world-class golf courses.

Barwon Heads also offers good surfing at 13th Beach and has a lively cafe and restaurant scene on Hitchcock Avenue.

Drysdale has a rural atmosphere with rolling farmlands and vineyards nearby.

It’s a thriving little place with a close-knit community feel and Lake Lorne reserve in the middle of town.

Clifton Springs and Curlewis are newer towns that are affordable for families. Bayside beaches and golf courses abound.

Portarlington is famous for its mussels, which are cooked any way you like at a variety of eateries.

With a ferry service from Melbourne, visitors are starting to appreciate what a hidden gem ‘Port’ really is.

St Leonards and Indented Head are quieter seaside villages that attract anglers and families looking for that perfect summer escape.

Queenscliff drips with historical charm.

This 1880s former seaside resort town is now known for its Victorian architecture and Fort Queenscliff, which sits proudly in the middle of the village.

With more than a dozen Heritage-listed sites and a lively marina precinct, the 1315 people who call Queenscliff home are justifiably proud of their part of the peninsula.

Point Lonsdale is a quaint village with rockpools and beaches and a 21 metre tall lighthouse that is one of the few 24-hour manned lighthouses left.

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