Melbourne, Yarra Valley, Geelong, Bellarine & Mornington Peninsulas
Looking over Swan Bay at Queenscliff, with the railway just below (2009)
Bushland in urban Leopold. (2009)
Mannerim in the spring (Reg Quelch 2016)
A great day or weekend destination close to Melbourne and Geelong with scenery ranging from suburban to rolling farmland to the picturesque Swan Bay.
The Bellarine Peninsula has fine wineries, beaches and landscapes, and a wealth of other recreation opportunities.
From Drysdale to Queenscliff the trail is beside the Bellarine Peninsula Tourist Railway. The tourist railway is happy to take bicycles on their trains if you don't want to ride in one (or both!) directions of this section.
Strong Street at Swanston Street near South Geelong railway station
South Geelong - Breakwater Rd opposite the Geelong showgrounds, 1km from the railway station along Carr St
Drysdale - At the railway station, which is the half way point where the tourist railway terminates.
Queenscliff - opposite the station towards the carriage sidings
South Geelong to Leopold (8km)
From South Geelong the trail climbs gently to Leopold
The trail surface is sealed From South Geelong to the Bellarine Highway crossing (where there are lights) and Melaluka Rd Leopold to the Portarlington Rd crossing.
Take in the sweeping views back to Geelong
Leopold to Drysdale (8km)
This section is fully sealed.
There is a bit of a gentle climb from Leopold to Curlewis
At Curlewis the trail goes through farmland and the view is of Corio Bay and the You Yangs
This section is built beside the original formation and the old track is still visible in places
Drysdale station has a museum that is open when the train to Queenscliff is running
A coffee van operates in the park when the station is open, from 6am to 12pm.
Drysdale to Queenscliff (16.5km)
From Drysdale to Queenscliff the trail runs next to the tourist railway and uses some local streets at the Queenscliff end
The trail reaches the highest point on the line just past Drysdale, and it is downhill all the way to Queenscliff
You have to depart the rail reserve briefly at Lakers Siding (follow the markers)
From Fellows Rd the trail is on-road (Murray Rd) for 1km before joining the path beside the Bellarine Highway
At King St the trail returns to the railway reserve to Queenscliff.
You will cross the railway line about 600m from Queenscliff Station to run beside Swan Bay.
The line was opened from Geelong to Queenscliff in 1879 to carry soldiers and materials to assist in the defence of Port Phillip Bay from possible attack by the Russians. It also carried holiday makers to the popular seaside resort of Queenscliff. The line was closed in 1976, but the section from Drysdale to Queenscliff was reopened as a tourist railway in 1981. It officially became a rail trail in 2000.
The rail trail is managed by the City of Greater Geelong, 03 5272 5272. Please report any issues with the rail trail to the council. The Drysdale to Queenscliff section is mostly on the the corridor of the Bellarine Railway.
The Bellarine Railway is happy to take bicycles on their trains free of charge if you don't want to ride in one (or both!) directions of this section. Groups of 6+ are welcome to call 5258 2069 and pre-book to ensure enough space can be provided. On train running days the Queenscliff and Drysdale stations have a kiosk, gift shop and local tourist information. Drysdale also has a museum.