- Rail Trail
- A great one-day or weekend excursion close to Melbourne and Geelong, with scenery ranging from suburban to rolling farmland and picturesque Swan Bay
- Geelong and Queenscliff offer good shopping and dining opportunities
- Easily accessible from Melbourne using V/Line’s Waurn Pond services (bikes carrried subject to available luggage space), alighting at South Geelong Station
- From Drysdale to Queenscliff, the trail runs beside The Q Train restaurant service
- Bellarine Railway’s heritage service is only running from Queenscliff to Lakers Siding but they are working towards resuming services the rest of the way to Drysdale
- Victoria’s second largest city, Geelong has an interesting seafront with colourful bollards
- The Bellarine Peninsula has great wineries, beaches and landscapes
- Queenscliff is one of Victoria’s most picturesque coastal towns, with many historic buildings. It looks out over The Rip, where ships enter Port Phillip Bay
- The Searoad Ferry, which sails from Queenscliff to Sorrento, on the Mornington Peninsula
- The Fyansford Rail Trail (starting in North Geelong)
- The Bellarine Railway operates tourist services with heritage trains from Queenscliff to Lakers Siding
- The Q Train is an award-winning restaurant service from Drysdale to Queenscliff and return
Last updated: 10 November 2023
The Bellarine Rail Trail opened in 2000. It has two distinct sections, with the 18km from South Geelong to Drysdale being asphalt on or near the railway alignment. The other 17km runs next to the heritage trains, predominantly on crushed granite.
From Drysdale, the trail runs next to the restaurant train service and, from Lakers Siding, the Bellarine Railway as well, but uses some quiet streets at the Queenscliff end
ESTA Emergency Markers are installed along the trail. In an emergency, call 000 and quote the code on the marker post nearest to you, eg BRT22
There are some crossings of major roads to watch out for
Major towns with all services include Geelong, Leopold, Drysdale and Queenscliff.
For public transport options go to ‘GET AROUND’ below and click on ‘SHOW MORE’
South Geelong to Drysdale (18km)
- At South Geelong Station, the shared path along Carr St has been removed to allow for track duplication works
- The railside trail is also closed between Strong St and the Fyans St/Carr St roundabout to allow for the construction of a rail bridge and removal of the dangerous roundabout and level crossing. This project will include the building of a concrete shared path next to Carr St with direct access from South Geelong Station’s new outbound platform in 2024
- In the meantime, the best place to start is on the eastern side of the Carr St-Breakwater Rd roundabout, near the Geelong Showgrounds, where there is some off-street parking but no facilities
- The trail climbs gently to Leopold with sweeping views back to Geelong
- From Leopold, the trail traverses farmland with views of Corio Bay and the You Yangs. This section was built beside the railway formation and the tracks are still visible in places
- At Curlewis Rd, turn left, away from the old trail and carpark, cross that busy road at the signalised pedestrian crossing and then the Portarlington Rd (C123) crossing to get back on the railway alignment
- The restored Drysdale Railway Station has a museum which is currently only open when The Q Train is running. There’s also a goods shed, locomotive turntable, BBQ shelter and historic cottage
- A coffee van operates in the carpark from 6am to noon every day
- Drysdale shopping centre is about 1km north of the station
Drysdale to Queenscliff (17km)
- The asphalt ends at Princess St and the trail reaches its highest point at Andersons Rd, just after leaving the tunnel under the Drysdale Bypass (B110). There is some car parking here and it is downhill the rest of the way to Queenscliff
- Leave the rail reserve briefly at Lakers Siding and follow the markers
- From Fellows Rd, the trail is on-street (Murray Rd) for 1km before joining a path beside the Bellarine Hwy
- At King St the trail returns to the railway reserve for the rest of the way
- Cross the railway line about 600m before Queenscliff Station and travel beside Swan Bay to the end of the trail
South Geelong Station doesn't look like this any more 
The rail trail is popular with locals in the South Geelong area 
Suburbia gives way to countryside at Moolap, after about 5km 
A shelter at the Moolap Station site, where there is plenty of parking 
Enjoying the sunshine near Clifton Ave on the way to Leopold 
The trail is a transport link for residents of newer housing estates 
Drysdale Railway Station (left) and Lake Lorne border the trail 
The Q Train dining service returning to its terminus at Drysdale 
Drysdale Bypass goes over the trail and railway before Andersons Rd 
There are some undulations beside the railway [Reg Quelch 2016]
Spring at Mannerim with a canola crop in flower [Reg Quelch 2020]
Mannerim Station opened in 1883 as Marcus Hill but was renamed 
The leisurely pace of The Q Train allows plenty of time to wave 
A recent addition, Suma Park has a shelter and facilities 
Between Suma Park and Lakers Siding with Swan Bay in background 
A Bellarine Railway train departing Lakers Siding for Queenscliff 
On-road section along Murray Rd between Lakers and Queenscliff 
The rail trail skirts Swan Bay as it approaches Queenscliff 
Riders pass Thomas the Tank Engine at Queenscliff [Simon Birrell 2023]
The Queenscliff trailhead, near the old station and Bridge St 
Typical accommodation and dining in the seaside resort town 
Views of Queenscliffe Port and the bay from the lookout tower 
Cycling Vine Tours
Cycle, food & wine tours through Victoria’s premier food & wine growing regions: Yarra Valley | Mornington Peninsula | Bellarine Peninsula. Experience amazing countryside & coastal areas. Enjoy local food & wine. Cycle in the morning on idyllic back roads and rail trails past vineyards and local food producers then indulge in the afternoon with wine tasting at intimate boutique wineries away from the crowds. Self-Guided & Guided Tours available.
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. Groups of six or more are welcome to call 5258 2069 and book to ensure enough space can be provided. On train running days the Queenscliff and Drysdale stations have a kiosk, gift shop, museum and local tourist information.
This trail normally starts at V/Lines’ South Geelong Station but this area is currently subject to track duplication and level-crossing removal works and cyclists may need to ride on footpaths (see SECTION GUIDES for details). Refer to the PTV web page for map and timetables, or use the navigation app of your choice.
Do you know of a bike hire or transportation service on this rail trail that should appear here? If so, let us know at email@example.com.
We acknowledge the Wadawurrung people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail is built.
The line opened from Geelong to Queenscliff in 1879 to carry soldiers and materials to help defend Port Phillip Bay from possible attack by Russia. It also carried holidaymakers to the popular seaside resort of Queenscliff. The line closed in 1976, but the section from Drysdale to Queenscliff reopened as a tourist railway in 1981 after being regauged to 3’6″ to take advantage of the locomotives donated by the Australian Portland Cement Company from its quarries near the Moorabool River.
Users of the Bellarine Rail Trail in Victoria are relieved to see the completion of ...More...
The new trail surface (Reg Quelch) The Bellarine ...More...