- Rail Trail
- On Road
- Possible Rail Trail
- Other Trail
- former Railway
- A great day or weekend destination close to Melbourne and Geelong with scenery ranging from suburban to rolling farmland to the picturesque Swan Bay
- Geelong and Queenscliff offer good shopping, food and drink
- Easily accessible from Melbourne via V/Line services, alighting at South Geelong station
- 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.
- Geelong is Victoria’s second city and has an interesting seafront with colourful bollards
- The Bellarine Peninsula has fine wineries, beaches and landscapes
- Queenscliff is one of Victoria’s most picturesque coastal towns with many historic buildings. It looks over the Rip, the entrance to Port Phillip Bay
- The Mornington Peninsula can be reached via the Searoad Ferry to Sorrento
Bellarine rail trail opened in 2000. The main sections of the trail are:
- South Geelong to Drysdale is 16 km long through the outer suburbs of Geelong
- Drysdale to Queenscliff is 16.5 km long and features vistas of Swan Bay, vineyards and farms
Major towns with all services include Geelong, Leopold, Drysdale and Queenscliff.
- The trail is asphalt between South Geelong and Drysdale, then primarily compacted, crushed rock between Drysdale and Queenscliff
- From Drysdale to Queenscliff the trail runs next to the tourist railway and uses some local streets at the Queenscliff end
- Emergency markers are located along the trail. In an emergency, call 000 and quote the emergency marker code where you are located
- Crossings of major roads
South Geelong to Drysdale (16 km)
- From South Geelong Station take the bike path along Carr St to Strong St, where the rail trail begins. The trail climbs gently to Leopold
- Sweeping views back to Geelong
- A gentle climb from Leopold to Curlewis, where the trail goes through farmland with views 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 from 6 am to 12 pm every day of the week
- Drysdale shopping centre is about 1 km north of the station
Drysdale to Queenscliff (16.5 km)
- The trail reaches the highest point on the line 2 km from Drysdale at Andersons Rd just after leaving the tunnel beneath the Drysdale ring road. From here it is downhill all the way to Queenscliff
- Depart the rail reserve briefly at Lakers Siding (follow the markers)
- From Fellows Rd the trail is on-road (Murray Rd) for 1 km before joining the path beside Bellarine Hwy
- At King St the trail returns to the railway reserve to Queenscliff
- Cross the railway line about 600 m from Queenscliff Station to run beside Swan Bay
For more information on this trail see the book Rail Trails of Victoria and South Australia.
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.
Spring time at Mannerim with Canola in full bloom. (Reg Quelch 2020)
Bushland in urban Leopold (Reg Quelch 2016)
Farm with You Yangs visible behind Corio Bay
Christies Rd Leopold, which also has a good shelter and toilet. (2009)
The tracks are still in the trees between Leopold and Curlewis (Reg Quelch 2016)
Drysdale Station yard with old rolling stock and part of the water tank tower in the foreground. (Anne Ramus 2015)
The Bellarine Railway steam train approaches Drysdale station. (2009)
The scene near Drysdale is different with the completion of the road overpass (Reg Quelch 2020)
Spring time at Mannerim (Reg Quelch 2016)
Railway with rail trail in harmony at Suma Park, with Swan Bay in the Background. (2009)
Approaching Queenscliff with Swan Bay and the tourist railway line on the left (2009)
The blue Q Train offers a diner service and has been seen operating around noon on weekdays
Looking over Swan Bay at Queenscliff, with the railway just below (2009)
Swan Bay dingies after a winter gale
Ibis thermalling 2km north of Queenscliffe Port
Queenscliffe Port view from lookout tower, and easternmost end of the Bellarine Rail Trail. A good lunch spot
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.
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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...