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Large Car Park
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Prams & Strollers
Mountain Bike Trail
Historic Rail Trail
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Goldfields & Mining
The Bellarine Rail Trail is a 35 km walking and cycling track on the Bellarine Peninsula, in Victoria, Australia, that follows the route of the former South Geelong to Queenscliff branch line. It runs from South Geelong to Queenscliff, passing through the towns of Leopold and Drysdale. The rails have been removed from the western section between South Geelong and Drysdale.
The Bellarine Railway operates a tourist railway between Drysdale and Queenscliff, and the walking track runs parallel to the railway in this 16 km eastern section. The route traverses farmland with scattered patches and strips of native vegetation, mainly eucalypt woodland. 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 the Bellarine Rail Trail in 2000.
- 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
About the region
The Bellarine Peninsula is a peninsula located south-west of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia, surrounded by Port Phillip, Corio Bay and Bass Strait. The peninsula, together with the Mornington Peninsula separates Port Phillip from Bass Strait. The peninsula itself was originally occupied by Indigenous Australian clans of the Wathaurong nation, prior to European settlement in the early 19th century. Early European settlements were initially centred on wheat and grain agriculture, before the area became a popular tourist destination with most visitors arriving by paddle steamer on Port Phillip in the late 19th century.
The gradient is mostly easy and flat with a gradual climb in some places. Families with young children often choose to avoid the return uphill climb from Queenscliff to Mannerim by either hopping on the steam train or arranging other transport.