Posted: 2 Jun 2015

Why Queenscliff is a top place to visit in winter

Salt Art Gallery, Queenscliff. Picture: Tourism VictoriaQueenscliff might be fun in summer, but the old girl really shines during the colder months.

Imagine rugging up for a beach walk before retreating to an open fire for lunch. Then take a stroll around the galleries, or buy a new book or hand-knitted scarf. Or bliss out with a massage at a waterside spa, all capped off with a cheeky cocktail and perfect coal-roasted chook at trendy new pop-up Henrietta‘s (on the gorgeous old balcony of the Esplanade Hotel).

Connie Trathen, Vue Grand QueenscliffSound good?

Here’s a local’s guide to enjoying a winter weekend in Queenscliff from the Vue Grand Hotel‘s well-connected events general manager Connie Trathen (right). Connie spends much of her time at the Vue Grand, a beautiful old 32-room boutique hotel with a grand dining room and comfy bar, but a girl can’t work all the time. These are Connie’s top 5 ways to enjoy Queenscliff in winter.

1. Find an open fire

After a crisp walk around town and along Swan Bay, cosy up in front of an open fire. You’ll find them at cafés and some of the accommodation venues, but my favourites are are the Saltbush Café and Athelstane House.

Salt Lounge Queenscliff2. Cocktails

The Salt Lounge (right) is an eclectic, retro lounge above an amazing art gallery (they even have an open fire). Make sure you say hello to David as he swoons around in his silk cigar jacket. Enjoy their house-designed cocktails, along with a tasty pre or post-dinner morsel. Come back and enjoy the balcony area over summer as well.

3. Shopping

You want it, we got it. The Geelong Vintage Market opened up in recent times in the old Eddies Emporium building. It was a match made in heaven. You can spend hours in there or just marvel at their window displays. There are so many other gems to hunt out around town as well, ranging from locally made products to art, clothes and the best gift ideas.

4. Day spas

Queenscliff day spa viewDay spas are the classic winter escape, and Queenscliff has two. Arriving at the Queenscliff Day Spa is half the fun, as you sit at a huge glass window overlooking the stunning marina (right). If you have the kids, escape for a bit at the Mud Day Spa attached to the Big 4 Beacon Resort. You won’t be disappointed by the selection of treatments.

5. Festivals

Queenscliff hosts festivals for film buffs, foodies and Lego enthusiasts, along with fabulous markets and steam train events. There are events right across the Bellarine Peninsula. Don’t think there isn’t enough to keep the young and not so young busy before crashing at the end of a day in one of the many lovely places to stay in Queenscliff.

Matt Preston GrampiansMatt Preston’s guide to the Grampians


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