The Great Ocean Road ends (or starts depending on your perspective) at the town of Queenscliff. Queenscliff is also one end of the Queenscliff to Sorrento car ferry route. It was my pleasure to experience this great ferry ride and bring a little bit of BotF ritual to the journey.
Time wise, this journey is definitely four stubbies long, if you were a foot passenger travelling with a couple of mates. This trip, however, I was a driving passenger with the family in tow. Co-incidentally, my ferry was named the Queenscliff, which is the same as one of the fleet of Manly Ferries. The insides are very roomy with a series of round tables, plus a couple of massage chairs. This is an innovation that the private operators of either version of the Manly Ferry might want to pick up on.
There are two “back of” areas. One is the completely open top deck, where there is no protection from the wind. The ability to view 270 degree views is good, I was almost blown into Port Phillip Bay. The preferred area was on the lower deck at the very back. Only sternward views are available, but you are afforded protection from the wind. The very back also offered great views of the jet skiers in our wake. We don’t get that often on the Manly Ferry.
My first Back of the Ferry tipple was as local a drop as you can get to Queenscliff. The Bellarine Brewing Company, which is part of the Bellarine Estate (another winery making beer) is about 25 clicks from the launching point of the ferry. They make a selection of beers including the intriguingly named Mussel Stout (I guess like Oyster), The Heads Ale and Bellarine Bitter. I had the Bitter and I’m going to have another before passing judgment. Enough said. My second bevvy was Carlton Light, which I reckon has the same design from when I was working in bottle shops since the late 80s. No worse than any light beer, and left me in fine shape to drive off the ferry. Onwards to the Mornington Peninsula.