Travelling on the Queenscliff to Sorrento Ferry

Travelling on the Queenscliff to Sorrento Ferry

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 03/22/2016

Reading time: 4 mins

The Queenscliff to Sorrento Ferry connects up Phillip Island and the Great Ocean Road, two of Australia’s most beautiful destinations.

Sorrento Ferry

Along the Great Ocean Road, there are tonnes of natural sights to soak up, including the Twelve Apostles, the Gibson Steps, and magnificent cliffs. On Phillip Island, it is all about white sands, turquoise waters, and incredible animal encounters. Being able to travel easily between these two top destinations means visitors can really get under the skin of Australia’s natural beauty.

The crossing is carried out by Searoad Ferries and takes around 40 minutes, travelling along a breath-taking coastal route that has been dubbed one of the best in the world. Along the way, passengers can soak up a mesmerising array of sights. Dolphins jump in and out of the water, while massive ships glide elegantly through the waves. It offers a much more beautiful way to cross from one peninsula to the other, avoiding city traffic jams and monotonous freeways.

History of the Ferry Crossing

The ferry service came to life back in 1987 when the Peninsula Princess became the quickest way to travel from the Great Ocean Road to Phillip Island. It quickly became a popular route, so another, larger ferry – the MV Queenscliff – took over.

In 2001, the service became so popular that another ferry was added to the team. Both ships underwent a makeover, where they were fitted with modern, comfortable interiors and amenities for passengers to enjoy during the journey. While the MV Queenscliff was being upgraded, the Peninsula Princess was brought out of retirement for the first time in 10 years.

Enjoying Sorrento and Queenscliff

From the Sorrento side of the bay, it’s just a 500m walk from the ferry terminal to the main strip in Sorrento. Here, you can tuck into a delicious lunch at one of the numerous cafes dotted around, and admire the ferry terminal’s heritage-listed building while you wait. On the other side, the centre of Queenscliff is around 1km from the ferry terminal, where you’ll find top attractions like the Bellarine Peninsula Railway, the Maritime Museum, and Fort Queenscliff. There are several pubs and cafes located in the city, giving you plenty of opportunity to relax and refuel. Many passengers choose to take their car over on the ferry one way, and return on the longer route via the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsulas.

The Ferries

The ferries that service the route are stylish and well-equipped. There are two all-weather 60-metre ferries that tackle the journey, both of which feature easy drive on and drive off facilities, as well as comfortable lounges with huge windows to give you great views over the surrounding scenery. Elsewhere on-board, there is a café, a children’s playground, and a colouring corner to keep younger members of the family occupied on the short ride.

When you get off or depart from Queenscliff, be sure to check out the Beach Café at the ferry port. From here, you can marvel at the best beach views in the region and tuck into a delicious selection of dishes from breakfast through to dinner.

Ferry Operating Times

The ferry travels every hour in all weather conditions, 7 days a week. Journeys run from between 7am and 6pm. Between December 26th and January 31st there is a last 7pm departure so you can soak up as much of the summer sun as possible.

Not only does the Sorrento to Queenscliff ferry help you cross the peninsula in an environmentally friendly and speedy way, but it gives you the chance to explore this part of Australia in a relaxing and beautiful way. Instead of getting stuck in city traffic, you’ll be cruising through turquoise waters along the pristine coastline, taking in stunning scenes like jumping dolphins and hidden beaches.

If you’re planning on visiting Phillip Island or at least discovering the unique scenery of the Great Ocean Road and its surrounds, this ferry journey is definitely something to tack onto your itinerary.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.

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