by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Magazines : Our Place - Geelong Region Magazine 2011
2106747-GRM2011 The artful charm and leisurely pace of Queenscliff, Barwon Heads and Apollo Bay have secured them roles in the Villages of Victoria tourism campaign. MANDY SQUIRES reports IF the buzzing surf mecca of Torquay is the Geelong region's racy, red sports car, the traditional fishing villages of Queenscliff, Barwon Heads and Apollo Bay are its vintage classics. Slower, sure. Quieter, definitely. But easy on the eye, packed with features and oozing style and charm. According to the executive director of Geelong Otway Tourism, Roger Grant, the fishing history of Queenscliff, Barwon Heads and Apollo Bay gives them an ambience and authenticity which is increasingly sought after by tourists. e significant residential population of the towns, coupled with their quaint village feel, also appeals to visitors, who are keen to mix with locals and feel part of the community. Add pristine beaches (of both the safe-swimming and surf variety), pretty main streets, fine food, wine and coffee, high- end shopping and quality accommodation and you have ideal holiday destinations for those who like a little class with their sun, surf and sand. e towns share much in common and are all marketed under the 'seaside village' banner but each has points of difference which appeal to different demographics, so are promoted accordingly, Mr Grant says. With grand, heritage-listed buildings and picture-postcard views, historic Queenscliff is marketed as a 'classic' holiday destination, which exudes old-world charm. It's at the very tip of the Bellarine Peninsula, with the Port Phillip Marine Park and infamous Rip on its doorstep offering visitors viewing, snorkelling, boating and diving opportunities. e town appeals to those seeking "a breath of fresh air", Mr Grant says. Barwon Heads boasts three of Australia's top golf courses, making it "a golf-lovers' paradise", and a bustling main street of contemporary eateries and stylish fashion, gift and homewares stores. e 'village by the sea' has grown in popularity as a tourist destination since filming of the award-winning ABC television series Seachange took place in the town in the late-1990s. Many kilometres away, the beautiful village of Apollo Bay is notable for its spectacular location on the Great Ocean Road at the foot of the Otway Ranges, and for its busy, fishing harbour. Great food is also a hallmark of the area. e simplicity and natural beauty of Apollo Bay, together with its proximity to mountains, rainforests and the popular Great Ocean Walk, appeals to nature and adventure lovers, and offers visitors the opportunity to be "recharged by nature', Mr Grant says. Annual visitor numbers reflect the growing popularity of the three towns. Tourism Research Australia figures show Queenscliff attracts an average of 187,000 day-trippers, 129,000 domestic overnight visitors and 5800 international visitors a year; Apollo Bay draws about 120,000 day-trippers, 264,000 domestic overnight visitors and 43,000 international visitors. e same official data is not available for Barwon Heads, but Mr Grant estimates the area is home to roughly 60,000 day trippers and 120,000 overnight (domestic and international) visitors every year. Tourism and hospitality have become major employers in the villages, complementing or replacing traditional industries such as fishing. Joyce Joubert, of Queenscliff and Coastal Holidays, says her business -- established five years ago with two friends -- is growing rapidly in response to demand. e business offers a range of luxury holiday rentals in Queenscliff and neighbouring Point Lonsdale for a wide range of age groups, including young families and retirees. Regardless of age, holiday-makers are attracted to Queenscliff because of its small-town feel and gentle pace, Ms Joubert says. ey also like the unspoilt, quiet beaches and the mix of old and new; enjoying both the town's historic architecture and its new, multi-million dollar harbour development, she says. Good restaurants and cafes, beautiful art galleries and pretty shops are simply the icing on the cake. Visitors to Barwon Heads and Apollo Bay feel similarly, Mr Grant says. " ere is just more style and charm about a village (than a sprawling town)," he says. " ere's a sense of a village still having a soul and of people being welcome." e three villages are part of a $6 million, state-wide tourism campaign called Villages of Victoria, designed to boost tourism and stimulate economies in regional areas. Other Victorian villages featured in the campaign include Daylesford, Castlemaine, Maldon, Port Fairy, Beechworth, Bright, Walhalla, Maldon, Clunes, Healesville, Rutherglen, Yackandandah, Warburton, Paynesville, Halls Gap and Port Campbell. e four-year campaign was launched mid-2010. CLASSIC DESTINATIONS Annual visitor numbers reflect the growing popularity of the three towns. Tourism Research Australia figures show Queenscliff attracts an average of 187,000 day-trippers, 129,000 domestic overnight visitors and 5800 international visitors a year.
Breakaway Autumn 2011