The Bellarine Peninsula is 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. It 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 around 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.
Today, approximately 55,000 people live on the peninsula and unlike its cousin, the Mornington Peninsula, this number increases only slightly during peak tourist months. However, the peninsula is a growing tourist region with a variety of beaches and seaside resorts , wineries and undulating farmlands adding to the charm.