Find Businesses and Services in Queenscliff, Victoria

Queenscliff is a small town on the Bellarine Peninsula at the entrance to Port Phillip in southern Victoria, Australia and is bounded on its north side by the environmentally important Swan Bay. It is part of the Borough of Queenscliffe, which also includes the neighbouring town of Point Lonsdale. It is one of the endpoints of the Searoad ferry to Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula. Originally a fishing village, Queenscliff soon became an important cargo port, servicing steamships trading in Port Philip. A shipping pilot service was established in 1841, and lighthouses were constructed in 1862. Queenscliff also played an important military role.<b>

Fort Queenscliff was built between 1879 and 1889, and operated as the command centre for a network of forts around the port. The complex ceased operations as a fort in 1947, and has since been used by the army for administrative purposes. In 2005, the area previously holding the Fort Barracks was subdivided into residential blocks, and renamed Shortlands Beach, in honour of the town's prior name. The proposed redevelopment drew fierce criticism from some sectors of the community, who feared loss of an important heritage site. The original fort remains on site. Queenscliff became a tourist destination in the late 1800s, with visitors arriving from Melbourne via a two hour journey on the paddle steamer, Ozone. The opening of a railway line to Geelong in 1879 brought increasing tourists to the area, and numerous luxury hotels (or coffee palaces) were built to accommodate this. The Palace Hotel was built in 1879 (later renamed Esplanade Hotel), the Baillieu Hotel was built in 1881 (later renamed Ozone Hotel), the Vue Grande Hotel was built in 1883, and the Queenscliff Hotel was built in 1887. The advent of the car saw Queenscliff drop in popularity as a tourist destination, as tourists were no longer dependent on its role as a transport hub. The railway ceased weekly passenger services in 1950, and was closed in 1976. The 1980s saw a return in the town's tourist popularity. Queenscliff is home to the Queenscliff Music Festival , a popular annual music festival which attracts both local and international acts and is an important part of the town's ongoing tourist industry.

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