Portarlington Mussel Festival

Portarlington Mussel Festival -14th January 2023

Eat a hundred oysters a day and you will gain no fat. Who needs another reason to keep eating oysters? But nobody will give up eating oysters even if oysters had an unhealthy amount of fat. Are not the oysters too delicious to miss for any reason? There are many types of oysters and mussels are one of them. If your favorite oyster type is mussels, you should not miss the Portarlington Mussel Festival in 2023.

Portarlington has been producing the best delicious mussels in Australia since 1982. So Portarlington Oyster Festival is the place to go for a day of family fun surrounded by ten tons of fresh mussels to slurp down whenever you want. This festival has been a major event on the Melbourne calendar for about 15 years. There are oyster lovers who travel to Melbourne City just because of their love for mussels. They are not to be blamed as blue mussels of Portarlington are sweet in taste and very low in fat which is a rare combination.

This grand celebration of mussels is striving to become eco-friendly. From the first Portarlington Mussel Festival, they have taken baby steps every year to make the event more eco-friendly than the last one. You are not allowed to use plastic straws inside the festival grounds and the use of reusable bags is encouraged. They have to recycle bins everywhere on the festival premises to cut off the amount of waste disposal from the festival. If you are an environmental lover, you have another reason to visit the Portarlington Mussel Festival.

 The event is organized by a team of more than a hundred volunteers. The next Portarlington Mussel Festival is scheduled for 2022 and the organizing team is putting its best to ensure the Corona safety of the event going beyond the government guidelines. Therefore, you can celebrate your love for mussels with no worries about your safety.

If Portarlington Mussel Festival sounds like an event you would go to, here is some more information on the event.

1.    Date

Saturday, 14th of January 2023 – from 9.30 am to 5 pm.

2.    Location

1A The Esplanade, Portarlington VIC 3223, Australia

3.    Tickets

An admission ticket will be $5 each. The entrance is free for kids. With a $5 ticket, you will be able to join and enjoy the following segments in the Portarlington Mussel Festival.

  • Live music from three main stages throughout the festival day
  • Mussels served in a range of different dishes
  • Activities for kids
  • Cookery demonstrations
  • Art and Photo exhibitions
  • Classic car displays
  • Beer and wine tasting
  • More than 200 stalls to shop in
Portarlington Mussel Festival

4.    About the Portarlington Mussel Festival

The Portarlington Mussel Festival began as a small street festival in 2007. It stemmed out intending to celebrate and promote the famous mussel industry of the locality. At present, it has grown into a much love local festival in Victoria attracting more than 30,000 participants each year. This festival has live music throughout the entire festival day, many vendor stalls with fancy goods, and loads of delicious mussels to please your taste buds. The festival is organized as a family-friendly event so if you visit here with the family, nobody is going to be bored.

This annual community event is organized solely by a team of devoted and selfless volunteers who have invested their precious time to ensure the gradual success of the Portarlington Mussel Festival. Their valuable has already raised funds over $230,000 which are to be invested in worthy causes benefitting the community.

The picturesque Portarlington beach will make a few hours of traveling to this one-day festival worth it all. You can also convert the Portarlington Mussel Festival to a fair opportunity to explore the Bellarine Peninsula. So hop into a ferry that runs directly between Docklands and Portarlington and come to the Portarlington Mussel Festival for a day of Mussel fun.

5.    Transportation

More than 30,000 festival-goers are participating in the Portarlington Mussel Festival each year. So there will be limited parking spaces available. The ride from Melbourne to the festival ground will take around 90 minutes but is likely to get delayed due to traffic coming towards Portarlington.And if you don’t know where to drive, you can follow the signs to the car park at the Portarlington Recreation Reserve, off sprouts Streat or refer to the map.

If you do not want to use public transportation, you can park by following the festival parking signs to the assigned car park at the Portarlington Recreation Reserve, off Sproat Street. From this car park, it is an easy 8-minute walk along the foreshore or you can catch a free shuttle bus.


Sea Road Ferries From Mornington Penisula

Are you coming from Mornington Penisula? The best way for you to arrive at Portarlington is to travel by sea. On the Searoad Ferry from Sorrento to Queenscript. If you are planning to bring your car or your own vehicle on the cruise, you must book a ride beforehand. 

For more information, check here:- http://www.searoad.com.au/

Port Phillip Ferries From Melbourne

It only takes 90 minutes to get to the festival from Melbourne, and there will be no traffic. The ferry is safe and enclosed; passengers can enjoy free Wi-Fi throughout the journey.

For more information, check here:- http://www.portphillipferries.com.au/

Free Local Shuttle Bus

If you take a ride on the bus to enjoy the mussel festival, there will be no parking hassle! So get on a local shuttle bus.

Booking must be made before 11.00 AM on the festival day. And the bus will pick you up. To go back home just wait in front of Parks Hall the bus will pick you up at the end of the festival.

Contact them via Phone:-0400 963 566


Buses will start at 9.00 AM and finish at 5.30 PM (half an hour before and after the official festival times).

Children up to 7 years old cannot travel on the bus; please arrange alternatives.

Train from Melbourne

Southern Cross Station to Portarlington

  • The train departs at 7:50 AM. Arrive at Geelong Railway Station at 8:50 AM.

Catch the Route 60 bus at 9:15 AM. Arrive at Portarlington at 9:57 AM

  • The train departs at 9:50 AM. Arrive at Geelong Railway Station at 10:50 AM.

Catch the route 60 bus at 11:10 AM. Arrive in Portarlington at 11:52 AM

Portarlington to Southern Cross Station

  • The bus departs at 4:47 PM. Arrive at Geelong Railway Station at 5:26 PM

The train departs at 5:31 PM. Arrive at Southern Cross Station at 6:35 PM

If there are any changes regarding the above-mentioned transport facilities, they will be informed via the website of Public Transport Victoria.


This year’s festival is full of entertainment. We promise you that! From food, and music to games, everything will be there. The entertainment activities are organized under a variety of categories. So there must be even only an activity that must suit your taste. 

There will be mussels for you to take home. Down at the Pier, there will be a Mussel selling shop, and you can buy fresh Mussels from there.

At 12.30, Port Phillip Ferries will be ready to take you on tour on a mussel cruise. You will be able to learn many things about the mussel industry during the tour.

Here is the most exciting part: during the whole day, you can check and learn or just watch the hourly cooking demonstrations at Rie’s Kitchen to please your eyes. Visit the cooking tent at any time to smell and taste delicious food.

Plus, there will be an Art Show. Many artists from all over Bellarine will be there with their works at Park Hall on the festival day. You can pay them a visit, buy some artwork, and admire their hard work. Over 30 local artists are participating in the exhibition with their work. So, there will be a diverse range of works. With that, we can’t forget the fact availability of local Bellarine beer and wine at the festival. So make sure to enjoy them too.

Music Stage

The music stages will always be tuned with incredible local musicians all day long. 

A list of musicians will be performing at the festival

  • Soul Sister Swing
  • Blue Wax Trio
  • Trojan
  • All Shook Up
  • Treble Chefs
  • 10 Fly High
  • The Lea Jets
  • Vardos
  • Jimi Hocking
  • Tim Hulsman duo

Your Ultimate Weekend Escape in Portarlington

Yes! December is packed with holidays. Christmas Eve parties, church events, family gatherings, and late nights. You may not get a chance to escape the town in December. That is why January is perfect for a coastal holiday. Well, spend your January holiday. There is no other better place than Portarlington on the Bellarine Penisula. If you are new to this area here, we put some important details you might need to know when you visit Portarlington.


Go directly to the Docklands and catch the Port Phillip Ferry, and you can arrive at Portarlington within 90 minutes. If you prefer a drive, just get on the freeway from Melbourne, and you will be able to make it within 2 hours if there is no traffic jam. Make sure to book your rooms early because there will be many visitors on weekends for Mussel Festival. You can drop your luggage at your room, Airbnb, or wherever you stay and have a short walk around the local and Bellarine Bayside Parks.

When it is time for dinner, visit the historic Grand Hotel. It is located right in the center of the town, you will be able to find it quickly. The dinner menu will include local Portarlington Mussels, fish, and seafood paella with some good beer. You can enjoy your first night at Portarlington in Grand Hotel with delicious food and beverages while enjoying the sunset at the bay.


Festival weekend starts at 9.00 AM. so wake up early and head down to the market stalls. There will be four different music stages. You can grab a chair or a spot under a tree to listen to the beautiful tunes with your mussel for breakfast or lunch.

If you are interested in learning about the mussel industry and the history of the Portarlington Mussels Festival, join a ride in the mussel boat from the Pier. A local farmer will explain about the mussel industry and the festival’s history. And you will be able to see the locations of farms as well.

Make sure that you don’t miss Rie’s hourly cooking demonstrations at the cooking tent. And, of course, you can buy a box of mussels from a boat to take home and try what you learned in Rie’s hourly cooking demonstrations.

Jack Rabbit Vineyard and Terindab Estate are the best local wineries in Portarlington. They are located on each side of bay road. Make sure to visit both and enjoy some wine while enjoying the bay view.

Oakdene cafe and restaurant is a place with breathtaking views and delicious food. Visit there and enjoy their feature foods and wines, including Sparkling Shiraz, Jessica Sauvignon, Bernard’s Cabernets, and LY LY Pinot Gris, as well as your weekend.

If not, you can try out Teddy and The Fox. famous for its award-winning botanical gin ( Gin is an aromatic blend of 6 botanicals- Juniper, Coriander, Orange, Lemon myrtle, Orris root, and Star anise). Or maybe Flying Brick Cider Co offers their customers a wide range of natural ciders. A perfect place to spend time chilling with your family and friends.


Even if you walk a lot on Saturday, you can’t just lay in bed on Sunday because there is much more you shouldn’t miss out. Get active and play on the beach. Portarlington beach is a calm and perfect swimming spot for families with kids. Walk along the coast, then you can reach the nearby town of Indented Head. You can also visit St. Leonards, the original setting of the famous classic TV show Seachange.

Well, there are other options for you; if you are not interested in any of these, you can rent a SUP and paddle it around the coast or try cycling; Bellarine Rail Trail is perfect for cycling it is a 35km long oneway trail from Queenscliff to Geelong. Take lunch from Queenscliff after the ride and catch the steam train to return to your room.

Volunteers Wanted!

We would be grateful if you could join the volunteer team. Volunteers entirely run the festival. And you can get many benefits by working as a volunteer.

  • Spend time with volunteers and improve your group skills
  • Short 3 or 4-hour shifts available
  • Meet over 100 other volunteers
  • Free meal voucher
  • Free t-shirt
  • A good workout opportunity
  • Enjoy a fun day in the sun
  • Free entry to the festival before or after your shift
  • Help raise vital funds for the community
  • Join us on a “thank you” evening after the festival to celebrate your hard work and have some with the locals.

The application will be called later in the year.

FAQs on Portarlington Mussel Festival – 2023

Can I bring my dog?

No. Please leave your dogs at home. The festival day will be very crowded and bringing dogs might cause problems.

When is the festival?

The festival is held on the second Saturday of every January from 9.30 AM to 5.00 PM in the beautiful village of Portarlington on the Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria. The next festival will be in 2023.

Does the festival run all weekend?

No, it is only Saturday.

How much is entry?

It only costs 5$ per adult. Free entry for kids. And the donations will be distributed among local charities and community organizations for the benefit of the local community.

Can I volunteer?

Yes. Anyone whos interested can register for volunteer work. Please register here:- Volunteer – Portarlington Mussel Festival

Can I enter the art show?

If you wish to enter the art show, please check this page:-http://www.portmusselfestival.com/art-and-photography-exhibition/

Can I bring my own alcohol?

No, you can’t bring your own alcohol. There will be a range of local beer and wine you can enjoy.

Is there an ATM onsite?

Please bring a small amount of cash to the festival area. And there will be an ATM at the entrance, but it will always be busy. The closest location for the ATM outside is at Bendigo Bank on the corner of Harding St and Newcombe St.

Is the festival eco-friendly?

Yes. Every year the festival is getting more eco-friendly. In 2019 the organizers removed plastic straws and plastic bags and encouraged people to use reusable bags. 


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