The town of Drysdale was named after Miss Anne Drysdale who with her friend Miss Caroline Newcomb owned large acreages of land in the area. Drysdale moved to the region from Scotland for health reasons and went about farming in the region. The magnificent house she built from stone is named Coriyule and was built in1849. The homestead still stands today and is believed to be the oldest standing structure. It has recently been put on the market and is privately owned.
Clifton springs was once a very popular tourist destination with people flocking to the bayside town for its beautiful mineral springs. Around 1900 the springs were a booming resort. Paddle steamers would bring visitors from near and far to the resort and hotel. By 1923 the steamers had gone and the spring novelty worn off and the resort fell into disrepair before being burnt. It has been rejuvenated today into a country club, community centre and golf course. There are plans to bring the spring water back and save the eroding cliff faces for people to enjoy once again.
Like much of the wider geelong region the indigenous people of the wathaurong tribe lived in the area well before european settlement began in the mid 1800’s. The various water holes like lake lorne gave fresh water and were great breeding grounds for native birds and animals.
Over the years Drysdale has become one of geelong’s great rural hubs. Its sandy loam soil was perfect for potato farming and more recently canola crops. The area is also home to beef, horse breeders and some lambs.
Real estate & design
Over the past few decades Drysdale and Clifton Springs real estate has become a home for thousands of people with many new housing developments springing up. Many of the residents commute to work in Geelong or even Melbourne which is about an hour and twenty minutes away by road. The townships and surrounding area are home to about 10,000 and it is estimated another 3000 will move to the fast growing area in the next few years.
The area offers magnificent views of the surrounding hilly Bellarine Peninsula and breath-taking views across Port Phillip Bay with views of the You Yangs and even the skyscrapers of Melbourne on a good day.
Drysdale has a well developed town centre with large supermarket complex and smaller shops. There are plenty of cafes and specialty shops for visitors to explore including some local craft shops. One well worth checking out is the community crafts which is in the old library on the main street next to the beautiful Uniting Church.
Sports fitness & recreation
The local football club is the Drysdale Hawks. Nearby Clifton Springs and Curlewis, a few kilometers on the geelong side of the township are two of the regions favorite golf clubs. Clifton Springs is part of a huge convention centre which has function rooms with some of the best sweeping views of Port Phillip Bay and also has a large gaming facility.
Distance from CBD & Transport
The townships of Drysdale, Clifton Springs and Bellarine are situated in the centre of the Bellarine Peninsula about 16 kilometers to the east from central Geelong along the Bellarine Highway on route to Portarlington.
Railway once linked Drysdale with geelong now it is linked via a bus route which services much of the Peninsula.
Drysdale offers plenty for the history and heritage lover, the queenscliff – Drysdale historic steam train is the town’s biggest attraction and much loved. This train travels frequently during the weekend, school holidays and busy periods of the year and is a great way to explore the Bellarine Peninsula. There are also regular blues trains where blues bands play in carriages along the journey.
The Drysdale market is one of the more popular of the things to do in Drysdale it is held on the third Sunday of the month between September and April on the local recreation reserve and is the best place to sample some of the regions beautiful fresh produce and buy some beautiful craft items made locally.
Another attraction well worthy of a visit is the Drysdale old Court house museum ran by the bellarine historical society where a wide assortment of artifacts, manuscripts, photographs and documents are on display showing some of the rich and interesting history of the area.
Resturants & cafes
In between Drysdale and Portarlington lies Bellarine (the town) and is home to many of the Peninsula’s best wineries including Scotchmans Hill, Kilgour Estate Winery and the Spray Farm just to name a few. Many have open cellars where you can try and buy and some even have gourmet cafes or restaurants. Small farms specailising in ’boutique’ stock like special breed sheep and specialty cattle even llamas or angora goats. While others are trying their hand at olives or organic fruits and vegetables.