The Bellarine, VIC

A chat with Claire Gemes from Lon Retreat, Point Lonsdale, VIC

By The Weekender Travel

August 10, 2020 | 3 minute read

Claire Gemes
Claire Gemes

The Weekender loves to chat with wonderful people doing wonderful things in our favourite getaway destinations. As we add the Bellarine, Victoria to The Weekender, we caught up with Claire Gemes, the Managing Director of Lon Retreat.

Featuring seven luxurious suites and a mineral spa, the retreat rests on a serene hill by the sea. All the attractions of Point Londsdale and beyond are on its doorstep, including the famous Rip, where the gentle waters of Port Phillip meet the wild seas of the Bass Strait.  

There's also the picturesque Lighthouse and pier with Maritime history galore,  plus stunning coastal walking tracks and Queenscliff just up the road. Here's what Claire had to say about this spectacular region. 

* At the time of writing, activities and places mentioned in this guide are at varying stages of recovery from COVID-19. Please check government and business websites for specific details on opening times and any restrictions before you travel.

Lon Retreat
Lon Retreat

What do you love about the Bellarine? 
I love how the Bellarine has such a relaxed friendly vibe, and there's our incredible Taste Trail, wineries and world-class beaches only a short drive or wander away. 

Where are your favourite places to visit?
Wandering from our farm straight onto the Lonsdale back beach for the Lighthouse walk or rock-pool rambles is one of my favourite ways to end a busy day! Exploring further, my faves include a lazy lunch at Basil's Farm on a sunny day.  

Soaking up the exceptional views whilst sipping a crisp chardonnay at Jack Rabbit Vineyard, learning the secrets of how to drink and savour some of Australia's best gins at The Whiskery and then indulging in a fine dining experience amongst the olive groves at Merne .

Point Lonsdale Lighthouse
Point Lonsdale Lighthouse

Any hidden secrets/tips for people who are visiting Point Lonsdale?
The Esplanade walking track that runs along the bay from the Lighthouse to Queenscliff is spectacular. Start with coffee in Lonsdale at Grow Cafe, then walk or ride along the Esplanade, stopping to watch the container ships pass by, before arriving at Queenscliff for breakfast. 

The blue rock pools on the back beach past the surf club are also incredible, with some of them so transparent it is like looking into a clear turquoise pool. 

Where would we find you at 10.00 am on a Sunday? 
Either at the Reception desk at Lon greeting our guests as they check-out from a blissful weekend with us, or in my hometown of Barwon Heads with my husband Rob and two children. In the warmer months we might be  swimming at the river or bike-riding around our gorgeous sea-side village - via a great coffee at Annies Provedore.


We think you should know

The Weekender's travel guides are independently written by real travellers. We do not receive any money from, or have a sponsorship arrangement with, any of the entities listed in or referred to in this article.