Geelong: Galleries, Gardens and Culinary Delights
Located about an hour north-west of Melbourne, Geelong lies at the gateway to the stunning Bellarine Peninsula and the iconic Great Ocean Road.
Natural beauty isn't Geelong's only asset however. Victoria's second largest city boasts a beautiful waterfront and is home to a myriad of shopping, dining, arts and entertainment experiences.
Introduce yourself to Geelong with a stroll along the picturesque waterfront precinct. Along the way you'll encounter a collection of unique public sculptures, each representing something of the region's character or heritage.
You can also immerse yourself in history with a visit to the restored art deco pool and the Eastern Beach Pavilion. The Old Geelong Gaol Museum provides a glimpse into life behind bars in Victorian times. Also popular is the National Wool Museum, situated just a block from the water in a beautiful bluestone building from 1872.
Spend an hour or two discovering the beautiful Geelong Botanic Gardens. This tranquil destination is ideal for a relaxing meander or casual breakfast or lunch in the Garden Teahouse.
Geelong Gallery has a wonderful permanent collection and a calendar of rotating exhibitions.
The Geelong Performing Arts Centre features two theatres, a café and a bar, and presents the some of the best in Australian live entertainment. For a more casual night out, visit any of the wonderful restaurants and bars in town. Geelong boasts some great festivals including Pakofesta, one of Australia's biggest multicultural celebrations. This free event is held each February, and features world class performers, a wonderful parade and enticing international flavours.
Families will have a ball at Adventure Park, Victoria's biggest theme park featuring gigantic waterslides, rides and live shows. Children will also adore the antique carousel situated beside Steampacket Quay – hand carved in New York over 110 years ago, it features 36 carved wooden horses and is housed in an award-winning steel and glass pavilion accompanied by an organ, which plays 19th century fairground tunes.
The Eastern Beach pavilion is another family-friendly option with its children's pool, fenced sea pool, fountain, parks and cafes.
Geelong boasts everything from fish and chips to many styles of fine dining. Pakington Street in town is bursting with vibrant cafes, great restaurants and colourful boutiques. Discover fashion, homewares and the best in handcrafted goods from local artisans.
The Geelong Wine Region extends south to the coast and is renowned for its cool climate wine varieties. Take a drive or a tour to any of the local vineyards and discover some very fine drops, along with the freshest of local produce and some breathtaking scenery along the way. Jack Rabbit, Dinny Goonan and McAdams Lane wineries are just some of the options where you might sample some wonderful wines while enjoying a fabulous meal with a view.
Geelong is a bustling metropolis so you'll have no shortage of accommodation options. From bargain backpackers to boutique guesthouses or luxury retreats, there's something for every taste and budget.