Sitting right on the edge of glistening Corio Bay is the awesome city of Geelong. It’s such a shame that this place is constantly overshadowed by its glam younger sister (*cough* Melbourne *cough*), because this ol’ gal is full of natural charm.
If you want history, you’ll be spoiled rotten in Geelong! For some top titbits, visit the National Wool Museum (nowhere near as boring as it sounds), the Old Geelong Gaol and The Heights Heritage House and Garden for a peek into life back in the 1850s. Next on the agenda should be some fine wine – another thing Geelong does exceptionally well. Hit the Shadowfax Winery, Bellarine Estate Winery and Barwon Grange Winery for some quality plonk (and possibly a hangover). Lastly, be sure to stop by Narana Creations to pick up some authentic Aboriginal art.
GEELONG’S TOP 10
10. Geelong Performing Arts Centre Catch everything from a loud concert to a cool film festival at this modern space.
5. Ford Discovery Centre Learn all about your beloved Ford through a bunch of cool exhibits. No Holden fans allowed!
9. Lethbridge Wines One of the best wineries in the region produces the best Shiraz and Chardonnay in the biz.
4. Werribee Open Range Zoo A big chunk of Africa right in the heart of Victoria! Go on safari to spy on some elephants, rhinos and monkeys.
8. Geelong Gallery A massive collection of 19th and 20th century Aussie and Euro paintings, plus old porcelain, pottery and silver.
3. Adventure Park Don’t be afraid to act like a total kid at this water park. Giant waterslides, wave pools and rides – this place has it all!
7. Botanic Gardens Chill amongst the flourishing flora and breathe in that super-clean air. Ahh… this is the life!
2. Brisbane Ranges National Park Pretty wildflowers and cute koalas abound. Go for a chilled walk or camp out for a few nights.
6. Steiglitz Historic Park Once a bustling gold-mining village, you can still admire the 1800s architecture, while the cemetery tells you how tough things were back in the day.
1. Geelong Heritage Centre If you really want to get down to the nitty gritty of Geelong’s history, head here to peruse old photos, letters, plans and newspapers.
You want cars? We’ll give you cars! Head to All Ford Day to celebrate some real beauties in February.
Lose the undies and slap on a kilt for the Geelong Highland Gathering, held every March.
October’s Toast to the Coast festival is a big ol’ celebration of the good things in life – namely fine wine, fine food and fine entertainment.
The city comes alive with buzzing crowds for the annual Central Geelong Sidewalk Sales, held on Melbourne Cup Day (November).
WHEN TO GO
- Geelong sees plenty of cool, mild days and not much heat (even in summer). The average annual temp? 14°C (57°F).
- If you’re not up for umbrellas and gumboots, stay away during July and August. For slim chances of rain, try December to March.
Visit our partner page Geelong hotels by Hotel.com.auGETTING AROUND
- Benders and McHarrys buses are awesome. Between them, pretty much all the touristy spots are covered, and the fares are cheap as chips.
- If you want to explore further out (anywhere from Mount Gambier to Melbourne), jump on a V/Line train.
- Need to get home after a long night? Get your bum on a NightBus. They run every Saturday night from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m., on four routes to over 20 suburbs.
The state of Victoria, Australia has a world class capital in Melbourne. A mere 75 km away however, is a diminutive city with a lot of charm. Home to less than 200,000 people, Geelong shares a common legacy with Melbourne as a wealthy gold rush boom town in the 19th century. Unlike the Victoria capital however, Geelong became little more than a gateway and heavy industry port a century later. Today thankfully, Geelong escapes such narrow definitions and is well worth the slight deviation for those about to embark on a Great Ocean Road trip from nearby Torquay. Waterfront Geelong on Corio Bay for one, underwent a superb facelift in 1994 and is now a first-rate recreation area, with attractions such as the Baywalk Bollards, Yarra Street Pier and Carousel Pavillion. Other points of interest in the city include the Geelong Art Gallery, Geelong Naval and Maritime Museum and National Wool Museum.
ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES
RESTAURANT & NIGHTLIFE
Geelong has a temperate climate, with four distinct seasons.
- Summer (November to February) 10-25°C
- Fall (March to May) 8-23°C
- Winter (June to August) 6-15°C
- Spring (September to October) 8-21°C
Geelong - General information
11 hotels in Geelong, AU
Geelong Riverview Tourist Park Hotel provides quality service and modern accommodation for the guests' convenience. The places of interest in Geelong are Geelong's Waterfront, Old Geelong Gaol and... More
The Aberdeen Motor Inn is one of the most conveniently located motor-inns in Geelong. Just a short walk to the centre of town or to the re-newed waterfront district with it's fabulous restaurants... More