Geelong: The Gateway to the Bellarine Peninsula
Located approximately 75 kilometres south of Melbourne, Geelong benefits from an ideal location on the gorgeous waters of Corio Bay. Accessing the town from land is simple, as the Great Ocean Road begins just south of town. Geelong is the second largest city in all of Victoria, with a population of well-over 200,000 people. With lovely bush for exploration, pristine beaches and enough festivals and attractions to keep even the most finicky holidaymakers entertainment. This town prides itself on being reinvented as a holiday destination, yet the atmosphere remains laidback and relaxing. There are multiple rental options throughout town, which allows those looking for a self-contained holiday and those looking for upscale service to be accommodated with ease.
Arts and Culture
Those craving culture are happy with the number of options available to visitors of Geelong. The town boasts traditional and performing arts options, as well as interesting installations of other types. Visit the Geelong Gallery to marvel at art works from all over Australia. Paintings, sculptures and even decorative pieces are displayed within this vast museum, which is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. To see a wide range of performances, including plays, concerts and more, visit the Geelong Performing Arts Centre. Onsite, visitors also have access to event spaces, a restaurant and a cafe. If you are interested in learning more about the aboriginal history of Geelong, the Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre is a site not to miss. Here, look at art pieces, listen to didgeridoo performances, hear traditional stories and much, much more.
Being an area with a temperate ocean climate, Geelong has lots to do outside to keep visitors busy. Geelong Botanical Gardens is a beautiful place to spend the afternoon exploring. Well-maintained paths allow the flora and fauna of the gardens to shine, and there are friendly guides available, should visitors choose to take a tour. Overlooking the water, Steampacket Gardens are a great place to stretch your legs. The park includes vast open lawns and paved walkways near the water. Marvel at the installation art pieces that are scattered through the park, or just watch the boats pass in and out of the marina. Oftentimes, there are events, festivals or markets within Steampacket Gardens, so there is always something to do. For fishing, a scenic walk or a great photo op, visit Cunningham Pier. While much of the pier is dedicated to a cark park area, there are great paths from which to observe the water and the happenings of Geelong.
Explore Historic Structures
The historic architecture in Geelong is unbelievable. For those who enjoy looking at old structures to get a glimpse of a town's past, Geelong has a total of approximately 100 National Trust-listed buildings. Ranging from the town hall to telegraph stations and everything in between, the building's of this town add an old-time feel to this modern holiday destination. Walk around town on your own accord, or join a tour for further information about the establishments.
Tour a Museum
There are several museums in Geelong to note the interesting past of this town. The Old Geelong Goal is a neat place to get an intimate experience of old-time prison life. Visitors have the chance to explore solitary confinement, to see the prison's hallows and to learn more about the most infamous prisoners. A tamer museum option, but interesting none-the-less, is the National Wool Museum. Patrons learn about the significance of wool in Australia's history, learn about wool operations from years past and can even see a traditional loom in practice.
The excitement of Geelong is not limited to its buildings and attractions; conversely, there are also many interesting events that draw huge crowds ever year. The Royal Geelong Show is a grand rodeo that has been coming to town for over 150 years. Bull riding, fireworks and entertainment of all types are highlights of the show. Geelong's Highland Gathering is a Scottish festival that takes place every year and is truly not one to miss. Other events throughout the year include the New Year's Eve party, the Australian International Airshow and boating extravaganzas out on the water.
Lose Yourself in Geelong
With so many options for families, culture buffs and lovers of the great outdoors, Geelong is a holiday town that allows visitors to completely forget the troubles of everyday life. The city can easily be reached from Melbourne, as Geelong is connected to the metropolis’s public transport system.