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Best Things to Do In Geelong, Australia

Intro: Through the hometown series, we have traveled to big cities and small towns across the globe as travel bloggers share with us why their hometown should be on our bucket lists! We have explored the castles and country houses of the Peak District, UK, the famous waterfall destination of Niagara Falls, Ontario, the small town of Russellville, ArkansasVirginia BeachDelhi in India, Utrecht in the Netherlands, and my own small hometown of Herkimer, New York. Next we will head over to the land down under as Audrey Chalmers from See Geelong introduces us to the best things to do in Geelong, Australia.

The Geelong Bollards, best things to do in Geelong
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Bernard Spragg. NZ from Christchurch, New Zealand, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.

There was a time when I took my hometown Geelong for granted. I had grown so used to it that blended into the background and I couldn’t truly see its beauty anymore.

A few trips overseas changed all that and opened my eyes to just how amazing Geelong is.

So much so that I started a blog about it!

One thing I’ve never taken for granted is the city’s fantastic location. Just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, Geelong is known as the gateway to the Bellarine Peninsula and Great Ocean Road. And it’s the perfect place to base yourself while you explore the area. Here are just some of the reasons why I think Geelong is so great!

Best Things to Do in Geelong

Geelong Waterfront

Starting life as an industrial port the Geelong Waterfront has been transformed into a cosmopolitan area filled with restaurants, cafes, and bars. Many of the city’s most popular attractions are located here including the Baywalk Bollards, Eastern Beach, the historic Carousel, and Sky Wheel.

The whole area is covered with beautiful gardens and lush lawns that are perfect for a picnic or barbecue while enjoying expansive views across the bay to the Melbourne skyline.

Geelong Waterfront, best things to do in Geelong
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The Geelong Waterfront. Photo Credit: See Geelong.

Eastern Beach

Located at the eastern edge of the waterfront, Eastern Beach is one of Geelong’s most loved places to visit. Here you’ll find everything you could possibly want for a great day out at the beach. You’ll find dive boards, water features, a toddler’s pool and playground, and a gorgeous art deco pavilion with change rooms and showers, and a chic café serving great coffee and food. A highlight of the area is the iconic 200-metre-long promenade and its shark proof fence that gives swimmers peace of mind!

the Eastern Beach promenade Geelong waterfront
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Eastern Beach Promenade. Photo Credit: See Geelong.

Baywalk Bollards

Created by a local artist from the pylons of a demolished city pier, the Baywalk Bollards are a visual reminder of the city’s past. There are over 100 of these colorful characters lining a 3-kilometre path around the bay.

Each one tells a story about the people who played a part in the city’s history. From the nation’s First People to explorers, lifesavers, sporting heroes, and even opera singers, the bollards add a playful quirkiness to the foreshore that visitors love.

the baywalk bollards, best things to do in Geelong
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Baywalk Bollards. Photo Credit: See Geelong.

Festivals And Events

Hardly a weekend goes by when there isn’t an event or festival taking place in Geelong. The city is home to a whole host of high-profile celebrations throughout the year and visitors can enjoy everything from world class sporting events, music festivals, beer fairs, and aeronautical extravaganzas.

Top of my list of favorites is the multi-cultural Pako Festa. This vibrant street festival celebrates the city’s diversity with music, food, exhibitions, and a dazzling street parade.

the Pako festa in Geelong
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Pako Festa. Photo Credit: See Geelong.

Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre

The Geelong region is located on Wadawurrung Country and is home to the Wathaurong Tribe. At Narana visitors can learn about the history of the land and its First People. The not-for-profit organization offers self-guided tours, an indigenous art gallery, and cultural educators. You can even learn how to throw a boomerang.

There’s an onsite café with an extensive menu featuring dishes inspired by indigenous ingredients. The wattleseed scones with lemon myrtle cream always go down a treat!

The Narana agricultural cultural centre, best things to do in Geelong
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Narana. Photo Credit: See Geelong.

Wineries

Part of the greater Geelong area, the Bellarine Peninsula is jam packed with boutique wineries that produce handcrafted cool climate wines. They’re all family owned and operated so visitors have a more personal experience. The people you meet are usually the same people who make the wine.

Each winery is different with its own individual character and features. From country farmhouse to quirky, stylish, and chic, their inviting cellar doors are surrounded by stunning ocean views and the gorgeous Victorian hinterland. Best experienced on a road trip, along the way you can stop at farm gates, provedores, olive groves and berry farms.

the Jack Rabbit Winery in Geelong, Australia
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Jack Rabbit Winery. Photo Credit: See Geelong.

Great Ocean Road

One of the most iconic road trips in all of Australia has got to be the Great Ocean Road drive. This 375 kilometre long winding road will take you through some of the country’s most scenic landscapes and it starts just 20 minutes south of Geelong. Most of the drive follows the coast winding around craggy cliffs with insanely epic ocean views, occasionally veering inland through lush rainforest filled with giant ferns.

Along the way you can spot koalas and kangaroos, zip-line through the trees, swim, surf, and walk along the world’s best beaches, and visit the iconic Twelve Apostles. These famous rock formations were once connected to the crumbling coastal cliffs of the Port Campbell National Park. Carved out by the pounding surf over many thousands of years the limestone stacks are a mesmerizing sight to see.

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Twelve Apostles. Photo Credit: See Geelong.

About the Author

Audrey is the principal blogger behind See Geelong. A site that helps people get the most out of their visit to Geelong, the Surf Coast and Bellarine Peninsula.

Book lover | Breakfast Nut | Geelong Gal | She’s usually craving coffee.

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Best things to do in Geelong from driving the Great Ocean Road to attending cultural festivities to relaxing on the waterfront!
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