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Top 14 Things To Do in Geelong, VIC Australia (with local Hidden Gems)

21/07/2023
8 mins read
Geelong
Source: Geelong and the Bellarine

Geelong, a charming coastal city in Victoria, Australia, is situated about 65 km southwest of Melbourne and is the second-largest city in the state. Known for its stunning beaches, vibrant attractions, and friendly locals, Geelong is an ideal destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The city is also a gateway to the tourist resort towns of the Bellarine Peninsula, Surf Coast, and the world-famous Great Ocean Road.

Join us as we unveil the hidden treasures and share the top things to do in Geelong, VIC Australia, an enchanting coastal gem. Get ready to immerse yourself in the natural wonders and embark on an extraordinary journey through Geelong, VIC Australia.

Things To Do In Geelong, VIC

1. Eastern Beach Reserve

Eastern Beach Reserve is a must-visit destination in Geelong, offering a stunning beachfront experience for all ages. The reserve features a shark-proof sea bath, ensuring a safe and enjoyable swim for everyone. Families will love the playground and picnic areas, making it the perfect spot for a fun-filled day out. Don’t forget to take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque promenade and soak in the breathtaking views of the bay.

Eastern Beach
Source: Visit Victoria
  • Best time of the year: Summer months (December to February) for swimming and enjoying beach activities.
  • Address: 1R Ritchie Blvd, Geelong VIC 3220, Australia
  • Distance from town: Located within Geelong city center.

2. National Wool Museum

Immerse yourself in Australia’s rich wool history at the National Wool Museum. This fascinating museum showcases the story of the Australian wool industry, from its humble beginnings to its global impact.

Wool Museum
Source: Visit Victoria

Explore interactive exhibits, historical artifacts, and even try your hand at shearing a sheep! The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions and events, ensuring there’s always something new to discover.

Museum
Source: Visit Victoria
  • Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9:30 am – 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 5 pm
  • Address: 26 Moorabool Street, Geelong VIC 3220, Australia
  • Distance from town: Located within Geelong city center.

3. Geelong Botanical Gardens

A visit to the Geelong Botanical Gardens is a must for nature lovers and those seeking a tranquil escape. Established in 1851, the gardens boast a diverse collection of both native and exotic plants. Wander through the beautifully landscaped grounds, admire the stunning floral displays, and find a quiet spot for a picnic. The gardens also offer guided tours, providing insights into the history and significance of the plants on display.

  • Opening Hours: Daily, 8 am – 5 pm
  • Address: Wadawurrung Country, Eastern Park Circuit, Geelong VIC 3220, Australia
  • Distance from town: Located within Geelong city center.

4. Barwon River Loop

For outdoor enthusiasts, the Barwon River Loop offers a scenic walking and hiking trail along the picturesque Barwon River. The trail is suitable for all fitness levels and provides an excellent opportunity to spot local wildlife, including various bird species. Enjoy the tranquility of the river, take in the lush green surroundings, and breathe in the fresh air as you explore this beautiful trail.

  • Best time of the year: Autumn (March to May) and Spring (September to November) for comfortable temperatures and fewer crowds.
  • Address: Barwon River Trail, Geelong VIC, Australia
  • Distance from town: Located within Geelong city center.

5. You Yangs Regional Park

Adventure awaits at You Yangs Regional Park, where you can embark on various walking, hiking, and mountain biking trails. The park is home to the distinctive granite peaks of the You Yangs, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Choose from a range of trails, including the challenging Flinders Peak Walk, which takes you to the highest point in the park. Keep an eye out for native wildlife, such as kangaroos and koalas, as you explore this natural wonderland.

  • Best time of the year: Autumn (March to May) and Spring (September to November) for comfortable temperatures and fewer crowds.
  • Opening Hours: 8 am to 4:30 pm daily
  • Address: Branch Rd, Little River VIC 3211, Australia
  • Distance from town: Approximately 22 km (25-minute drive) from Geelong city center.

6. Little Creatures Brewery

Beer lovers, rejoice! Little Creatures Brewery is a popular destination for craft beer enthusiasts, offering tastings and tours of their brewing facilities. Sample a variety of their delicious brews with a tasting paddle, and learn about the brewing process from their knowledgeable staff. The brewery also features a lively beer hall and a delicious food menu, making it the perfect spot to unwind with friends.

Brewery
Source: Geelong and the Bellarine
  • Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 11 am to 9 pm, Friday to Saturday 11 am to 11 pm, Sunday 11 am to 9 pm
  • Address: 221 Swanston St, Geelong VIC 3220, Australia
  • Distance from town: Located within Geelong city center.

7. White Rabbit Brewery

Another must-visit for craft beer aficionados is White Rabbit Brewery. This unique brewery offers a relaxed atmosphere and a range of innovative craft beers. Be sure to try their sour beer, which has garnered rave reviews. The brewery’s quirky blend of an old English pub and an industrial gourmet produce store creates a truly memorable experience. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon sampling their brews and soaking in the laid-back vibe.

  • Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 11 am to 9 pm, Friday to Saturday 11 am to 11 pm, Sunday 11 am to 9 pm
  • Address: 221 Swanston St, Geelong VIC 3220, Australia (same address as Little Creatures Brewery)
  • Distance from town: Located within Geelong city center.

8. Fort Queenscliff

Step back in time at Fort Queenscliff, a historic military fort offering guided tours and stunning views of the surrounding area. Learn about the fort’s fascinating history, which dates back to the 1860s, and explore the well-preserved buildings and artifacts. Don’t miss the opportunity to climb the lookout tower for panoramic views of the coastline and the entrance to Port Phillip Bay.

  • Best time of the year: Year-round, but Spring (September to November) and Autumn (March to May) offer comfortable temperatures for exploring.
  • Opening Hours: Guided tours are available on weekends and public holidays at 1 pm and 3 pm
  • Address: 20 Symonds St, Queenscliff VIC 3225, Australia
  • Distance from town: Approximately 32 km (35-minute drive) from Geelong city center.

9. Balyang Sanctuary

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city at Balyang Sanctuary, a peaceful park with walking trails, birdwatching opportunities, and picnic areas. Wander along the serene pathways, observe the abundant birdlife, and enjoy the picturesque views of the Barwon River. This tranquil sanctuary is perfect for a relaxing afternoon with family or friends.

  • Address: 45-55 Marnock Rd, Newtown VIC 3220, Australia
  • Distance from town: Approximately 4 km (10-minute drive) from Geelong city center.

10. Geelong Performing Arts Centre

Experience the vibrant arts scene in Geelong at the Geelong Performing Arts Centre. This premier venue hosts a diverse range of performances, including theater, dance, and music. Check their calendar for upcoming events and treat yourself to a night of world-class entertainment.

  • Address: 50 Little Malop St, Geelong VIC 3220, Australia
  • Distance from town: Located within Geelong city center.

11. Bellarine Rail Trail

The Bellarine Rail Trail is a picturesque trail for walking, cycling, and horse riding, connecting Geelong to Queenscliff. The trail follows the historic railway line, offering stunning views of the Bellarine Peninsula’s rolling countryside, vineyards, and coastal scenery. Whether you’re an experienced cyclist or a casual walker, the Bellarine Rail Trail is an enjoyable way to explore the region.

  • Address: Starts at South Geelong Railway Station, Yarra St, South Geelong VIC 3220, Australia
  • Distance from town: Located within Geelong city center.

12. Sea All Dolphin Swims

Embark on an unforgettable adventure with Sea All Dolphin Swims, where you’ll have the chance to swim with dolphins and seals in their natural habitat. Expert guides will ensure a safe and enjoyable experience as you interact with these playful marine creatures. This once-in-a-lifetime experience is not to be missed during your visit to Geelong and the surrounding areas.

  • Best time of the year: October to April for warmer water temperatures and increased dolphin activity.
  • Opening Hours: Tours depart daily at 9 am and 1 pm (subject to weather conditions)
  • Address: Shop 1, 114 Griffiths Rd, Queenscliff VIC 3225, Australia
  • Distance from town: Approximately 32 km (35-minute drive) from Geelong city center.

13. Point Lonsdale

Discover the charming coastal village of Point Lonsdale, with its beautiful beaches, historic lighthouse, and stunning views. Take a leisurely stroll along the beach, explore the rock pools, or simply relax and soak up the sun. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse, which offers guided tours and fascinating insights into the area’s maritime history.

  • Address: Point Lonsdale VIC 3225, Australia
  • Distance from town: Approximately 33 km (35-minute drive) from Geelong city center.

14. Ocean Grove Beach

Ocean Grove Beach is a popular destination for swimming, surfing, and relaxing on the beautiful Bellarine Peninsula. The wide, sandy beach is perfect for sunbathing, beachcombing, or enjoying a game of beach cricket. For surfers, the consistent waves provide an excellent opportunity to catch a ride, while the nearby surf lifesaving club ensures a safe swimming environment for all.

  • Address: Ocean Grove Beach, Ocean Grove VIC 3226, Australia
  • Distance from town: Approximately 25 km (30-minute drive) from Geelong city center.

Towns Nearby Geelong, VIC

Here are some nearby towns/suburbs around Geelong, VIC, along with their highlights, attractions, distance from Geelong, and reasons why they are worth visiting:

  1. Leopold, VIC (11 km from Geelong): Known for its Gateway Plaza shopping center and easy access to the Bellarine Peninsula, Leopold is a convenient base for exploring the surrounding areas.
  2. Lara, VIC (15 km from Geelong): Home to the You Yangs Regional Park and Serendip Sanctuary, Lara is an ideal destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
  3. Ocean Grove, VIC (25 km from Geelong): A popular beach town on the Bellarine Peninsula, Ocean Grove offers beautiful beaches, a vibrant shopping district, and a range of cafes and restaurants.
  4. Barwon Heads, VIC (22 km from Geelong): A charming coastal village with beautiful beaches, a historic bridge, and a lively shopping and dining scene.
  5. Queenscliff, VIC (32 km from Geelong): A historic seaside resort town with stunning Victorian architecture, the Queenscliff Maritime Museum, and the Bellarine Peninsula Railway.
  6. Torquay, VIC (21 km from Geelong): Known as the gateway to the Great Ocean Road, Torquay is a popular surf destination with beautiful beaches, surf shops, and the Australian National Surfing Museum.
  7. Anglesea, VIC (39 km from Geelong): A picturesque coastal town on the Great Ocean Road, Anglesea is known for its beautiful beaches, scenic river, and the Anglesea Golf Club, famous for its resident kangaroos.

These nearby towns and suburbs offer a variety of attractions and experiences, making them worth a visit during your stay in Geelong, VIC Australia.

Getting To Geelong, VIC

From Melbourne CBD:

  • By train: Take the Geelong Line from Southern Cross Station. The journey takes approximately 1 hour and 14 minutes, with fares starting from $9.66. V/Line trains leave every 20 minutes on weekdays7.
  • By car: Drive southwest on the M1 and take the Princes Highway exit. Follow the Princes Highway until you reach Geelong. The drive takes approximately 1 hour, depending on traffic.

From Ballarat, VIC:

  • By train: Take the Ballarat – Geelong train from Ballarat Station to Geelong Station. The total trip duration is approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes10.
  • By car: Drive southeast on the C141 and then take the M8 and M1 to Geelong. The drive takes approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes, depending on traffic.

From Torquay, VIC:

  • By car: Drive north on the Surf Coast Highway (B100) towards Geelong. The drive takes approximately 25 minutes, depending on traffic.

For public transport options from other nearby towns, use the Public Transport Victoria (PTV) website (https://www.ptv.vic.gov.au) or app to plan your journey, as it provides detailed information on train and bus routes, schedules, and ticketing.

Hafiz Kashif

Kashif, our associate writer at HumbleTrail, brings stories from across the globe to our readers. Originating from Pakistan, his journey has taken him through the vibrant cityscape of Dubai and now to the diverse and cultural melting pot of Melbourne, Australia.

His writing is a reflection of his own journey - rich in diverse experiences and filled with the excitement of discovering new places. Melbourne, with its unique blend of cultures and bustling energy, has captured Kashif's heart, a sentiment that deeply resonates in his work.

Kashif's articles for HumbleTrail are more than just travel logs; they are narratives that weave together the beauty of diverse cultures and the thrill of exploration, inviting readers to see the world through his eyes.

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