Geelong attractions things to do & see on holiday.
Located a scenic drive from Melbourne, booking a Geelong holiday package will be the start of your journey through a region studded with vineyards and surrounded by golden plains, en route to the famous vistas of the Great Ocean Road. Victoria's largest regional centre, Geelong offers a variety of activities within a historic setting infused with a laidback atmosphere. Named for the Wathaurung's indigenous term for the area; 'Jillong,' the town has grown to enjoy a thriving art and culture scene, gourmet dining experiences and close proximity to iconic surf beaches.
Follow the Geelong heritage trail to celebrate the Victorian past preserved. Built in 1838, Customs House presents a colonial Georgian dwelling with surrounding wool stores, while the Heights house and garden formed a genteel family home in the 1850s. Discover 14 rooms hung with paintings from the 1860s and accompanying stables for the mounts of a bygone era. Barwon Grange showcases a collection of 19th century antiques, a rare smoking room and a conservatory built for a fashion conscious merchant.
Continue on the trail to step inside the St Mary of the Angels Basilica. Built in 1937, the Gothic revivalist church boasts the tallest bluestone spire in the country. It was constructed to replace the original wooden chapel erected in 1842.
Spend a day at the Geelong Waterfront taking in views across the Bay or to the city vista. The restored carousel features horses which have been parading since 1892 to the tune of a replica organ from the late 19th century. A great setting for family holidays with an art deco promenade, swimming pavilion and children's playground; wander on to one of the new bars and restaurants or get a magnificent vista in a Bay City seaplane. Water lovers can take a jet boat or Freedom Bay cruise or try their luck with a fishing line cast off the beach or the pier.
The eastern end of the waterfront hosts parkland and the tranquil botanical gardens. Native and exotic flora was established here in 1850, at which time the gardens also contained a monkey house. For a romantic addition to your honeymoon, pause over a late lunch at the teahouse, and listen to rockabilly, jazz or blues on the lawn in the evening. The Eastern Beach reserve bathing complex is great for a dip, with pools dating back to 1928.
A day along the river is a great way to get the family outdoors during your Geelong holiday, or enjoy quality time with your partner during a romantic Geelong break; canoe the Barwon River; discover wildflowers and the Buckley Falls picnic spot, named for escaped convict William Buckley who spent 32 years living with Aborigines.
The Geelong Arts and Culture Walking Trails can be done in a few hours or over several days. Immerse yourself in the culture of Geelong during your vacation, and discover the gallery precinct on a tour that includes a nationally significant permanent collection at the Geelong Art Gallery. Try the Gordon Gallery for students work and touring exhibitions, see the Kurrajong Seed Pod sculpture inspired by indigenous flora, and encounter the Courthouse Arts Centre and Metropolis space.
The Geelong Potato Shed Bellarine multi-arts complex organises weekly workshops and programmes; try your hand at theatre, karate and dance classes, as well as providing a stage for touring bands and comedians. Theatre buffs can also visit the Geelong Performing Arts Centre and the Pako Fest is a colourful street celebration of cultural diversity which hits the pavement every February, sure to be a highlight of your Geelong vacation.
The fascinating Bollard Trail, created by artist Jan Mitchell, displays one hundred historical characters from Geelong's history all set out from Limeburners point to Rippleside Park and a number of museums are located in Geelong town centre; learn the history of the motor industry at the Geelong Ford Discovery Centre. The National Wool Museum celebrates history back to 1800 with sheep shearing demonstrations and interactive displays and in the old stables of Osborne House, the Maritime Museum is the site of Australia's first naval college, formed in 1913.
Excellent shopping is to be had in the suburbs of Geelong West and Belmont; walk Pakington Street which connect Geelong with Newtown with antiques shops and bakeries and excellent multicultural restaurants and you can enjoy a family meal or romantic dinner at one of the great pubs and toast your great Geelong holiday with a bottle of Randall's or Wine Justice' regional Victoria's drops.
For more offbeat shopping in Geelong, trawl Mill Market in Newcomb for vintage offerings, and the boutiques of Little Malop Street for a unique souvenir of your vacation in Geelong. This strip has small galleries, photographic studios, bars and coffee houses.
Draw out your passion for food along the Bellarine taste trail, a meandering path covering 14 wineries and cellar door openings, interspersed with golf courses to help you work up an appetite. Sample fresh seafood and olives, pick berries on Tuckerberry Hill and try homemade ice cream that is sure to please the everyone on your healthy Geelong family holida.