Things to do in Geelong
Geelong is the second largest city in Victoria, Australia. Located southwest of Melbourne and on the Corio Bay, this city is famous for being the closest city to the beginning of the Great Ocean Road. Yet, lots of tourists tend to skip the city and go straight to the Great Ocean Road as they may not be aware of what Geelong has to offer.
Geelong is an old fashioned city that had just recently started to transform itself into a place where tourists want to be. If you decide to make a stopover before heading to the Great Ocean Road, you will find numerous bars, seafood restaurants, and lovely waterfront cafes (one of them is the most famous café in Geelong)
These days Geelong beach is known as a great place for surfers so it attracts more and more people from different parts of the world. Also, Geelong street (public) art has become another reason why some of the tourists stop by.
The city has a gorgeous Eastern Beach, a pier filled with great restaurants and cafes, elegant architecture and several coastal walks that will make you lose your breath.
Have we made you interested in Geelong? Then take a look below at our best things to do in Geelong list below.
Best Things to do in Geelong
- Visit Geelong Botanical Garden
- Explore Eastern Beach Geelong
- Get to Know the History of Wool at the National Wool Museum
- Experience Fun Shopping in Geelong on Sunday
- Take a Look at Prisoner’s Life at Old Geelong Gaol
- Street Artists’ Paradise – Geelong Powerhouse
- Have Fun at Adventure Park Geelong
- Visit Geelong Gallery
- Taste the Best Fish & Chips at the Geelong Boat House
- Visit the Best Wineries in Geelong
1. Visit Geelong Botanical Garden
Geelong Botanical Garden was established in 1851 making it one of the oldest botanical gardens in Australia. It is situated within huge Easter Park. The garden went through lots of changes, however, most of the things are left untouched (just renovated) such as conservatory and glass houses.
In 2002 botanical garden was renovated and new sections were added such as local native plants and arid-climate.
To addition of previously mentioned things, there is a very nice tea house where you can taste the greatest Australian cakes, muffins, pies and grab a hot or cold drink to take away. If you are planning to visit Geelong Botanical Garden for a day, bring your own picnic and enjoy your lunch under the trees.
The botanical garden is a very popular place for school holidays as it always has great activities for kids. So if you are looking for things to do in Geelong during school holidays, visit the gardens.
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2. Explore Eastern Beach Geelong
The Eastern Beach is located on Geelong waterfront (Corio Bay) that is considered as the finest and one of the most stunning in the whole of Australia. The waterfront itself has won numerous awards and is a popular attraction for locals and tourists.
Around Eastern Beach, you can find various cafes, restaurants, and vibrant beach art. If you want to truly explore the beach and don’t mind splurging, you can take a helicopter ride or rent a famous Harley Davidson motorcycle.
If you are traveling on a budget or just don’t fancy on splurging, then check our quick list for things to do at the beach.
Things to do at Eastern Beach Geelong
- Geelong Pier also is known as Cunningham Pier. It offers a relaxing walk and overlooks the bay. Also, you can visit a café that is located at the end of the pier. Most of the people tend to fish from the pier so be prepared for seeing rods and fishes everywhere.
- Baywalk Geelong Bollards is an art project trail that introduces the key characters that shaped Geelong history. The trail runs through Eastern Beach and Botanical Garden, past the central waterfront, along Western Beach to Rippleside Park. There are more than 100 sculptures that tell interesting facts so don’t forget to stop by.
- Yarra Street Pier was once a famous port for transporting wool. Only in 2011, the pier was rebuilt to its old size and now is a famous location for various cruise ships and smaller boats. It’s a perfect place for a walk or to rent a boat.
- The Carousel Geelong is located a short walk from the Eastern Beach. It is one of the most iconic buildings at Geelong Waterfront. It’s a famous activity for kids and adults, so definitely you should take a relaxing carousel ride.
- Eastern Beach Swimming Pool is an enclosed area where you can find a deep pool, baby pool, and some spa baths. It’s like an outdoor
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3. Get to Know the History of Wool at the National Wool Museum
National Wool Museum is close by Geelong Waterfront. It was established in 1988. The museum tells the story about Australia’s wool industry and Geelong was a leading place for that. The city was known as ‘wool center of the world’.
There are various exhibitions that introduce you the wool history and its importance to Geelong. If you are visiting Geelong with kids, you are welcome to grab a museum trail and participate in various museum activities.
To addition, there is a really great gift shop where you can buy various things related to wool or made from it. So don’t forget to visit it if you want to get a high-quality souvenir.
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4. Experience Fun Shopping in Geelong on Sunday
Geelong is famous for its markets that are located all around the city. Geelong markets sell all different kinds of things such as vegetables, crafts, meat, souvenir, and clothes. You can grab a really good bargain and bring back authentic products. The most famous markets usually run on Sundays and we had created a perfect Sunday market list.
Geelong Markets on Sunday
- Geelong Showgrounds Market is held every Sunday. There are about 150 different stalls that sell everything you could imagine.
- Geelong Waterfront Makers & Growers Market runs every first Sunday of the month. Very big Sunday market with live music and lots of delicious hot food. You can basically find everything there from crafts to high-class local clothes.
- Point Lonsdale Market is held every second Sunday of the month. You will have to drive for about 30 minutes or take a bus for an hour. Popular for its local jams, clothes, and If you are visiting Adventure Park Geelong, incorporate the mark into your day.
- Portarlington Community Market runs every last Sunday of the month. It is held in the seaside village Portalington, 30 km from Geelong (about 30 minutes drive). You will find lost of fresh farm produce, handmade toys, homewares, and other gifts.
5. Take a Look at Prisoner’s Life at Old Geelong Gaol
Old Geelong Gaol or HM Prison Geelong is a museum in a former prison. The prison was built in 1849 and its design is based on Pentonville prison in England. The prison was closed in 1991 and till this day is left to its original state.
The museum is open Saturdays, Sundays and daily during school breaks. You can visit various cells of prisoners. The most famous cell is 47 cell that has murals painted on the wall by the prisoner.
Also, if you are looking for things to do in Geelong at night, sign yourself for Old Geelong Gaol ghost tour. It is a famous tour that takes you through surgery theatre, punishment rooms, exercise yard, shower block, infirmaries, and chapel. The tour guide will give brief information about famous prisoners and their lives, also, will tell you the most famous ghost stories of the prison.
We highly recommend it as it’s probably the most interesting museum and tour in Geelong.
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6. Street Artists’ Paradise – Geelong Powerhouse
Geelong Powerhouse is a famous art project that turned the industrial street into the art. It is located in North Geelong and easily accessible from all parts of the city.
The street where Powerhouse is located was abandoned for 45 years but the project made it into something special. It is the only legal space for street art. 220 artists are working on this project making Powerhouse very vibrant and welcoming place.
Most of the paintings are painted straight on the abandoned buildings, cars and tables. The artists are trying to use sustainable objects for their art.
Various exhibitions and workshops are happening in the Geelong Powerhouse. However, you won’t be able to enter as recently it has been closed for renovation. You should follow their Instagram for the re-opening times. Yet, you can still visit it and adore street art from outside.
If you want some stunning photos for Instagram, visit the Powerhouse.
7. Have Fun at Adventure Park Geelong
Are you traveling with kids and Indoor play centre Geelong doesn’t look a good idea for summertime? Then take a look at our suggested Adventure Park Geelong.
Adventure Park Geelong is a massive water park that has tons of great slides and pools and is the biggest waterpark in Victoria. It has a famous ‘Tornado’ waterslide that is Victoria’s biggest and longest waterslide. Doesn’t it sound exciting?
The waterpark has lots of epic waterslides such as Crazy Coaster, Red Baron, River Torrent Lazy River, Six Lane Aqua Racer, The Gold Rush Rapids, and Wild West Canyon. These slides are both adults and bigger kids. Beyond, the little ones can have as much fun as everyone and play in the Tiny Tots Splashzone – a coral reef themed water play area with lots of waterfalls and spray cannons.
To addition, there are various lazy and spa pools, Ferris wheel, mini golf, paddle boats, grand carousel, and archery activities. The Adventure Park Geelong has some great cafes and restaurants that are reasonably priced and suitable for families.
If you are planning to stay more than a day, you can find a cozy hotel located within the water park.
More info: Adventure park Geelong address is 1249 Bellarine Hwy, Wallington VIC 3222.
For Adventure park Geelong Ticket prices, please visit here
8. Visit Geelong Gallery
Geelong Gallery was established in 1896 and is one of the oldest art galleries in Australia. The Gallery offers free admission for everyone.
It has a massive collection of European and Australian paintings, English pottery and porcelain, colonial Australian silver, ceramics, and sculptures. If you like contemporary art, there are special galleries that house Australian contemporary art.
Geelong Gallery regularly holds special exhibitions that are worthy of seeing. For a certain one, you might need to book in advance and pay a fee. To addition, before visiting, take a look at the gallery website’s ‘what’s on’ section.
After the visit, take a look at the modern gift shop that sells the best pieces related to art. You will be surprised at how beautiful the shop is.
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9. Taste the Best Fish & Chips at the Geelong Boat House
Geelong Boat House is a restaurant located on the edge of Corio Bay, west of Cunningham Pier (Geelong Pier). The restaurant is shaped like a real boat and interior is also based on the boat. It has won numerous awards for food quality. To addition, apparently, it serves the best fish & chips in Victoria.
The Boat House is known for its fresh seafood and organic herbs. The menu consists of all sorts of different meals but we highly recommend its fish specialties such as fish & chips or Thai fish burger with Asian coleslaw. Also, their house burger is incredibly delicious!
If you aren’t fancy on eating anything heavy, take a look at their starters or desserts menu. The coffee is great there, too.
You can climb up to the deck and enjoy your meal or drink while looking at the bay. The best view is always during sunset, so come to the restaurant for a romantic evening meal.
10. Visit the Best Wineries in Geelong
Geelong in the 1800s was the largest wine region in Victoria. Even these days the city is famous for its exceptional taste wines that can be easily compared to the French wines.
Geelong wineries produce award-winning wines that are regularly listed in various the best wines lists. Also, if you are traveling during October/November, you can take part in the Wine festival that introduces the best wines.
The city has lots of wineries but only 40 of them allowing tourist visits to their cellars. Wineries allow to sample their wines and enjoy fantastic views. Most wineries have cafes where you can try their specialty wines and grab a great snack to go with your wine.
The best wine of Geelong is called pinot noir that is very subtly spiced shiraz. Also, wines such as sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot grigio. All these wines have a very distinctive taste of citrus and other fruits.
Most wineries are quite far from Geelong city so usually, you would need a car to visit them or take a Geelong Winery tour that runs almost every day and at least once per day. If you are looking for things to do in Geelong for couples, we definitely recommend booking a winery tour. You will find more information about it online.
However, if you don’t want to drive, take a tour or traveling alone, we have listed to wineries that can be easily reachable from Geelong city. So take a look below.
- Provenance Wines winery is one of the most famous wineries in Geelong. It serves the best Provenance wines trying to keep the authentic taste. The cellar doors are open for tourists to take a look and taste wine. Also, there is a restaurant and shop where you can get a bottle of wine. You can even pick straight from cellar the bottle you wish to purchase.
- Nichol’s Paddock winery is a small family run winery. It is located on the edge of Geelong city. Their specialty wines are pinot noir, chardonnay, and house shiraz. You can visit their cellar and have a nice meal at a family run restaurant serving traditional food.
To addition, most of Geelong restaurants and bars serve wine produced in Geelong, so just ask a member of staff for a recommendation.
Geelong is usually very overlooked place by tourists as it doesn’t have as many attractions as other bigger places in Victoria. These days Geelong is becoming more and more popular between locals and even the foreign tourists.
The city has lots to offer and they are building even more attractions in Geelong. Geelong can easily be compared to the biggest of Australia’s cities. The Geelong waterfront is the most famous attraction in the city and offers fantastic views of the bay and fun activities for everyone.
Geelong is definitely quieter and cheaper than Melbourne however we are sure that you won’t be disappointed if you select Geelong as your short holiday destination.
Have you enjoyed our list of the best things to do in Geelong? Have you ever visited Geelong or are you planning to visit anytime soon? We would love to hear from you, please comment below.