As Victoria’s largest city, Geelong easily gives that big city feels minus the congestion that’s usually common in bigger cities like Melbourne or Sydney in Australia. But aside from that anyone, even tourists from other cities or countries will find the city easy to enjoy because it also comes with a stunning coastline, a diverse nightlife, and amazing food culture.
This beautiful Bellarine Peninsula sits about 100 kilometres southwest of Melbourne, opposite the Mornington Peninsula. It is as gentrified as its nearby sister peninsula but definitely a much quieter one. That’s because the city is highly accessible and easy to get around with Geelong’s easy-to-navigate road networks and intelligent bus networks. It’s also a popular stopping-off point for travellers heading to the Great Ocean Road, one of the world’s top scenic drives.
Geelong is the gateway to the peninsula and it’s packed with things to do. We’ve rounded up some of the region’s top attractions that you’d want to know about and visit in the future. Virtual tours of some of them are also included to give you a realistic perspective of what you can expect if you plan to visit any of them.
3D virtual tours are a great way to start exploring any new place or spaces, especially during this travel restricted time. This medium not only allows you to see places remotely while being able to feel like you’re actually there, but it also allows you to safely satisfy your wanderlust during this pandemic. Sure, it’s not the same as being able to physically visit places, but for the general public and avid vacationers, it helps. Google earth for that matter has made it possible to explore places you’ve always wanted to visit or even revisit your favourite locations in the comfort of your own home. There also Matterport which is a virtual tour software platform that provides the most realistic, immersive way to experience a place or space online.
Eastern Beach Reserve & the Baywalk Bollards, Geelong
When you’ve just arrived in the city and maybe you don’t want to plan too much on the first day, this is a great spot to just relax. You can have a picnic along the Corio Bay and enjoy the view, you can also take a dip in the shark-proof Art Deco swimming pool, a carousel or a Ferris wheel ride just a short stroll up the beach would be nice too.
Taking selfies at the colourful and whimsical Baywalk Bollards is interesting too. They are carved out of wood from the pylons of one of Geelong’s piers, these colourful local characters depict local history, from a group of lifesavers reeling in a buoy to a military brass band pumping out a tune. Local artist Jan Mitchell painstakingly created an entire exhibition that spans the length of the Promenade. Even a romantic stroll along the promenade at sunset if you’re vacationing with your special someone is a nice way to start your Geelong trip and end your first day there.
Home To Best Dining
If you’re looking to experience the best dining in Australia, Geelong’s IGNI is the place to be. Hot on its heels is The Greek Customs House, raising the stakes for waterfront dining and leaving everyone wanting more. Aside from that, the cluster of winery restaurants such as Jack Rabbit Restaurant, Oakdene Vineyards Restaurant, The Shed Restaurant at Terindah Estate and Provenance Wines is further proof of why Geelong’s dining became one of Australia’s best.
It’s A Progressive City
The best part about Geelong’s manufacturing past is that the converted industrial spaces are perfect for hip cafes, bars, restaurants, accommodation and galleries. The old tech school is now swish apartments, while the former woollen mills are now milling with ale lovers at Little Creatures Brewery and White Rabbit Brewery & Barrel Hall. On the Barwon River, the Old Paper Mills is now a bustling art and culture precinct, and Boom Gallery occupies another wool mill.
Evidence of the Geelong market doing well, as the economy slowly recovers, aside, commercial real estate is just a good place to invest in. You just have to do your due diligence to understand the business you’re trying to penetrate and know where it’s best to start. If you have needs or preferences that have become non-negotiables for you because of the current situation, better to check out listings with Matterport 3D virtual tours first. This way you can find out right away if any of those properties fit the specifications that you want. These virtual tours provide realistic virtual environments along with all the information regarding the property, so you can rest assured that it will feel like you’re visiting the properties in person.
The Bellarine Railway
Whether you’re a kid at heart who is still fascinated with trains or you just have a thing for them, a visit to The Bellarine Railway can be fun. Both steam and diesel trains operate from the Queenscliff station on most weekends, and special themed rides mean there’s a unique experience for everyone of all ages. Blue Train is the one you go to if you enjoy dancing, listening to music with a hearty meal. A chance to drive one of the locomotives is also available for sign up. The station houses a unique collection of rolling stock as well which is a nice addition to riding trains.
Bellarine Surf Beaches
Of course, what’s a trip to Australia without going to the beach! In Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula offers beaches that are perfect for those who love surfing. It’s also a gateway to the Great Ocean Road which is a favourite among locals when it comes to surfing. You will be welcomed by kilometres of pristine sand and perfect waves extend from Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove onto Torquay. But it doesn’t mean you have to surf when you visit this beach, you can also enjoy the scenery while taking a walk by the coast or having a picnic. Either way, you’re sure to enjoy this spot!
Seal and Dolphin Swim
Like you already know, Australia is home to amazing wildlife but it is also to marine life. When you visit Geelong, grab the chance to swim with a seal or wild dolphin! From October through May, you can meet these lovable marine mammals in their natural surroundings on an exhilarating 3.5-hour Sea All Dolphin Swim.
You can practice your snorkelling skills along the fish-rich reefs at the Port Phillip Bay Marine National Park. Once you’re feeling confident, you’ll have a chance to swim with wild Australian fur seals and, if you’re lucky, pods of playful bottlenose dolphins. You might also see rays gliding along the sandy bottom. You don’t have to worry about your swimming skills because you’ll have experienced instructors to guide you through to make sure you enjoy the experience safely while showing the utmost respect for these wild animals. All equipment is provided, including snorkel gear and wetsuits.
As one of Australia’s largest urban centres, Geelong isn’t just great for vacations. It also provides the perfect environment to achieve work/life balance. Geelong is the kind of city where you have plenty of work opportunities as well as activities and attractions you can do during day-offs. This Matterport virtual tour of Geelong Gallery may give you a sneak peek of what’s in store for you in the city.