Last Updated on 07/10/2021

Geelong. If you pronounced it Jee-long, that’s wrong. In fact, it’s pronounced Juh-long. Now that you know how to say it, just how much do you actually know about it? To start, it’s a city located in the southwest of Melbourne, Australia. While being the second largest town in Victoria, the Geelong region hosts some incredibly enchanting places. From waterfronts (including few surf coasts, beautiful beach spots) with an old-time charm, scenic gardens and parks, fun activities and rich town history and culture. So if you got the time and energy, we have all places that should be in your Geelong itinerary!

Go Swimming in the Eastern Beach Reserve – Top pick from our list of things to do in Geelong

Things to do in Geelong Number 1 - Visit Eastern Beach
Photo by Rexness on Flickr

Location

On a sunny day (or not), it’s still one of the best places to be if you’re visiting Geelong. It will take about a good day or more to enjoy the place. The Eastern Beach Reserve is situated along the stunning waterfront – the Stingaree Bay. You can swim in the pristine blue waters or enjoy the scenic waterfront and even the harbour while engaging in a stroll. The Eastern Beach Reserve also has a public pool area facing the bay and even a small Ferris wheel – it’s a family beach utopia with theme park vibes. The Eastern Beach is worth including in your list of things to do in Geelong.

Explore the Geelong Botanical Gardens

Things to do in Geelong Number 2 - Visit Geelong Botanical Gardens
Photo by Denisbin on Flickr

Location

Less than 10 minutes away from the Eastern Beach, the Geelong Botanical Garden awaits you to come and enjoy some good old floral and green landscape wonder. Located within the eastern park, it’s one of the oldest botanic gardens in Southwest of Melbourne, Victoria. It’s not the biggest garden in Victoria – but it certainly homes some incredible native plant life. The different shapes and colours of flowers and plants will draw you in deeply, allowing you to take your time to observe the beauty. Perfect place for a lovely little picnic. Spread out onto an area of 17 acres the place is more about quality rather than quantity. Definitely worth adding to your list of things to do in Geelong.

Visit the National Wool Museum

Things to do in Geelong Number 3 - Explore Wool Museum

Location

If you’re wondering if visiting a wool museum is worth including in your list of things to do in Geelong, we’re here to say it is and here’s why. Honestly, you will never find another museum like the National Wool Museum. In fact, it’s named a cultural treasure of Australia. Here you will see some well-presented exhibits of all things related to the wool heritage of Victoria. Immerse in the incredible history, the handcraft skills, the science, the fashion and even art. Try your hand at working the sock knitting machine or grading wool, learn the science behind the wool history and its influence on Australia’s economy. Don’t miss out on checking the international Wildlife Photography exhibition, which’s also there. It’s one fascinating Geelong attraction.

Taste local flavours in the Little Creatures Brewery

Things to do in Geelong Number 4- Enjoy Beer at Little Creatures Brewery
Photo by Dave R Flickr

Location

If you’re up for a little Geelong beer and culinary experience, then you’re heading to the Little Creatures Brewery. Just 30 minutes away from the Eastern Beach and Park, this is more of a brewery village of sorts. There is a Little Creatures Canteen, A White Rabbit Barrel Hall and Murphy Hall. The rustic architecture of each venue section is super alluring, and you can witness all the brewery happening on-site while you order your range of fresh beers and food. The Geelong local staff are very knowledgeable and super friendly. You can enjoy a fascinating and informative tour as well, so if you’re the kind of traveller who loves to embark on a gastronomic adventure, we say include this to your list of things to do in Geelong. It might be well worth the experience.

Enjoy the creative space in Geelong Gallery

Things to do in Geelong Number 4 - Witness Artwork at Geelong Gallery
Photo by Geelonggallery on Wikimedia Commons

Location

If you consider yourself an art aficionado, you must include a tour of this gallery in your list of things to do in Geelong. It is one of the oldest and the most reputable Galleries, not in just Victoria but Australia too. Just approx. 30 minutes away from Geelong park, you’ll find the gallery entrance on little Melop Street. The exhibits range from pencil drawing displays to portrait photography to stunning jewellery displays. The work exhibit collection ranges considerably. Visitors are allowed to explore and focus on different concepts, which can be very thought-provoking. It also homes a novel collection of incredible street art – which is pretty stunning.

Picnic in the Steampacket Gardens

Things to do in Geelong Number 6 - Enjoy at the Waterfront of Steam Packet Garden
Photo by Marcus Wong on Wikimedia Commons

Location

This’s another scenic waterfront garden offered by the Geelong region. This spacious grassy area is a great place to come and enjoy a good picnic and relaxed walks. Just minutes away from Eastern Beach and park you’ll find this place just as vibrant and super lovely. There are plenty of cafes close by for some snacks and coffee, and the great thing about this place is its cleanliness. There are some incredible destinations around you that you can explore like the Carousel, the Skate Park, the Bollards and the Cunningham pier. If relaxation and picnic is the theme for the day, then the Steampacket Gardens should be added to your list of things to do in Geelong.

Explore the dark history of the Geelong Gaol Museum

Things to do in Geelong Number 7 - Visit Geelong Gaol
Photo by Marcus Wong on Wikimedia Commons

Location

This 170-year-old jail structure is the 3rd oldest prison in all of Melbourne and even Victoria. If you’re travelling from Melbourne – use the old Melbourne Road. It will save you few hours, reducing travel time to approx. 16 hours. If you’re into exploring the dark past of Geelong along with the intriguing activities that happened, then the Geelong Gaol Museum’s the place. From a school for young girls to a jail hospital to a military detention place, the history of this ancient edifice alone will be fascinating. The tour will allow you to explore the haunted corridors while listening to the many stories of a dark bygone era. Witness some of the old relics left from that period – like the original jail uniforms, straight jackets, silence masks and even death masks.

Go trekking in Buckley Falls!

Things to do in Geelong Number 8 - Visit Buckley's Waterfall
Photo by Tim Moreillon on Flickr

Location

If you want to move a bit away from the coastal scene and the Geelong city vibe and enjoy a different verdant surrounding and waterfront, visiting Buckley Falls must be included in your list of things to do in Geelong. A car park is available on Buckley Falls Road, so you can park your vehicle and walk a small length- there’re signs to ‘Riverside walk to the Mill’, just follow that. The Buckley Falls is less of a waterfall and more of a calmly flowing river stream. You really have to watch your step while walking along the footpath, but the scenes before you can be quite tranquil and beautiful. There are benches and tables set out for those who’d like to enjoy a picnic in the area. Unfortunately, there’re no cafes around, so you will have to bring your own food.

Visit the Cunningham Pier

Cunningham Pier
Photo by Bernard Spragg. NZ on Flickr

Location

The Cunningham Pier is considered to be one of the most iconic landmarks of Geelong. Just in walking distance from Eastern Park, the Cunningham Pier is definitely worth checking out. The Pier has much history attached to it, which you can explore in detail. The coastal views from the Pier can be very scenic, but the real beauty can only be witnessed when the Pier is less of a car park – which unfortunately it is on busy and crowded days. There are a few awesome cafes and restaurants nearby you can visit and enjoy while visiting the Pier. And you can explore the enclosed pavilion at the end of the Pier and get some incredible beach views from there too.

Immerse in the beauty of the Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre

Photo of Narana Cultural Centre
Photo from the Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre Facebook Page

Location

Immerse in the profoundly rich cultural heritage of Geelong at the Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre. A tour around this award-winning culture centre can be one of the most thought-provoking experiences you can have in the southwest of Melbourne. Learn about the oldest living culture in the world, enjoy the incredible artwork and artefacts. The best thing about the Narana Cultural Centre is that it’s not just a building complex. The space in which you can explore these ancient aboriginal stories, and treasures, is built in a truly inspiring space to create a perfect harmony between structure and nature. You can spend your time visiting the Cultural education Exhibition building, the stunning aboriginal art gallery – that will be nothing like you’ve ever seen before. You can even interact with some Australian wildlife on the premises, like the kangaroos. Kids can engage in some very cool activities like learning to throw a boomerang. Some travellers tend to make it all the way from Melbourne just to visit this incredible aboriginal cultural centre. Definitely worth adding to your list of things to do in Geelong.

Ride the Carousel at The Carousel!

Cafe Entrance at the Carsousal
Photo by Denisbin on Flickr

Location

Along with every coastal Geelong attraction that’s homed by the eastern beach, it’s no surprise to find the Carousel amongst that as well. Located right next to the pier, the Carousel is an ancient jewel of Geelong and maybe the whole of Melbourne too. Inside this modern glass pavilion – which’s a great place to just come, enjoy good food and good views, is the ancient Armitage Herschel Carousel – built in 1892 and now restored. It was one of only 200 operating carousels in theme parks around the world. Kids can still ride it, and with 36 horses and two chariots, this ancient carnival ride is just fascinating to observe too.

Explore the Balyang Sanctuary

Dull Image of Balyang Sanctuary
Photo by Markus Wong on Wikimedia Commons

Location

The Balyang Sanctuary is a great place to go enjoy some non-coastal sceneries. The sanctuary runs alongside the Barwon Reserve. The foot trails are not challenging, so you can enjoy a very relaxed walk while taking in the calm and beauty. This scenic sanctuary is an ideal place for nature lovers to come and observe the diverse bird life and even wildlife. Since it has a park-like feel you can picnic here too – it also has a spacious car park. Immersing in the tranquillity of Balyang Sanctuary is worth adding to your list of things to do in Geelong.

Trek the Stunning Bellarine Rail Trail

Sea View from Bellarine Rail Trail
Photo by Philip Mallis on Flickr

Location

If you love exploring nature trails, then the Bellarine Rail Trail is a must – add to your list of things to do in Geelong. Located in the south Geelong region, about 2 and half hours from the city, the trail starts near the Bellarine Trail tracks. Whether you choose to cycle or walk the track extends to approx. 32 km to the Bellarine Peninsula. The route follows from the former South Geelong trail to Queenscliff. Many hikers who have taken the route has claimed that it’s super safe and worth doing. The surrounding natural sceneries of the trail changes from lush trees to farm paddocks to urban housing, and you’ll always find plenty of cooling tree shade if it gets a little too sunny and hot. Overall an enchanting nature experience to have and a memorable one too.

Drop by the Rippleside Park

Fair at RippleSide Park
Photo by Alpha on Flickr

Location

Located near Rippleside Beach, this beach park can be found in the North part of Geelong. This spacious park with plenty of trees- shade. There’s a large play area for the kids, including huge timber structures to climb on. The park does look a little rustic and not that well-kept. But it draws the crowds, as the beach view of the bay looks absolutely blue and beautiful. If you are making all the way from Melbourne, using the old Melbourne Road then this park would be your first Geelong beach place to pass. Worth dropping by? Yes, if all else’s is explored.

Skate and chill at the Poppy Kettle Park

Location

If your kids are looking for some relaxed bit of fun, and you just want to chill out, this park is a good place to visit. With oddly shaped constructions in-between the spacious park and a lovely, tranquil beach view (once you cut out the kid’s noise) it can get pretty relaxing. There is also a skate park next door for skaters. It’s also ideal for a relaxed stroll.

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