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 southwest of Melbourne, Australia.
From waterfronts (including a few surf coasts, and beautiful beach spots) with an old-time charm, scenic gardens, rich town history and culture, Geelong has it all. So if you got the time and energy, we have all the places that should be on your Geelong itinerary!
Swim in the Eastern Beach Reserve
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.
Explore the Geelong Botanical Gardens
Less than 10 minutes away from 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 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 over quantity. Definitely worth adding to your list of things to do in Geelong.
Visit the National Wool Museum
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, and learn the science behind the wool industry and its influence on Australia’s economy.
Don’t miss out on checking the international Wildlife Photography exhibition. It’s one fascinating Geelong attraction.
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Taste Local flavours in the Little Creatures Brewery
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.
The rustic architecture of the venue is super alluring, and you can witness all the brewing 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 that loves to embark on gastronomical adventures, include this to your list of things to do in Geelong. It might be well worth the experience.
Enjoy the Creative Space at Geelong Gallery
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 most reputable galleries, not in just Victoria but in Australia too.
Just approximately 30 minutes away from Geelong park, you’ll find the gallery entrance on Little Malop 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. The gallery also hosts a novel collection of incredible street art – which is pretty stunning.
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Picnic in the Steampacket Gardens
This is another scenic waterfront garden in the Geelong region. This spacious grassy area is a great place to come and enjoy a good picnic and relaxed walks. There are plenty of cafes close by for some snacks and coffee, and the great thing about this place is its cleanliness.
If relaxation and picnic are the themes for the day, then the Steampacket Gardens should be added to your list of things to do in Geelong.
Explore Geelong Gaol Museum
This 170-year-old jail structure is one of the oldest prisons in Victoria. If you’re into exploring the dark past of Geelong along with the intriguing activities that took place, then the Geelong Gaol Museum is the place to be. From a school for young girls to a jail hospital to a military detention place, the history of this ancient edifice is quite a fascinating one.
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!
If you want to move away from the coastal scene or even the Geelong city vibe, Buckley Falls is where you are heading. 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.
Buckley Falls is less of a waterfall and more of a calmly flowing river stream. You really need 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 are no cafes around, so you will have to bring your own food.
Visit the Cunningham Pier
The Cunningham Pier is considered to be one of the most iconic landmarks of Geelong. Just 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 to 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.
Visit Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre
Immerse in the profoundly rich cultural heritage of Geelong at the Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre. A tour around this award-winning place can be one of the most thought-provoking experiences one can have in the southwest of Melbourne. Learn about the oldest living culture in the world, and enjoy the incredible artwork and artefacts.
You can spend your time visiting the Cultural education exhibition building, and 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 place. Definitely worth adding to your list of things to do in Geelong.
Ride the Carousel at The Carousel!
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 is a great place to just come, and 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
The Balyang Sanctuary is a great place to 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
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 south Geelong, about two and a half hours from the city, the trail starts near the Bellarine Trail tracks.
Whether you choose to cycle or walk, the track extends approximately 32 km to the Bellarine Peninsula. The route follows from the former South Geelong trail to Queenscliff.
Many hikers who have taken the route have claim this trail to be super safe. The surrounding natural sceneries of the trail change 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
Located near Rippleside Beach, this beach park can be found in the northern part of Geelong. 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. Worth dropping by? Yes, if all else’s is explored.
Chill at the Poppy Kettle Park
If your kids are looking for a day out, and you just want to chill out, this park is a good place to visit. With oddly shaped constructions within 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.