Top 12 Things to Do in Geelong For Families and Couples

Geelong Waterfront

If there is a place in Victoria, Australia that is a must-visit, it should be the city of Geelong. It is located at southwest of Melbourne. Whether you are looking for fun activities to do this weekend, at night, during school holidays, or simply with family and kids, this beach city has a lot to offer, loads of interesting views to see, and tons of exciting things to do.

Activities and Attractions in Geelong and Surrounding Areas

Below are some of the things you can indulge while staying in Geelong:

#1. Geelong Waterfront

Geelong Waterfront
Cunningham Pier, Geelong Waterfront | Image credit: Simon Yeo

Geelong Waterfront is probably the main highlight of this beautiful town. There are quite a few great spots to visit including the Popykettle, the seven-part art sculpture “North”, the Fireman bollard, Eastern Beach, The Bouys, The Royal Geelong Yacht Cub (RGYC), The Big Wheel, Barcode Stream and many more. These attractions are within walking distance from the Cunningham Pier where you can have a fresh view of the ocean and enjoy some delicious foods and snacks at the restaurant.

#2. Steampacket Gardens

Steampacket Gardens boasts a great attention to detail which is the main thing that tourists adore. This green space offers a peaceful setting to sit, take a walk, relax on the grass, and bond with your dog and family members. The atmosphere that introduces you to the picturesque views of the Cori Bay takes your stress away. Plus, you’d get to devour delicious foods because tons of eateries are in place and are waiting for you to visit. The place also gives you the opportunity to stroll through markets that are also just around the corner on a regular basis.

#3. Geelong Botanic Gardens

Botanic Garden Bollards - Things To Do in Geelong
Botanic Garden Bollards | Image Credit: Brian Aslak

The Geelong Botanic Gardens is located within Eastern Park on the eastern outskirts of the central business district. Established in 1851, it is the fourth oldest botanic garden in Australia. It’s within walking distance from the Waterfront. If you love nature, flowers, trees, bonsais and gardens in general, you don’t want to miss this.

#4. Hike and bike at the Bellarine Rail Trail

This 35-kilometre off-road trail in Geelong makes a family-friendly route for cycling and hiking, so if you are in for fitness-friendly activities like these, this place is for you. The trail connects South Geelong to Queenscliff and follows the alignment of the historical Geelong. With views of Bellarine Peninsula, the trail is always a picture to behold. The trailing experience will also satisfy you in the end because the roads are primarily constructed of compacted, crushed rock that will give a comfortable, quality surface for all types of bikes. When cycling, you can stop over the surrounding reserve set along the trail where you can find areas of vegetation. So if you are craving for a weekend recreational hiking and cycling, explore this one of the best trails in Australia.

#5. Little Creatures Brewery

For a bar food lover, a trip to Geelong is practically a pilgrimage. Little Creatures Brewery is a place that you definitely can’t say “no” to. It’s a place where you can basically invite your friends and family members for a food trip. The atmosphere it generates is cozy and aesthetic and the foods are heavenly. However, just a heads up. They close early. You might find yourself begging to stay when you’re hanging out here.

#6. Have fun at The Carousel

The Carousel is one of the must-see places in Geelong and that is because it simply exudes excitement. It’s a place where you can let the inner child in you shine. This place has a lot of stories to tell as the vintage carousel was built several years ago and was just only restored. Now situated in a beautiful building on the waterfront, you may want to prepare yourself to be captivated by the ocean view that surrounds you while visiting here. The atmosphere is very calming—one of the reasons that you may want to stay for quite a while. Not too far away from The Carousel, you can also enjoy the coffee and sumptuous foods.

#7. Be adventurous at Adventure Park

Geelong is also a city where summer adventure just sits around the corner, waiting for you. If you love water plays and entertainments, it won’t be impossible for you to appreciate Adventure Park as it is known as one of the spots where tourists usually go to. With very reasonable prices for tickets and foods, the activities you’ll indulge here are limitless. You can pretty much spend a lot of time at pool areas and enjoy the warmth under the sun. There are swimming areas you’ll definitely enjoy such as aqua racers, water slides, and lazy river. You can also do archery and ride on paddle boats, Ferris wheel, carousel, and a lot more.

#8. Have a thrill at You Yangs

If you are in for some extreme adventure in a mountain range, consider You Yangs your next travel destination in Geelong. Originally named for the Aboriginal Wautherong tribe of the region, You Yangs are a series of granite ridges just southwest of Melbourne and northeast of Geelong. What’s great about going to You Yangs is the rewarding views of Avalon Beach and Corio Bay from the flat volcanic plains’ point of view. This place is perfect for mountain bikers as the 50 kilometers of trails offer an epic experience for all riders who are looking for fun. Not only great for biking, you can also set picnic dates here as well as bushwalking, horse riding, and abseiling. It’s even a perfect place to bring along your dog with you.

#9. Embracing the nature at Lake Connewarre

Cutting through the heart of downtown, this 880-hectare lake on the Barwon River which is 8-kilometer stretch southeast of Geelong offers sweeping views of a wide, shallow lagoon that is connected to the sea. The place exudes diversity as you can see sites of wetlands, mangrove-fringed channels, and saltmarsh areas. Guests who visit here are charmed by the beautiful seagrass meadows that provide nourishment and sustenance to the fish. All around you, you will see a large area of land which is reserved for agricultural purposes. Throughout the year, large numbers of Black Swans gather into a crowd while in the winter season, coots are the ones that usually assemble.

#10. Stroll at Johnstone Park

Johnstone Park is one of the most enthralling places to see in Geelong if you want a calming, peaceful vacation. Sitting on Geelong’s western edge, the place is a perfect setting for people who love to shop. The area is something to behold as it was once a swamp and then, later on, it turned into a dam. It was in the year 1872 when it was renovated into a park. Over the years, it has become more popular as one of the best places to see if you love to stroll at landscaped amusement parks. As the place is surrounded by civic buildings on the southern edge, you can expect to find Peace Memorial, Regional Gallery, and Geelong Gallery.

#11. Have a picnic at Balyang Sanctuary

If you want a place to breathe in some fresh air and admire a lovely scenery, then you might want to stay at Balyang Sanctuary. Situated on the banks of Barwon River in the suburb of Newton, Geelong, you can call this place heaven on earth because of the nature-filled sweeping view you can enjoy. It’s a home for water birds so you can imagine the beauty of the wildlife in the area. The place was once considered unattractive but nowadays, people scramble their way to see this amazing, unspoiled place and enjoy a day of walks, runs, and cycles.

#12. Enjoy the ocean view at Swan Island

The Swan Island is a 1.4-kilometer sand barrier beautiful island. Situated in Victoria, what awaits you in this small piece of paradise is a pure adventure. Here, swimming with the dolphins is a lot more fun and enjoyable. You also get to watch and appreciate the marine life as it takes you to Marine Discovery Centre. Areas of coastal scrub, saltmarsh, coastal woodland, and relict patches are also sights to enjoy as the island is just part of the Swan Bay and Port Phillip Bay Islands Important Bay Area.

How To Go From Melbourne to Geelong

Melbourne to Geelong train price
image courtesy of Google Maps

If you are a tourist and staying in Melbourne, you can go to Geelong by train. It’s fast and probably the cheapest way to get there. It takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes from Southern Cross Station in Melbourne city to Geelong station by Vline trains. You can use a Myki card (a re-usable, credit card-sized, which stores money/credit to be used as payment for public transport in Victoria state) to travel and the cost is normally around $20 (price may vary depends on some factors such as on-peak, off-peak, etc..). Either way, it’s much cheaper than taxi fare or cost of fuel if driving by car, and it’s fast too.

If you visit Victoria, give Geelong a try and you will definitely love it.

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