Geelong

Geelong is the second largest city in the state of Victoria, and is the largest regional centre in the state. A major industrial centre and port, Geelong is the gateway to the Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria's Surf Coast and the Great Ocean Road.

Where is it?: Victoria: Western Districts. Geelong is 75 kilometres south-west of Melbourne on the shores of Corio Bay, a south-western inlet bay of Port Phillip.
Geelong & Great Ocean Road Visitor Information Centre
Princes Highway, Little River, Victoria 3211
Ph: (03) 5283 1735/ 1800 620 888
Geelong Visitor Information Centre
National Wool Museum
Corner Moorabool and Brougham Streets, Geelong, Victoria 3220
Ph: (03) 5222 2900 / 1800 620 888

Geelong is surrounded by many kilometres of developed farmland and is noted for its many wineries and nearby surf beaches along the Great Ocean Road. During clear weather, the Melbourne skyline is visible from areas of Geelong when viewed across Port Phillip.


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The Barwon River flows through the city to the south before entering Bass Strait at Barwon Heads. Geelong is well-connected by roads to all of south-west Victoria. It is connected to other cities such as to Melbourne by the M1, to Warrnambool by the A1, Ballarat by the A300 and to Hamilton by the B140. The city is a gateway to many renowned tourist attractions, namely the scenic Great Ocean Road, the Shipwreck Coast and the Bellarine Peninsula.

Things To See and Do

Because of its close proximity to Melbourne, Geelong is an ideal destination for a day trip from the state's capital, either by car or by train. There is plenty of things to do in and around the inner city, parking is plentious, the traffic is manageable, and if you take the one hour journey by rail, the major attractions for visitors are all just a short walk from the railway station.

Lookouts: Observation Tower, Ceres, south west of Geelong.

Events:
• January: Geelong Vintage Rally
• June: National Celtic Festival
• October: Royal Geelong Show
• October: Toast to The Coast

National Wool Museum

National Wool Museum tells the story of Australia's wool industry, for which Geelong was a major export point, combined with contemporary exhibitions about the city. The displays are presented in an historic bluestone woolstore in Geelong's vibrant waterfront precinct. More >>

About 40% of the city's area has been reserved for parks, gardens and sports grounds. They include: Geelong Botanical Gardens, Eastern Park overlooking Corio Bay, Queens Park (with walks to Buckley's Falls).


Geelong Maritime Museum

Located on the site of Australia's first naval college at Osborne House and its first permanent submarine base, Geelong Maritime Museum houses an excellent display relating to nautical development and technology as well as naval and marine artefacts. The courtyard of the stables of Osborne House, which houses the museum, is the perfect spot for a picnic lunch.

There are a number of Arts and Culture Walking Trails through the city area, taking visitors to a variety of locations, including art galleries, historic and significant buildings, Geelong Botanic Gardens, the Eastern Beach bathing complex, and Geelong's hand carved wooden carousel, one of only 200 in operation around the world and takes pride of place at Waterfront Geelong. A booklet with details of the walking trails is available free from the information centre and museums around the city.

Geelong Waterfront Carousel Geelong’s beautiful waterfront carousel is truly one of the jewels of Geelong; it is one of the 'must see' attractions for any visitor to the city. The pavilion houses an extremely rare and beautiful Armitage Herschell Carousel dating back to 1892. Magnificently restored to its original glory, the carousel is complete with 36 horses and two delightful chariots. The historic carousel is one of the few left in the world, and it is not hard to see that ours is regarded by many as the best still in use.

The carousel tells the story of King Arthur and Camelot. The beautiful paintings form branches which hold the canopy like a giant tree, with panels showing the tales of the story. The horses and chariots circle the story and along with the whimsical carnival music give the pavilion a fairy-tale like atmosphere. Originally the carousel was powered by steam, but in its restored form it now runs on electric power.

Alongside the carousel is a pipe organ which is another historic and magnificent piece of detailed craftsmanship. The organ has also been painstakingly restored using many of the original items and exact authentic replicas of original pieces. The organ plays collection of colourful Dixieland melodies and gives the pavilion a cheerful atmosphere.

Surrounding Area

Surf Coast

Victoria's Surf Coast has some of Australia's best surf beaches, bustling resort towns, spectacular scenery, lush rainforests and huge cascading waterfalls. Victoria's most popular surf towns such as Lorne, Torquay, and Anglesea and of course the infamous Bells Beach are all on the Surf Coast.



Bellarine Peninsula

Bellarine Peninsula, to the east of Geelong, is a growing tourist region with a variety of beaches and seaside resorts and wineries . Activities on The Bellarine include all the water-based sports and pleasures you can think of – snorkelling, jet-skiing, swimming with dolphins, surfing, kayaking, fishing, marine sanctuaries, sailing and more.



Werribee

Located on the Princes Highway (and railway line) midway between Geelong and Melbourne (the latter is 32 km away via the westgate Bridge), Werribee was established as an agricultural settlement in the 1850s, originally named Wyndham and was renamed Werribee (derived from the aboriginal name meaning "backbone" or "spine") in 1904. Since the 1990s Werribee has experienced rapid suburban growth into surrounding greenfield land, and becoming a commuter town in the Melbourne-Geelong growth corridor. Werribee Park Shuttle Service operates daily return trips from central Melbourne to Werribee Park, Werribee Open Range Zoo, Point Cook RAAF Museum and Point Cook Homestead.



Fairy Park

A place dedicated to story telling of fairy tales and ancient myths and legends. Located at Anakie on the summit of Mount Elephant, displays include quaint miniature houses and scenes from fairy tales. Ph (03) 5284 1262.

You Yangs Regional Park

To the west are the sandstone derived Barrabool Hills and basalt Mount Duneed, and the volcanic plains to the north of Geelong extend to the Brisbane Ranges and the You Yangs. The granite peaks of the You Yangs rise dramatically from the surrounding volcanic plains between Melbourne and Geelong. Although only 340 metres high, they dominate the landscape, and are clearly visible from as far away as the bay side of Melbourne and beyond. The main ridge runs roughly north south for about 9 km, with a lower extension running for about 15 km to the west. Much of the southern parts of the ranges are protected by the You Yangs Regional Park.


Serendip Santuary, You Yangs Specially designed bird hides enable you to see some of the 150 species of birds which breed here.

Geelong Wine Region

Whether it is the distinctive maritime flavours of The Bellarine, the ancient richness of the Moorabool Valley or the rugged, exposed coastline of the Surf Coast, the Geelong Wine Region is united by boutique, family owned winegrowers producing premium quality hand crafted wines.

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