A highlight of any trip to Geelong is a stroll along cosmopolitan Pakington Street. Either end of the three kilometre-long thoroughfare has its own distinctive heartbeat, from the northern end’s High Street-style shopping and cafes, to the upmarket boutiques and cool crafts waiting to be discovered at the ‘river’ end.

Whichever experience you choose, a plethora of choice awaits - whether it’s shopping, eating, drinking or simply people-watching.

Pakington Street, Geelong West

At the north end of 'Pako', as the locals call it – and the start of any day at all, really – is the award-winning King of the Castle, serving Padre Coffee and sandwiches, wraps and treats made using ingredients sourced predominantly from local suppliers.

Alternatively, tucked down a side street, is Box Office Café, a locals-style joint with a friendly vibe and a passion for local ingredients that’s open for brekky, lunch and dinner, too.

Shop ‘til you drop on the kilometre-long commercial section of Pako at gift stores and boutiques such as Berserk. It features owner and designer Karen Bjornenak’s own fashion label, of the same name. Many clothes are made on-site, and an array of gifts and accessories are all Australian-made.

Pako has always been a melting pot of the diverse communities that surround it, playing host to an annual multicultural street party in February, Pako Festa, which is not to be missed.

The same diversity is represented in the many upmarket lunch and dinner options, from Singaporean-inspired BAAH-LAH! Dining, Japanese specialist Okami, and Indian Fusion restaurant Amrin & Bros. Multi-award-winning Tulip restaurant, featuring a modern Australian menu, sends critics into raptures. 

Or, for something delightfully different, stop in at Australia’s first licensed cheese train, Splatters, where you’ll pay by the plate for cheesy treats that arrive on a conveyor belt.

Load up on wine and gifts at The Fox and Hen, or let them pour you a glass of one of the many fine local drops.

Pakington Street, Newtown

Smaller than its Geelong West counterpart, but no less mighty, is the ‘river’ end of Pako – so named because it’s so close to the tranquil Barwon River that you can grab a coffee at one of the many cafés and be riverside before you’ve taken more than a few sips.

Surrounded by some of Geelong’s most upmarket streets, the vibe here is village-like, yet highly fashionable with a number of upmarket boutiques. The Cremorne Hotel’s bistro mixes pub classics with innovation, while nearby Hahndorf Chocolates is stocked with handmade delicious treats.

A hidden gem that continues to grow in stature is Rutland Street, running off Pako just footsteps from the river, where old woollen mills have been converted into a trove of funky boutiques, galleries, and much more. Seek out the bright, bold jewellery of Clac Clac Design, or homewares purveyor Jade and May.

Browse Boom Gallery, one of the precinct's most long-standing inhabitants, displays works sourced from local, national and international artists, highlighting Geelong's rising status as a thriving hub for cutting-edge design.

Whichever way you choose to tackle Pako – and you can easily cover both ends of the street in a day – you’ll see why so many people regard Pakington Street as a quintessential Geelong experience. 


Unable to get data