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.