Once a major manufacturing centre, Geelong has been reinvented as a city with an enviable lifestyle. Charismatic cultural precincts have sprung up, boasting excellent places to eat and drink, galleries and boutiques. Just 30 minutes from uber-urban Geelong lies the Bellarine and its lush vineyards, captivating bay views and charming coastal villages. Slow your pace and pull up in these seaside villages to discover delectable provedores and farm gates, world-class golf courses, coastal stores and enchanting beaches.
Explore the best of Geelong and the Bellarine on our four-day getaway road trip.
Just an hour from Melbourne, it's no surprise that the city's caffeine culture has made its way to Geelong. There are countless reliable cafe options, with Coffee Cartel a standout.
Batteries charged, it's time to have some fun on the Geelong waterfront and the outdoor playground that is Eastern Beach. If it's too chilly for the seaside pool, you can watch the boats bobbing on the bay and take a turn on the historic carousel.
Head towards the striking domed roof of the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre, in the heart of Geelong's cultural precinct and while away some time in this library with a difference. Wander through Geelong Gallery, one of Australia's leading and oldest regional art galleries.
Take a break for lunch at the Hot Chicken Project. It's the hottest spot in town and will prepare you for an afternoon exploring edgy Pakington Street. Make sure you check out the emerging art in the former wool mill at Boom Gallery, then sit back and watch the world go by with a glass of wine from Geelong Cellar Door on Little Malop Street. Save room after a sensational dinner at Zigfrids Dining Hall and Bar for a cheeky late-night dessert from Armageddon Cake.
It's time to call it a day. Collapse into bed at Devlin Apartments and get ready for a jam-packed second day.SwimmingEastern BeachDive into the art deco swimming enclosure, take a scenic stroll along the boardwalk, or hit the kids' pool in Geelong's spectacular summer playground.Art galleriesGeelong GalleryEstablished in 1896, the Geelong Gallery is one of Australia’s leading and oldest regional art galleries.Since its establishment, the gallery has amassed...BarsGeelong Cellar DoorGeelong Cellar Door is located in the heart of Geelong’s inner CBD, conveying an ‘old world’ charm, with the intended ambience of a smart, sophisticated,...RestaurantsZigfrids Dining Hall and BarEnjoy serious food, wine and craft beers in a chilled-out setting at Zigfrids Dining Hall and Bar.You will find simple and honest yet refined food, with...LiteratureGeelong Library and Heritage CentreThe spectacular Geelong Library and Heritage Centre is the perfect place to relax, read, work and discover.Superbly located in Geelong's Cultural Precinct,...Art galleriesBoom GalleryBoom is a vibrant and active contemporary art and design gallery. They present the work of emerging and established artists. Launched by Ren Inei and...
Up and at 'em and prepare for a morning of retail therapy with breakfast at King of the Castle. Nab a rare vintage find at the Mill Markets in central Geelong, or stop by Geelong Vintage Market in North Geelong.
The afternoon is time to venture a little further afield; north-west to the Moorabool Valley and its cool-climate wineries. Look out for Lethbridge Wines, Clyde Park, Moorabool Ridge and del Rios of Mt Anakie.
If your visit coincides with the first Saturday of the month, head out of town to Golden Plains Farmers Market in Bannockburn for delicious fresh produce.MarketsGeelong Vintage MarketGeelong Vintage Market features 60 unique stalls selling vintage furniture, collectable, industrial items, jewellery, records and lots more.This indoor...WineriesLethbridge WinesSit down with the winemakers to learn about styles and techniques and taste high quality pinot noir and shiraz along with Meredith farmhouse cheeses.WineriesClyde Park Vineyard & BistroPark yourself here for great wines, pizza and tasting platters. Specialty wines include pinot noir and gris, shiraz, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay.Produce marketsGolden Plains Farmers' MarketHeld on the first Saturday of every month (except January) the Golden Plains Farmers’ Market, located in Bannockburn, is an award winning, authentic farmers'...MarketsThe Mill Markets - GeelongThe Mill Markets - Geelong operates in three massive venues located in Ballarat, Daylesford and Geelong. With a total of over 12,000 square metres of undercover...BreweriesWhite Rabbit Brewery & Barrel HallNestled in the grounds of the Little Creatures Village in Geelong, White Rabbit Brewery is a space created for flavour exploration. As you push through...
Your third day in the region is dedicated to following your tastebuds through the Bellarine. Book into a room at Starhaven Retreat then get the lay of the land on a segway tour at Leura Park Estate and tuck into lunch at Flying Brick Cider House.
Then it's time to embark upon the Bellarine Taste Trail, stopping off at boutique wineries, restaurants, cafes, provedores and farm gates.
Keep your eye out for McGlashan's Wallington Estate, Oakdene Vineyards, Advance Mussel Supply, Wildings Pantry Essentials, Lighthouse Olive Mill Shop, Curlewis Winery, Lonsdale Tomato Farm and Basils Farm.Bed & breakfastsStarhaven RetreatStarhaven Retreat is ranked the number one luxury bed and breakfast accommodation in Victoria and the Bellarine Peninsula. TripAdvisor have ranked Starhaven...CideriesFlying Brick Cider HouseOpen seven days a week, the Flying Brick Cider House is a retro-inspired landmark venue. Think innovative space, a tasting paddle of ciders, amazing food...Food & wineBellarine Taste TrailTreat your tastebuds to the best of the Bellarine Peninsula. Savour the local flavours at wineries, farmgates, provedores, restaurants, cafes and more.WineriesMcGlashans Wallington EstateEnjoy award-winning chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot gris and shiraz with gourmet grazing platters. Stick around to explore the classic car exhibitions.WineriesOakdene Vineyards and Cellar DoorOakdene is an original 1920s homestead that has been beautifully restored and now offers dining, accommodation and cellar door with estate grown wine.Local produceAdvance Mussel SupplySample delectable Portarlington mussels and Angasi oysters cooked on-site, or take some home fresh from this large family-owned producer.
Grab a bite to eat at your accommodation or head to PIKNIK, the converted roadhouse serving up the region's best produce.
If you're feeling a bit more energetic, jump aboard a sightseeing boat tour with South Bay Eco Adventures and spot Port Phillip Bay's resident dolphins, seals, whales, penguins and sea birds.
For lunch it's hard to choose between Mr Grubb @ Oakdene or Jack Rabbit Restaurant. You won't be disappointed. Summon the last of your energy to stop off at beautiful Terindah Estate to feast one more time upon the flavours of the Bellarine and the stunning scenery.RestaurantsPiknikPiknik is a unique café and store in a converted roadhouse in the heart of the Bellarine Peninsula.Piknik is dedicated to providing high quality breakfast...CafesMr Grubb @ OakdeneMr Grubb @ Oakdene is the latest addition to the Oakdene Vineyards property on the Bellarine Peninsula. Nestled amongst the birch trees, adjacent to the...WineriesJack Rabbit VineyardHop to it for sophisticated cool-climate wines, an award-winning restaurant, cellar door, tasting room, bistro-style cafe and stunning coastal views.WineriesTerindah EstateSample award-winning wine and French-inspired fine food before spectacular vineyard and bay views at this boutique Bellarine Peninsula winery.CafesAnnie's Provedore Barwon HeadsAnnie's Provedore and Produce Store is located in the heart of charming Barwon Heads. The cafe is filled with the aromas of home cooked meals during the...ShoppingBarwon Heads WinestoreThe Barwon Heads Wine Store is an independent wine merchant, offering a vast selection of product and bringing the finest wines, spirits and beer to the...