Geelong Travel Guide
Geelong sits on the Corio Bay in Victoria, about 75 kilometres south west of Melbourne, the state capital. It enjoyed its first economic boom during the gold rush and later flourished as a manufacturing town, producing wool, rope and paper. Manufacturing has now declined in favour of service industries but it is not these for which its tourism and travel are best known and the aim of our Geelong travel guide is to give you a flavour of some of the delights the area has to offer.
There are all the museums and heritage sites you might expect from a city with such a successful history. The National Wool Museum documenting the rise of the wool industry in Geelong; the Naval and Maritime Museum; Ford Discovery Centre, exploring the social and economic impact of Ford manufacture in Australia; The Heights Heritage House, a stately and elegant Victorian building with extensive and attractive grounds - all pay faithful tribute to Geelong’s history.
There is also Barwon Grange, a beautifully-preserved gothic-revival riverside villa built in 1855, which offers tours, cream teas and even a croquet lawn to truly transport you back into the graceful lifestyle of the Victorian era. While still in the mood for the tranquillity of that bygone age, you might want to take in the attractive Botanic Gardens with their relaxing, landscaped lawns. Be sure not to miss the tiny, quaint Old Customs House, the oldest authenticated building in Victoria, with its timber frame and thatched roof.
For a rather less sedate afternoon, you could visit the Old Gaol – complete with working gallows where, after a tour of the watchtower and cells, you can view a sobering re-creation of the hanging of James Murphy, executed for the murder of a policeman in 1863.
But like every buzzing city in Australia, Geelong is not all about the past. The Eastern Beach and Aqua Orbs Water Park are paradises for kids and the young at heart. The beach, with its tractor train and playground has an unusual array of bollards scattered around which youngsters find curious and fascinating. The Water Park is a great innovation for a fun day out which will leave the kids begging for more. Apart from these, there is an adventure park, wildlife park and nature reserve and an enchanting fairy park which the little ones will adore.
And with pubs and bars, cafes and waterfront restaurants galore, you certainly will not go hungry in Geelong. There are also boutique wineries where some of Australia’s finest wines can be sampled at tasting sessions in and around Geelong to make your trip truly memorable.