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Geelong

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Geelong [9] is a city located 70 km south west of Melbourne, Australia, on Corio Bay, part of Port Phillip Bay. Greater Geelong, with just on 210,000 population it is the second-largest city in the state of Victoria.

Understand[edit]

Geelong is more than just a country town - it is a sophisticated and cosmopolitan city, the 2nd largest in Victoria and 12th largest in all of Australia, with more people than even Hobart. Its also one of the fastest growing cities in all of Australia, with the population expected to reach 500 000 for the Greater Geelong and Bellarine areas by 2030. It has a diverse range of activities for all the family from nearby wineries to an antique carousel for the kids of the magnificent waterfront. Its close proximity, and good transport links, to both the Great Ocean Road (including Torquay, Twelve Apostles etc) and the state's capital Melbourne make Geelong an ideal city to spend a few days. Whether you want to indulge in Australian History at the award winning National Wool Museum or spend you day at an Adventure Park - Geelong has it.

Geelong really makes an ideal base for some time in Victoria, its easy enough to day-trip up to Melbourne, and numerous coastal attractions are nearby, plus national parks, the Bellarine peninsula and Avalon airport has flights to Sydney, the Gold Coast and even to Kuala Lumpur. See a real part of Australia and not just touristy gizmo by staying here.

People that live in Geelong are generally proud of their heritage and role in forming Victoria's economy and history. The Geelong Ford factory played a pivotal role in producing the famous Ford Falcon, and was mainstay of the Geelong economy for decades, until its closure in 2010. Since then, Geelong's economy has dipped slightly but has rebounded in recent years, with home construction, relocation of government departments to the town and tourism playing a vital role in keeping things ticking along. Footy is huge with the Geelong cats an original AFL team - you can easily catch a match at Kardinya Park stadium during the regular AFL season (March - September).

  • Geelong and Great Ocean Road Visitor Information Office, Princess Hwy, Little River, toll free 1800 620 888, 5283 1735 (fax 5223 2069). Every day 9AM-5PM. [10]
  • Geelong Visitor Information Centre, 26 Moorabool St (cnr Brougham St), Geelong, toll free 1800 620 888, 5222 2900 (fax 5223 2069). Every day 9AM-5PM. [11]

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Avalon Airport doubles as Melbourne's second airport and Geelong's principal one, with Jetstar [12] operating domestic flights to Sydney, the Gold Coast, Hobart and [[Adelaide], as well as international flights to Kuala Lumpur, and Denpasar. The airport is approx 20 minutes out of the CBD, with a shuttle bus operating to the city centre and to Melbourne (see website for Skybus Melbourne). The terminal is very small with limited amenities and food options. Long term parking is available.

Avalon Airport is completely closed as of January 2021 due to the covid pandemic, and there are numerous planes from all the national airlines parked up here due to the lack passenger routes. This is not anticipated to change until closer to 2022. You must go to Melbourne Airport for all flights now.

You may wish to travel to Melbourne Airport from the Geelong area by public transport. For that, you need to use Gull Shuttle Bus [13]. They leave from a depot in Central Geelong, stop at Corio on the way and then run direct to Tullamarine Airport, usually on an hourly basis throughout the day. They are comfortable enough with toilets. Also hourly on the return to Geelong. Costs are around $34 for adults and $22 for children one-way. As of early 2021, you must book ahead of time, otherwise they may not run without any passengers.

One other way it to take the Western Express Skybus from Tullamarine airport to Tarneit station, buy a Myki card and then travel to Geelong from there. Skybus costs $22 for an adult, and the Myki for an adult costs about $7. This could be more convenient to reach the direct centre of Geelong or other outlying areas by the train.

The total diehards can take a public bus from Tullamarine to Broadmeadows station, a Metro train to Southern Cross and then the V-line train to Geelong. This will save you maybe $14-15 but will take 40-50mins longer at least. Try not to take that public airport bus after dark.

By train[edit]

Frequent V/Line [14] trains run from Southern Cross Station in Melbourne to Geelong and take about an hour. Expect to pay roughly $9.50/$13.60 off-peak/peak, one-way from Southern Cross to Geelong Main Station, or half that for concession travellers (students, children, senior citizens). Travel on these services is now exclusively using a Myki card myki card. Prices are much less if you are getting off at a Melbourne station that is not Southern Cross, Footscray or Sunshine. Also remember these stops are only for passengers disembarking on inbound trains, and passengers getting on for outbound trains.

Trains are comfortable, with space for luggage on overhead racks or near the doors of the train, and there are toilets on board. Inspectors generally do check tickets between Geelong/Lara and Melbourne, so make sure you tap on, its hard to talk your way out of a fine. Prior to covid, they did get quite full during peak times, generally most passengers get on at Wyndham Vale and Tarneit stations in Melbourne's western suburbs, however during covid it was common to see them empty.


By ferry[edit]

Car/passenger ferries cross the mouth of Port Phillip Bay between Queenscliff on the Bellarine Peninsula and Sorrento on Mornington Peninsula. They depart each terminal on the hour every hour 7AM-6PM every day. From 26 Dec. until end of daylight saving there are also 7PM sailings. Foot passengers adult $13, 4-15 years $9, tandem $3; passengers with vehicle adult $22, 5-15 years $13, under 3 years free; vehicle rates vary with season – car up to 5.5m between $65 and $75 one-way. Slight discounts on the return trip [15]. This is in line with ferrys being one of the most expensive ways to travel in Australia.

Ferries also travel multiple times daily between the town of Portarlington on the Bellarine Peninsula and Docklands, near Southern Cross Railway Station and Melbourne's CBD. One way tickets will set an adult back $18 and $16 for concession travellers one-way. The trip currently is a 90 minute journey. These services are for passengers only, no cars. Operated by Port Phillip Ferries.

There is also a ferry now directly from Geelong's waterfront to Docklands. See above link for details, prices are similar as the Portarlington ferry. There is normally a morning and afternoon departure from both Geelong and Docklands, taking 1.5 hours. Its a bit longer and more expensive than the train, but makes for a nice change being out on the water, with more space on board as well. Sone ferries line up with the Geelong Cats football matches in Melbourne.

By bus[edit]

McHarry’s Buslines [16] run to Geelong from Queenscliff (30 km), Torquay and other Bellarine Peninsula towns. V/Line also operate coach services to and from Ballarat and the Great Ocean Road. See their website for further details.

Get around[edit]

By car[edit]

Metered parking in the city centre (including the Waterfront and Eastern Beach costs $2.70 per hour during weekdays (usually 9 am to 5:30 pm) with free parking during weekends and public holidays, and is often time limited. There are a number of privately operated car parks that offer more affordable rates, ranging from $1 per hour, but much more if over 5 hours. Westfield and Market Square shopping centers are the largest examples of these. All day parking costs around $13 next to the large church on Myers st.

Geelong is much less stressful to navigate than Melbourne. There are no toll roads and traffic isn't too bad, although greatly increased in recent years. Watch out for build ups on LaTrobe Terrace near the main train station during peak hour. Surrounding coastal areas can get hectic during summer weekends and public holidays. Always keep your car locked and valuables out of sight.

By bus[edit]

Geelong has a reasonable bus network operated under the umbrella of Geelong Transit Service. A 2 hour ticket cost about $2 concession and $4 adult. All buses in Geelong and the Bellarine now use myki, along with the trains, so it operates under the same system as in Melbourne, where you pay for your first trip within a certain area, then the same again for a subsequent trip after 2 hours, to a maximum of 2 trips a day. Use the PTV app on your smart phone to check the next bus at stops near to you.

Routes running within the city generally run every 20-40 minutes on weekdays and every 30-60 minutes on weekends and mostly between 7 am and 9 pm. Routes to towns around the Bellarine (Leopold, Drysdale, Ocean Grove, Queenscliff) generally run less often, hourly on weekdays and every 2 hours on weekends - however still run across the same range of times as suburban routes. Buses 50 and 51 go from Geelong station via the CBD area, Kardinya Park and Marshall Station to Torquay and Jan Juc every 30-40mins on weekdays, a good option if you want to get to the beach from Melbourne without a car.

By train[edit]

Depending on destination, a V/Line train may assist in travelling around the city. Stations from Lara to Waurn Ponds inclusive cost the same as local bus services, and run at roughly the same frequency. Remember some V-line services will terminate at South Geelong coming from Melbourne.

By bike[edit]

Geelong has a reasonable network of bike paths and some make for a very pleasant ride, particularly either side of the Barwon river. Other paths head through the Waurn Ponds and Grovedale areas, and one goes east towards the Bellarine area. There are hills and riding on the road is legal but not fun at all with the increase in traffic recently. Probably less people get around and commute on bikes as in, say, Melbourne.

Bike hire is available on the waterfront in the afternoons on weekends and school holidays - no reservations are taken. Future rentals has longer term rentals available. There are no other rental options available in Geelong.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Geelong Waterfront, a working maritime area, incorporate cafes, carousel and botanical gardens.
  • Geelong Maritime Museum
  • Johnstone Park, located near the railway station and bordered by Gheringhap, Little Malop, Fenwick and Mercer Streets, this park is a popular gathering place in Geelong across locals and tourists alike. Containing an impressive rotunda, short walking tracks and beautiful flora, the park area also hosts Geelong's City Hall building, the Geelong Art Gallery, and the newly built Geelong Library and Heritage Centre. These buildings form part of Geelong's Cultural Precinct.
  • National Wool Museum, 26 Moorabool St (cnr Brougham St), Geelong. Every day 9:30AM-5PM except Good Friday and Christmas Day. Allow 90 minutes. Includes a tourist information office. $7:30 adult, $5.90 concession, $3.65 child.
  • You Yangs Regional Park is 55 km south-west of Melbourne and 22 km north of Geelong. Access from Princes Freeway is via Little River if coming from Melbourne and Lara if coming from Geelong. Open 8AM-4:30PM year round and from 8AM-6PM during summer daylight saving. Four main walks traverse the park. The 3.2 km walk to Flinders Peak (348m) takes 90 minutes and gives good views. The longest track is the 3 hour Branding Yard Track. The park is home to Koalas, Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Swamp Wallabies, Short-beaked Echidnas, Common Brushtail Possums, Common Ringtail Possums and over 200 species of birds. A long term wild koala study project operates in the park, in 2017 researchers estimate 105 wild koalas live in the You Yangs, but they can be hard to find.

Performing Arts Centre, Art Deco Cinema, Botanical Gardens.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • See an Aussie rules football match Simonds Stadium, located on Moorabool Street is the home of the Geelong Cats, the local Australian Football League team. They are somewhat of a local institution. There are about half a dozen home games per year from April to August; the rest of Geelong's home games are played in Melbourne. Expect to pay about $20 for an adult, $12 concession and $5 for a child. Alternately you could catch a local league game on a Saturday afternoon. There are dozens at venues spread around Geelong, and matches are of a very high standard. Most grounds you can walk in free, whilst some have gates, expect to pay no more than $7-8.
  • Bellarine Rail Trail starts from near South Geelong Station, and is a 35km cycling track to Queenscliff.
  • Geelong Library and Heritage Centre, 51 Little Malop St, Geelong VIC 3220, Australia, 61 3 4201 0600, [1]. 10am-5pm. The Geelong Library and Heritage Centre is a regional library, archive and resource facility in the city of Geelong, Victoria, Australia. Geelong Free Library was begun in 1858. The new Library was completed in 2015 and has received numerous awards including he Victorian Architecture Medal, the William Wardell Award for Public Architecture and the Marion Mahoney Award in 2016.  edit


Buy[edit][add listing]

Market Square and Westfield shopping centres have most things you need, and are as large as any in the big city. You also have Waurn Ponds shopping centre further south, Corio Village in the north and numerous smaller ones dotted around. You'll find all the major outlets of hardware, electronic and camping stores in various parts of Geelong too.

ATMs are widespread, as per the rest of Australia, paypass/eftpos is accepted everywhere.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Riverview Coffee House, 59A Barrabool Road, Belmont, (03) 52442044.  edit
  • La Porchetta Geelong, 29-31 Malop St Geelong VIC 3220, (03) 5229 7313.  edit
  • Town and Country Pizza Geelong, 6-8 Eastern Beach Geelong VIC 3220, (03) 5222 5480.  edit
  • The Barking Dog, 126 Pakington St Geelong West VIC 3218, (03) 5229 2889.  edit
  • Yarra Hotel Geelong, 69 Yarra St Geelong VIC 3220, (03) 5229 4477.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • The Edge, 6-8 Eastern Beach Geelong VIC 3220 (03) 5222 2666, [2].  edit
  • The Max Hotel, 2 Gheringhap St Geelong VIC 3220 (03) 5229 5504, [3].  edit
  • Beavs Bar, 77 Little Malop St Geelong VIC 3220 (03) 5222 3366, [4].  edit
  • Lambys, 66 Brougham St Geelong VIC 3220 (03) 5223 2536, [5]. 9pm-3am, Friday-Sunday.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Aberdeen Motor Inn, 9 Aberdeen Street Newtown, 03 52212177, [6]. checkin: 2 pm; checkout: 10 am. A well established 36 room motel just 10 minute walk from Geelong CBD $85 - $145.  edit
  • The Haymarket Boutique Hotel, 244 Moorabool Street (crn Little Myers Street) Geelong, 613 5221 1174, [7]. checkin: 15.00; checkout: 10.00. The Haymarket is in the style of the small hotels of Europe and America with much charm. Centrally located in the Geelong CBD the Hotel is furnished with French and English antiques, carefully blended with modern accommodation conveniences $155 - $250.  edit

Budget[edit]

  • National Hotel Backpackers, 191 Moorabool St, Central Geelong, 5229 1211, 0410 529 935 ([email protected], fax 5229 0373). From $19. [17]
  • Irish Murphy’s Backpackers, 30 Aberdeen St, Geelong, 5221 4335, ([email protected], fax 5223 3055). From $19. [18]

Mid-range[edit]

  • Gate House On Ryrie, 83 Yarra Street (Crn Ryrie & Yarra Street), 614 1754 196, [8]. checkin: 11.00AM; checkout: 10.00AM. A Bed and Breakfast offering accommodations with all the grace and charm of bygone days this beautiful home was built in 1897. This B&B is serving ' traditional' continental breakfast and is included in the price, with a selection of fruit, yoghurt, cereals and breads with all the condiments, juices, tea and coffee. $100. (38085973S,144214498E) edit [19]

Get out[edit]

Visit the Bellarine Peninsula or the Great Ocean Road.


Routes through Geelong
Mount GambierColac  W noframe E  Melbourne


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