There’s nothing greater than a cycling weekend away, and as summer approaches, now is the time to plan your long weekend around the 2024 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
It just so happens, Geelong and the Bellarine is the perfect destination to explore on and off the bike.
One day in Geelong and the Bellarine really isn’t enough. So below, we’ll help you discover the perfect home away from home with a myriad of offerings from boutique hotels to opulent retreats and family-friendly options.
For the family, there are a plethora of options to keep everyone entertained on your rest days. With activities for all budgets, scroll down to check out some of the top tourism attractions in Geelong and on the Bellarine Peninsula.
Lon Retreat is idyllic, situated on 200 acres of rural and conservation land, and perfectly perched by the ocean in Point Lonsdale. For an indulgent getaway, stay in one the seven luxurious suites and treat yourself with a day spa treatment and swim in the mineral pool.
Located at the gateway to the Bellarine Peninsula and just a short hop from Geelong and some of the region’s best beaches is this luxurious stay with views over the vineyard and a cellar door at your doorstep.
From your haven in Point Lonsdale, be mesmerised by the panoramic views from Portsea to Port Phillip Heads, Barwon Heads to even the Otways. You’ll love this bed and breakfast, which offers luxurious, yet sustainable accommodation for your next romantic getaway.
A luxurious and accessible holiday house in Barwon Heads, 100 Hitchcock is perfect for everyone. Accommodating up to eight guests, the house has full wheelchair access, and includes three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
Find more accommodation options, from high-end to budget, visit our Geelong and The Bellarine Accomodation page here.
A safe way to discover Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula by cycling is along the Bellarine Rail Trail. The 32.5km track starts at South Geelong railway station and takes you through to charming Queenscliff. Ride through areas rich in wildflowers and native birds, stop off at seaside villages, and along the way you will be rewarded with views back over Geelong and the You Yangs.
Let the family run amok at Adventure Park Geelong. Enjoy unlimited action – make a splash with some of the best waterslides in Victoria, including the Aqua Racer, the Tsunami and the Tornado. There’s classic dry-land fun including a Ferris wheel, archery and mini golf.
For an unforgettable experience, you’ll love a cruise on Port Phillip Bay with Sea All Dolphin Swims. You can snorkel and interact with dolphins, seals and colourful reef fish. This immersive experience also covers the area’s early maritime and military history.
For a classic end to your day, enjoy fish and chips on the beach, whilst watching the sunset. Perfection!
Art & culture
Delve into the city’s vibrant creative scene, visit the Geelong Gallery to see the outstanding collection of Australian paintings, sculpture and decorative arts. Wander around Boom Gallery a complex that houses galleries, workshops and studios. Urban art lovers must experience the Powerhouse Museum to see work by some of the country’s finest street artists.
You can’t top a sunny day at the beach, so head down to one of the Bellarine’s many seaside villages. Think sand between your toes, salt on your skin and the sound of waves crashing in the background…
Located at the mouth of the Barwon River, this town is stunning year-round. Relax on the river beach, snorkel, paddleboard or have an epic surf at Thirteenth Beach. Spend your days eating delicious food at cafes, shopping at boutiques and have a swing at the nationally renowned Barwon Heads Golf Club.
Sip, savour and discover the region. Devour seafood fresh from the bay, sample award-winning wine and fill your car boot from country provedores and seasonal farmgates. Don’t forget the bay, where you can swim, kick back and relax, fish from the pier or hire a boat to explore.
Once a historical seaside village, there’s old and new to unearth in Queenscliff. There are stately churches, Victorian-era hotels, fisherman’s cottages and heritage streets to wander. Visit Hesse Street for heritage architecture, cafes, shops and galleries. To wine and dine, the modern waterfront development is perfect. Enjoy a beach day and dive for reefs, marine life and shipwrecks. Swim with dolphins and seals, hire a boat, or cast a fishing line from the beautiful old pier and try your luck.
History & heritage
Geelong has a rich manufacturing past and the region is now bursting with converted industrial spaces including hip eateries, accommodation, galleries and creative places to explore.
Uncover the area’s industrial and pastoral history at the National Wool Museum, then wander through the picturesque waterfront precinct. Take a selfie with a whimsical bollard and finish up with a ride on a hand-carved wooden carousel constructed circa 1892. Remarkably, it’s one of the only 200 still operating in the world.
Visit the Bellarine Railway for historical fun, and an impressive array of steam trains and diesel locomotives. Catch the scenic Swan Bay Express Service, or the regular kids-themed services with Thomas The Tank Engine and the Polar Express. Please visit the website for further details and schedules.
For more information on what to do in Geelong and the Bellarine, head to go to https://www.visitvictoria.com/regions/geelong-and-the-bellarine