08 September, 2023

Five reasons to visit Geelong and the Bellarine

On the doorstep of our Victorian home Spirit of Tasmania Quay, the coastal town of Geelong and its neighbouring peninsula – The Bellarine – hide surprises around every corner. From charming seaside villages and award-winning wineries to striking beaches, a world of opportunities awaits in this enchanting region of Victoria. Looking for more than crystal-clear beaches and top-class wineries to linger in the area before or after your trip to Tassie? You’re in luck, we’ve put together a list on our top picks for exploring Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula.

1. Indulge in Australia’s best regional dining

The culinary scene in Geelong and surrounding areas is nearly as impressive as the one in Melbourne. No matter what you’re craving for, here you’ll find Victoria’s best regional dining on display – all crafted with locally sourced ingredients and native produce. From hatted restaurants and internationally recognised establishment including the innovative, 28-seat IGNI, funky eateries and superb cafés, your tastebuds will be treated to some of the best Australian fare you’ll ever try.  

Read our top picks for where to eat and drink in Geelong here.

Geelong Foreshore
Geelong Foreshore. Photo: Geelong & the Bellarine.

2. Taste world-class wines

You may be well and truly familiar with the exquisite drops produced in the Yarra Valley or the Mornington Peninsula, but have you heard about the Geelong and Bellarine wine regions?

The area’s varied coastal soil and cool climate are perfect for creating sophisticated wines, and you’ll be spoilt for choices when it comes to trying the region’s finest varieties… There are over 150 vineyards, 60 wineries and over 40 cellar doors to choose from around the region.

Jack Rabbit Vineyard, Scotchmans Hill, Oakdene and Leura Park Estate are just some of the beautiful wineries and estates you can visit for a glass of vino, accompanied by delicious food and spectacular views.

Jack Rabbit Winery
Jack Rabbit Winery - Bellarine Peninsula. Photo: Robert Seba / Visit Victoria.

3. Splash in crystal-clear waters

With a superb coastline stretching as far as the eye can see from Geelong all the way to Torquay and beyond to Lorne and the Great Ocean Road, the area is blessed not only with sparkling waters and postcard-perfect beaches, but also with a myriad of water-based activities.

Whether you want to surf the waves of world-famous Bells Beach, swim with the dolphins off Queenscliff, chill on the shores of Ocean Grove’s Main Beach or take it underwater to explore ship wrecks off the coast, the region’s sparkling waters are waiting for you.

Barwon Heads Golf Course
Barwon Heads Golf Course. Photo: Gary Lisbon / Visit Victoria.

4. Fun for everyone

Both Geelong and The Bellarine offer ample activities to keep everyone entertained – no matter what season you are visiting and what your interests are.

From meeting local wildlife at the Jirrahlinga Wildlife Sanctuary to splashing in the sprawling Adventure Park Geelong (Victoria’s biggest water theme park), there’s plenty to keep kids entertained if you are travelling as a family.

Love golf? You’re in the right spot: this is one of the state’s premier golfing destinations. Barwon Heads is home to three of the top 50 Australian public access courses, and there are even more golf courses in the area you can test your skills on.

Geelong Art Gallery
Geelong Art Gallery. Photo: Geelong & the Bellarine.

5. Immerse yourself in art and culture

It’s not all about the great outdoors in Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula: the arts and culture scene here is abuzz, so make sure you take some time to wander through art galleries and local markets, and delve deeper in the history of the area.

High on the cultural to-do list should be a visit to the Geelong Gallery, Australia’s oldest regional gallery, a walk along the Bollard Trail to check out Jan Mitchell’s 100-plus Baywalk Bollards, and a stopover to the Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre to learn more about local Indigenous culture.

Find out more about Geelong: read our spirited traveller’s guide here.



Information included in this blog is correct at the time of publishing. Please contact individual operators for further information.

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