Geelong Bucket List for Families

10 Dec

52 fun things for Families to Do in and around Geelong

woman and three children playing water

  1. Visit the Geelong Gallery . TIP: Don’t miss the Gallery Shop for a unique gift.
  2. Take in the view at Eastern Beach
  3. Stimulate your sense at Geelong Botanical Gardens
  4. How much wildlife can you spot at Serendip Sanctuary TIP: Say hello to the friendly  (but somewhat intimidating) emu strolling the carpark and picnic area.
  5. Cuddle a Koala at Jirrahlinga Koala and Wildlife Sanctuary $$
  6. Portarlington Bayside Miniture Railway  $
  7. Adventure Park (When open) $
  8. Fairy Park $$
  9. Rollerway Skate Rink $
  10. Curlewis Mini Golff $$
  11. Pick Strawberries – Tuckerberry Hill $$
  12. Geelong Library 
  13. National Wool Museum $
  14. Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre 
  15. Walk/Ride/Scoot Barwon River trails 
  16. Visit Buckley Falls
  17. Geelong Play Space
  18. Playgrounds (Our top ones include Sparrow Park, Poppykettle Playground)
  19. Rippleside Beach
  20. Bellarine Rail Trail
  21. Mountain Bike Trails at the You Yangs (Easy kids course/ adult easy/Adult pro)
  22. Mountain Bike Park
  23. Bellarine Railway $
  24. The Carousel $
  25. View the Wreck of the Paddlesteam ‘Ozone’ at Half Moon Bay (Indented Head)
  26. Bollard Walk Eastern Beach
  27. See the Upside down house at Oakdene Vineyard (Free to look but $ for food + wine)
  28. Have dessert for Dinner at Armageddon Cake Dessert Bar $
  29. Moorabool Valley Chocolate $
  30. Country Charm of Inverleigh Pub $
  31. Swim at Eastern Beach 
  32. Watch the Spirit of Tasmania travel through the heads at St Leonards
  33. Take a trip across the bay From Portarlington to Docklands $
  34. Take a trip across the bay to Sorrento $
  35. Rockclimb at The Rock $
  36. Gateway Reserve
  37. Visit Portarlington Mill
  38. Fish off Cunningham Pier
  39. Grab a Kermons Hamburger (Yes perviously famous to Warrnambool but they are landing in Ryrie St December 2018) $
  40. Hire a boat and take to the water $
  41. Watch Water-skiiers on the Barwon River
  42. Go Geocaching
  43. Skate The Park $
  44. Learn To Surf or SUP $
  45. Take a Brewery Tour (all Ages) at Little Creatures, Geelong.
  46. Check out Silo Art at Fynsford
  47. Enjoy the stunning awe of St Mary’s Basilica Church
  48. Hit the Vintage Shops
  49. Get a dose of Pop-Culture 
  50. Water Slide at Waurn Ponds $
  51. Geelong Open Air Waterfront Skate Park
  52. Love Blueberries? Head down to Otway Blueberries and get pickin’ $

Want to help us get this list to 100 Amazing things for families to do in Geelong and surrounding areas? Submit your activity, event or location and we’ll check it out.

sunglasses girl swimming pool swimming




Guest Blog |Author Bernard Kelly

4 Dec

We’ve been to a few events recently and the popular topic is how Geelong is booming, growing up and making its mark. Just today we counted no less that 9 cranes dotting the skyline. Things are moving forward in Geelong and the future is shining bright.

Today on the blog we welcome guest Bernard Kelly to share with us a little more about his recently published book, Exciting, Dynamic GeelongExciting-Dynamac-Geelong

Reviews about Exciting, Dynamic Geelong

“I read it twice – as every chapter is a collections of introductions”
Jason Steinwedel – Director ManuFutures, Deakin University  24 October 2018

“Well written, Bernard!  It is a good read”
Ken Dickens – Managing Director, Corio Waste Management  16 October 2018

“Among its other attributes, ‘Exciting, Dynamic Geelong’ is an instant resource for unusual facts of general interest about Geelong”

Ray French, Rotary Club of Geelong,  23 October 2108

By Bernard Kelly

Whilst “Exciting, Dynamic Geelong” is actually a book, it was originally written
as a sales aide brochure for any organisation needing to explain, justify or
boost the city. It still has that primary function, however it is much more than
that – it is also a stimulating full-colour solution for families needing a “good
read” gift for distant friends and relatives.

It’s all about the city’s history, jobs, economic development and the future.

Any recent book of course reflects on Geelong’s history with new insights. For
example, the railway door into the National Wool Museum in Brougham Street
takes on new meaning when you stand there with your shoulders back against
that massive door, looking across the street to the railway reserve – that’s it
behind the tin fence between two buildings immediately opposite. This was
the railway line into the wool store, up from Cunningham Pier. That humble
experience – with your shoulders touching the door – leaves an indelible
impression on both locals and tourists alike, and draws them all to explore the
relevance of the historically significant five-track railway marshalling yard on
the Pier itself.

A dazzling surprise in the book is to discover that Deakin University has a
soaring international reputation: it’s now ranked around 275th in 14,000 research universities worldwide, up from a distant 750th as recently as 2010.
Then Jane den Hollander arrived as Vice Chancellor! At the time, Deakin was
just another ordinary regional facility: it was in indistinguishable from any
other creature in a swarm of identical jellyfish. However, den Hollander
waded out into the ocean, grabbed this particular jelly fish, and manoeuvred it
towards the front of the mob. She achieved this exceptional feat by focusing
the university’s research on high tech innovation, initially carbon fibre but
more recently on ManuFutures. Remarkable academic research papers then
cascaded out – enthusiastic academics published papers of exceptional
applications and partnerships with local “first mover” firms, and the march up
the rankings began to accelerate.

The book also anticipates the future. The high rise developments, the arrival
of high tech firms (spurred by financial incentives, vast re-purposed and cheap
industrial spaces, and proximity to Melbourne) and the talent employed in the
one-of-a-kind social insurance hub – TAC, Worksafe, NDIS, Comcare – will all
naturally result in generations of subsequent dynamic and evolving firms.

The fourteen chapters also touch on the region – in particular, the surrounding
rural countryside is forecast to flourish. Just add water. Located in Werribee,
the Western Treatment Plant treats half of Melbourne’s sewage, and a simple
channel system will shift surplus, precious water and create the Bannockburn
Irrigation Area. In time, this should become a food bowl of a massive 660,000
hectares (rivalling the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area) right on the outskirts of

“Exciting, Dynamic Geelong” also addresses issues currently overlooked by the
Geelong community. The lack of migrant arrivals is a concern, as is the
exceptionally low profile of the city in the context of major regional Australian
cities. But overall, the book concludes that the city’s future is Golden.

“EXCITING DYNAMIC GEELONG” is available online from

Author Bernard Kelly mobile 0414 778 518
email –

Buy Local.

2 Dec

*Note: We’re constantly working on this list. Bookmark the page and check back often for fresh new Geelong creative small businesses as they emerge to us. 

ShopLocalFeelGoodThis Christmas, like every other, we’re trying to buy as much from local small businesses as we can. Be it online or direct, we understand how by supporting local, small business we support our community. But where are they all?

The shopping centres are full of mainstream stores and many of the small businesses we want to engage with only come out at markets, which can be infrequent.

To help anyone else that is keen to support a local small business and pick up unique products we’ve decided to create a list of wonderful, talented local Geelong people, creatives and small businesses that we’ve discovered.  If you’ve been looking for candles, jewellery, soaps, fashion, artwork or giftware either from a business that operates from Geelong then check out our list below.

If you would like to be added to our list or know a great local small business that would be a perfect inclusion in our list, get in contact with us to apply.

Fashion (Adult)
Jemma Saunders – Australian Fashion Designer
Adeline’s Closet – hand-made boho adult headwraps, kimonos & women’s clothing
Corestyle – Handcrafted wooden jewelry, raw sustainable decor & eco dyed clothing

Bags, Jewellery & Accessories
Oktoberdee – Leathergoods
bsirius – Ethical, original handbags and accessories
Ernst & Joe – Handmade Jewellery

Uddevalla Barn – Kids Clothing
Fizzy Pop – Kids prints, nursery wall art
HoorayHoop – Illustration embroidery art
Oishi M – Cute Kids Clothing
United By Wool  – Merino clothing and blankets

Claypots by Pec Handmade clay pots
Towelling Stories – Natural Toweling products for mum and bubs

Home wears & Interiors
Maglendesigns Designs – Towels, Bags, Cushions, Thongs.
Southbound Living
Grotti Lotti – Art

Beauty & Skincare
Natural Supply Company

Dear Mabel – Quality gift wrap, ribbon and trimmings
POP Planner – Funky and Fab Planner. Plan. Organise. Prioritise.

Other regional Victoria small businesses we love to support
Allendale Alchemy – Artisan Soaps and Skincare
Aeda – Handmade skincare & homewares
Wholefood Simply 

Kids Fun on the Bellarine Peninsula

13 Jun

When it comes to the parent life, knowing great places to visit with little ones is a requirement. Rail, Hail or Shine, sometimes you’ve just got to get out of the house and seek other human life forms!

With a population explosion on the Bellarine Peninsula, parents on the Bellarine are discovering the endless options of things to do, including:

Have you found something fun to do with kids on The Bellarine? Share it with us.


Pako Farmers Market

5 Nov

Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 10.32.59 amThe Pako Farmers Market is a community market, managed by the Barwon Fair Food Network, a non-profit incorporated association.

A gold coin donation is required for entry and the money from your donations goes to Ashby Primary School’s food garden program and to other food-farming projects of the Barwon Fair Food Network.

Every stallholder at the market is the actual farmer, grower or maker of the food you’re buying, or is a direct employee.

The market is on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, 8am -1pm and held at the Ashby Primary School in Geelong West.

Other local fresh food markets in the region; South Geelong Farmers Market and the Golden Plains Farmers Market.

Do you visit farmers markets – what do you load up your (enviro friendly) bags with?

Geelong Blogs & Bloggers

12 May

If you’re like me and devour content like it’s a marshmallow infused cronut, you may have discovered the lack of  bloggers with klout from down this way.

Marketers targeting the region could use bloggers with influence in the region. Bloggers who have a uniquely individual voice and focus on all things local. For a while we were delighted by the  beautiful Oh! Hello Geelong blog, the discovery of a new town by  “two girl who were not from here” [Geelong], however after its creators Laura Blythman and Penny Phipps left town the blog fell into disrepair. It now seems to have been invaded by nasty code (thus why I haven’t linked to it here). Such a shame.

We have seen a few foodie blogs emerge including The Geelong Manual which give us the cool guide to great food and drink in town. Tells us where to hang, be seen and most importantly, how the coffee holds up!

The Life of Clare is also a relatively new blogger in the region. Via her pretty blog, Clare shares her green and frugal adventures on the Bellarine.

Geelong Fashionista is a fashion and lifestyle blog with styling and fashion finds and ideas. A great blog, however for the most part content is not centred around Geelong. Look back through the posts and you will find Geelong content, but as the site lacks a search field or a Geelong category tag, we find it hard to add this to our Geelong blogs list.

Mama Geelong is the go to blog bible for many mothers however unfortunately the updates are few and far between.

We like what Sequence Digital are doing with the Wholesome Fun blog, however with the branding on every image and in the sidebar it loses that individally blogger voice and vibe.

If you know a blog that fits that criteria and it didn’t make our tiny list, then hola out loud and we’ll investigate!



Five of the Best Espresso Martinis in Geelong

19 Jun

Espresso Martini GeelongWhat better sort of post for a Friday than one about Cocktails. Surely one of the Kings of the Cocktail list has to be the Espresso Martini. With it’s rich coffee bean hit served in a chilled Martini glass, topped with foaming rich goodness and a subtle coffee bean or two for decorative purposes it’s after dinner Apéritifs at their best! But where is Geelong should one head for such treats? We’re done the leg work and tracked down the Top 5 Espesso Martini’s in town.

Pakington St, Geelong West

We’re always impressed with the wine knowledge and cocktail skills of the guys and girls behind the bar at Tulip. Order up an Espresso Martini here and you won’t be disappointed.

Denny’s Kitchen
66 Brougham Street Geelong

Relative newcomer in the city Denny’s Kitchen has the goods on the cocktail mixing. The great vibe, good food and rollicking atmosphere make this a go to destination. Its likely coffee runs in the veins of this authentically Italian eatery, and top notch coffee is a perfect way to start off a very decent Espresso Martini. Be prepared to enjoy a strongly brewed, full flavoured Espresso Martini.

Opium Bar
James St, Geelong.

This place is made for Cocktails so its no surprise to find a great choice of interesting mix ups confronts you. If you decide to opt for the classic Espresso Martini rather than opting for one of their tantalising, unusual creations you’ll be served up a delightful, professionally prepared mix. You can tell the pros come out to play at this little, dimly lit cocktail bar.

If you’re up for trying a few other cocktails we can also recommend the Lemon & Sugar Pancake – it’s quite extraordinary how exactly like a Lemon and Sugar Pancake this cocktail tastes!

Dive Bar
84a Lt Malop Street

The Espresso Martini here is as decent as you’ll get, if you’re not a coffee fan you can try their Chocolotini – the chocolate lovers Martini.

Gin & Co
30 Aberdeen St, Geelong West

If you like your bars refined, finely furnished and dimly lit then make tracks for Gin & Co. An impressive Cocktail list awaits. Here they serving up an Espresso Martini with classic ingredients and prepared by someone who obviously knows their way around both a coffee machine and cocktail bar.

Special Mention:

An impressive cocktails menu awaits at Mr Umamis on Pakington St and we were thrilled to see (and try) a few unusual cocktail combinations. However, as they don’t currently have an Espresso Martini on their drinks menu (hint hint!) they didn’t make this list. But high fives for some great, inventive cocktails – we’ll be back soon!