Things to See & Do
Food & Wine
Whether it is the distinctive maritime flavours of The Bellarine, the ancient richness of the Moorabool Valley Wine Region or the rugged, exposed coastline of the Surf Coast, the Geelong Wine Region is united by boutique, family owned winegrowers producing premium quality hand crafted wines.
With each sub region and winery displaying their own unique characteristics, visitors are invited to explore the diversity of the Geelong Wine Region's stunning scenery, touring routes and restaurants whilst sampling some of Victoria's finest cellar door experiences.
Geelong's family owned boutique operators maximise their wine's potential by hand pruning, hand picking and hand crafting their wines allowing regional characters to develop.
Areas within the region have varying microclimates influencing the depth of colour, bouquet and flavour of the wines. The Bellarine has a maritime climate with bay breeezes and spectacular views, whilst the hills and valleys of the Moorabool Valley – Anakie areas have a warm, continental style climate. The renowned Surf Coast is famous for its long summer days and cooling ocean breezes.
James Halliday in his Wine Atlas of Australia and New Zealand wrote:
"If there is a unifying feature in all of the Geelong wines, it is their strength and depth of colour, bouquet and flavour."
Not only does the Geelong wine region produce some of Australia's best wines, but the wineries are surrounded by some of Victoria's best scenery and touring opportunities.
The Geelong Wine Region. Fine wines – from our hands to yours.
For a map of the winery region visit: http://www.winegeelong.com.au/wine_region/map
Banks Road Vineyard is a small family run vineyard and winery on the Bellarine Peninsula just outside Geelong, on approximately 12 acres.
The 12 acres of grapes planted including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz, which suits their coastal climate. They also source Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz grapes from the Harcourt Valley near Bendigo. Banks Road Vineyard look forward to welcoming you to the vineyard.
All wines are made on site in the small hands on facility. Banks Road also make wine for some of the other vineyards around area. They are very passionate about their wine and enjoy the closeness to their produce that being a small winery gives them.
From bud burst in the spring to bottling the wine, sometimes years later, they see each vintage evolve. Their wines have received many accolades at shows and in reviews by wine writers.
Their recently completed cellar door is open from Thursday to Sunday or by appointment. As well as tasting each of the wines you can enjoy a light lunch and a glass of wine whilst enjoying the view over the vineyard to the Rip.
The Barrgowan Vineyard and Winery is owned and operated by the Simonsen family. Vines were planted in 1994 with the objective of producing a high quality Shiraz for private consumption. This specialisation in Shiraz continues and the high quality is reflected in an impressive list of awards since 1998.
The production is very small from the half acre of vines, 50 cases in 2003 rising to an expected 200 cases in 2010 with no plans to expand further. This will ensure the continued high quality and attention to detail.
The vineyard is unusual in that five different clones of Shiraz are planted, and Barrgowan Vineyard believe that each clone adds just a little extra complexity to the finished wine.
Barrgowan Vineyard hand prune the vines, hand pick the fruit and basket press manually. Diligence, care and gentleness are applied at all stages of the wine making process; for example, most wine transfer is achieved by gravity, not pumped. By scientific measurement during the wine making process, we ensure the absolute minimum use of additives. The overall criterion is quality, not quantity!
The wine matures for over 12 months in the best, ultra fine grained French oak barrels available, and do not blend, filter or fine.
Barrgowan Vineyard do not have a distributor, all wine is sold by word of mouth, mail order or email. If you would like to be on our mailing list, or order wine.
There is a Cellar door, by appointment only. The tastings are an experience and generally include a tour of the wine making facility.
Please contact for orders of Cellar Door appointments.
Located in the heart of the Bellarine Peninsula, Leura Park Estate has firmly established itself as a renowned producer of premium cool climate wines since 1995.
Owners Lyndsay and David Sharp are committed to minimal interference and grape integrity, demonstrated by the heavy culling of fruit to ensure maximum varietal intensity and terroir reflection. The state-of-the-art on-site winery, commissioned pre-vintage 2010 facilitates best practice efficiency and small batch handling alongside the traditional practices of foot stomping, wild yeast fermentation and premium French oak barrels.
Leura Park Estate wines are 100 percent estate grown and predominantly handpicked. 'Methode traditionelle' is showcased in a stable of wines boasting a distinctive and delightful French-style subtlety. The winery's winemaking team of Ray Nadeson and recently appointed Darren Burke extend the owners' commitment to quality. Both have reputations for innovate and passionate craftsmanship of premium wines.
Leura Park Estate's wines have collected a number of national and international awards, and a consecutive five star rating in James Halliday's 2012 Australian Wine Companion confirm this vineyard is of high repute.
The Leura Park Estate cellar door boasts a funky, rustic chic ambience. From stone-based pizzas, seasonal alfresco grazing platters and brilliant cheeses to the mouth-watering steak sandwich, warm chicken salad and salt and pepper calamari, all of the culinary line-up have been designed to match Leura Park Estate's premium wines.
The culinary delights can be enjoyed with a glass of Leura Park Estate's finest, beside a roaring open fire during winter or out on the sun drenched terrace and lawn in the warmer months.
Available for weddings and functions. Please contact for further details.
Oakdene Vineyards Restaurant and Cellar Door is situated in the maritime region of the Bellarine Peninsula, near Geelong, approximately 90 kilometres from Melbourne.
Oakdene's cool climate wines are produced in limited quantities from estate grown Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz. The wines are elegant, complex and reflect true varietal character.
The award winning Oakdene Vineyards Restaurant offers a relaxed and memorable experience that you will never forget.
An original 1920's homestead Oakdene has been beautifully restored and boasts an eclectic, lush art garden setting offering dining, accommodation, wine tasting and tours of the vineyard.
The Cellar Door is open daily from 10am offering wine tasting and sales, complimenting lunch or dinner at Oakdene Restaurant from Wednesday to Sunday, boutique accommodation open daily, Oakdene also caters for weddings and special events.
Group bookings are welcomed by appointment only. Oakdene Vineyards is a place to experience, not just a place to visit.
'Beside the road linking the northern Bellarine Peninsula with the 'sea-change' towns at the start of the Surf Coast, quirky Oakdene is full of lively, arty charm. An eclectic collection of sculpture, paintings and other pieces is woven through the restaurant and cellar door, and there's a brightness and sense of fun about the place that's very winning. It conceals some fine dining, plush Bed and breakfast accommodation to save you from driving home, and a vineyard providing well-made wines.' Ralph Kyte-Powell.
Ponda Estate Vineyard is a small, boutique family owned vineyard situated in the Bellarine Peninsula wine region of Geelong, Victoria. The three acre block produces a stunning handcrafted, single-vineyard Pinot Noir wine.
Ponda Estate is committed to using sustainable and eco-friendly viticultural practices - the low-yielding vines are hand tended, Babydoll Southdown sheep and chooks work the block to sort out weeds/bugs and provide fertilisation for the vines, and family/friends help hand pick the grapes at harvest time.
Ponda Estate trust that you will enjoy a Ponda Pinot - they certainly do!
Super charge your summer at Victoria's biggest theme park!
Awesome family fun all day long, Adventure Park Geelong is home to some of the coolest water rides in Australia.
Victoria's hottest and biggest theme park, Adventure Park, located just ten minutes from Geelong boasts exciting rides and attractions, perfect for the whole family!
Just some of the ways you can make a gigantic splash and enjoy the unlimited rides all day long include:
- Raft the roaring rapids on The River Torrent Lazy River, with twisting tides and swirling gauntlets along a tropical river oasis
- Speed down head first and experience the ultimate adrenaline rush of the Six Lane Aqua Racer, a speed slide for the serious thrill-seekers which can take you up to 40km per hour
- Race down The Gold Rush Rapids in a speedy 20 seconds and take the two metre plunge
- Take a splash in the dark on the Wild West Canyon on a two-seater raft, experiencing twists and 360 degree turns!
Adventure Park is doing it for the kids, too! The Tiny Tots Splashzone keeps the young ones cool, safe and entertained, with waterfalls, mini waterslides and spray cannons throughout. While Bonito's Bay Water Play offers a state-of-the-art aquatic playground including waterfalls, water jets and more pirate-filled water fun.
On dry land, families can take a ride on the popular Go Karts and Little Buggy Speedway, try a hand at archery, discover the Galactic Games World, challenge family and friends to a game of mini golf, take a leisurely ride on the new Paddle boats and watch the world go by on the classic carousel.
Bring in a picnic, hire a barbecue and relax lakeside under shaded picnic areas, marquees and pavilions, set amongst 21 hectares of landscaped parkland.
You may have played mini golf or putt putt before but never like this, Bellarine Adventure Golf takes mini golf to another level.
Set amongst beautiful gardens complete with creeks and waterfalls, the 36 ingeniously crafted holes will keep players of all ages both entertained and challenged. Multi-level greens, balls that seem to defy the laws of gravity, tricky water hazards and sticky sand traps ensure that everyone's games certainly will be an adventure in which both luck and skill play a part!
There are two 18 hole courses to choose from: the Mill offers a great, fun course with plenty of shelter making it playable come rain, hail or shine while the Mountain course offers a bit more of a challenge for those wanting to really test their skills. Or play both courses, taking advantage of the generous discounts on second rounds.
Bellarine Adventure Golf have a café that offers great locally roasted coffee from Geelong's own Capra Coffee and a great selection of snacks and cookies to enjoy along with it.
Groups, clubs and schools love the function room and barbecue facilities plus the delicious catering that is available. Kids' birthday parties are also a specialty.
Check Bellarine Adventure Golf's facebook page for regular special offers or contact them for further information.
The railway hugs the water around scenic Swan Bay providing breathtaking views, before climbing through the rolling hills of the Bellarine Peninsula between Queenscliff and Drysdale.
Trains operate on Sundays and additional days during Summer and school holiday periods. Visit www.bpr.org.au for further timetable information, news and events.
The Ocean Grove Nature Reserve is the only preserved native woodland on the Bellarine Peninsula. Home to 178 species of native plants, including 22 orchids, the reserve is an important tract of land.
Wildlife within the reserve includes wallabies, echidnas, possums and koalas. There are also snakes and lizards, as well as some 167 species of bird recorded as being spotted within the reserve.
A Maze 'n Games offers fun activities for the whole family to stimulate your relaxation. Lose yourself or the kids in one of Australia's largest timber mazes, relax and try a game of mini golf on the 18 hole mini golf course, or try and solve some of the large range of puzzles.
You can relax your mind inside the cafe with coffee and delicious, home-made cakes or light snacks.
You could also enjoy the great BBQ facilities undercover while the kids explore the playgrounds.
Enjoy browsing in the spacious shop, which has an extensive range of clever gifts for all ages; many are set up for you to try.
The art-deco swimming enclosure at Eastern Beach has been a Geelong favourite for generations. Built in the 1930’s, the ‘Promenade’ is a wooden structure built in an arc, great for walking on a warm evening. The swimming area also has a large tower and diving boards. There is a separate children’s pool that is enclosed and paved.
On shore, there is a fantastic adventure playground with plenty of spectator seats for the grown ups. There are large areas of lawn perfect for picnics or, depending on the season, a kick of the football or a game of cricket.
There are toilet and dressing room facilities, and the beach is patrolled by lifesavers during summer. There is also a restaurant / café / kiosk on site. The whole area is set amongst grassy hills and enormous trees, and several of the buildings in the precinct are listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.
The riding school has been run by the Lamperd family for the past 40 years. Robin Lamperd began the school in Wallington as part of Koombahla Park Equestrian Centre in 1974 up until 2010.
Robin's son, Murray Lamperd, took over the running of the riding school in 2005. Murray's vision for the riding school and equestrian team meant there was a growing need for updated facilities and a more specific training environment. Because of this, the riding school made the move to the new location at the end of Barry's Lane, just behind the old property, in November of 2010.
This move has seen new life into the school horses with better grazing and an excellent surface for riding. It has also created a more inclusive and encouraging environment for the riders entering the competition world, and enabled Murray to focus more intensively on preparing his horses and students for the competition season.
Situated on a sandy base with a minimum of trees and naturally undulating couch fairways this Vern Morcom designed links type course has maintained its position as one of the best on the Bellarine Peninsula and has been further enhanced by a recent Michael Clayton Master Plan. With challenging bunkers and firm and fast greens, it is the wind however that often determines the level of playing difficulty.
The course measures 6150 metres from the championship marks and is a challenging par-72. A challenge for players of all standards and a true test of golfing ability. Green fee players welcome.
6100 metre Par 72 course Large contoured greens Naturally undulating couch fairways Well Bunkered, links style layout On the beautiful Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria One hour from Melbourne 10 minutes from Geelong
The ex HMAS Canberra dive site is the first artificial reef specifically created for diving in Victoria. It lies in approximately 28 metres of water, with the top of the mast about 5 metres below the surface at low tide.
The site provides opportunities for divers with varying levels of experience and certification, from open water level certificates to advanced wreck divers, to enjoy this site.
When the ship as prepared for scuttling many of the original working features were retained so divers still get a sense of being on board a working ship.
Dive charter operators based at Queenscliff Harbour can lead trips to dive the ex HMAS Canberra.
Boating & Sailing
Building their city on a North-facing bay was a stroke of genius for the forefathers of Geelong. Generations later, residents and visitors alike are enjoying the benefits of the area collectively known as 'The Waterfront'.
Stretching from Eastern Beach around to Rippleside, the area incorporates many restaurants and cafes on the water's edge. There are places for kids to play, from open grassy areas to some of the biggest and best playgrounds in the region.
There are kids attractions including the carousel, a miniature train ride and a skate park. Seasonally there are also bungee trampolines and a giant ferris wheel.
Childrens attractions, open public space, a lively calendar of events and fabulous places to eat and drink make the Waterfront a Geelong must-do.
Museums, History and Heritage
Stroll the beautiful Heritage town of Queenscliff and enjoy afternoon tea at one of Queenscliff’s grand old buildings to finish.
Guided walks run 2.00pm every Saturday and take approximately one and a quarter hours. Group walks available at other times by appointment. Check with the Visitor Information Centre for availability and prices. Bookings essential – Phone the Queenscliffe Visitor Information Centre 5258 4843 or call in to the Centre 55 Hesse Street Queenscliff.
A self guided booklet, “Queenscliff – A Living Heritage.” Is also available for sale from the Queenscliffe Visitor Information Centre. This short self guided walk will take approximately 45 minutes and take you past a few of the town’s historic buildings.
The National Wool Museum is housed in a beautifully restored 1872 bluestone wool store close to the vibrant new Waterfront Geelong.
The Museum is Australia's largest comprehensive museum of wool, showcasing the region's wool story - from the sheep's back to the clothes rack, and from the birth of the industry in the 1840's to its place in the world today.
Central to the Museum experience is the 1910 built Axminster Jacquard carpet loom. Daily demonstrations by the Museum's skilled carpet weavers show how the loom works, and at the same time produce the Museum's own "Manor House Rug", available for purchase through the Museum Shop.
The Museum has two permanent galleries telling the Australian story of wool. The first, "The Wool Harvest", looks at sheep farming and wool production. Exploring the pastoral aspect of wool in Australia, visitors can follow the path of the fleece through shearing, classing, wool pressing and dispatch. A recreated shearing shed and a film about shearing demonstrate what life in the shearing industry was like. Shearing demonstrations can be arranged for group bookings.
Gallery Two, "From Fleece to Fabric", looks at the processing of wool into fabric and offers an insight into the people and processes involved in the textile industry. A sequential display of the machinery actually used in the process demonstrates the transformation of fleece to fabric.
The Museum also has an exciting annual calendar of temporary exhibitions and events. On the Ground Floor, the Museum Shop stocks a wide range of woollen products and unique local crafts while Black Sheep Cafe & Restaurant offers great food, wines, coffee and cakes.
The Museum is fully wheel chair accessible and there are accessible parking spaces located directly in front of the Museum. Bus parking and group tours are also available.
The Surf World Museum in Torquay, Australia’s surfing capital, celebrates the story of surfing.
It also charts Australia’s significant contribution to the development of surfing around the world. Through the colourful and exciting permanent displays and temporary exhibitions of important surfing artefacts and memorabilia, the museum commemorates Australia’s fantastic surfing heritage and rich beach culture.
An unforgettable experience, Surf World provides the opportunity to immerse yourself in one of Australia’s most popular pastimes. It’s a place where you can experience or relive, surfing’s sense of fun, and marvel at the changes that have taken place over the years. We look forward to welcoming you.
Theatre, Music and the Arts
Surfcoast Images is a gallery carrying an extensive range of West Coast photography from The Apostles to The Bellarine Peninsular by Kevan Way. Large high resolution panoramas are a specialty and can be printed in-house to any size.
There is also an array of painting, jewellery, sculpture and glass from a range of local artists.
Surfcoast Images also has an outlet in Lorne at 144 Mount Joy Parade.
Victoria's historic coastal town of Queenscliff is home to the world's one and only Blues Train. It is a unique experience that combines four of Australia's best live acts and the beautiful scenery of the Bellarine Peninsula on the Drysdale Railway line while aboard a real moving vintage steam train. It is one of Australia's most spectacular entertainment experiences - it is a mini festival in one night and a progressive party you'll never forget.
Nothing captures the spirit of the blues quite like a steam train. Listening to the train whistle and the clickety-clack on the tracks you can imagine the old blues masters jamming it up on Mississippi freight trains as they were 'ridin' the blinds' around America's deep south.
The Blues Train leaves Queenscliff Railway Station after guests have enjoyed a delicious meal complemented by fine Australian and local wines. The steam train then makes its way along 16 kilometres of track, gently rocking from side to side, seemingly in beat with the music.
At each of the stops, Suma Park and Drysdale, revellers swap carriages to see another of the acts, so by the end of the night patrons have seen all four acts performing on the train. Drinks are available from the mobile bar that miraculously appears on each platform (from the converted guard's van). You can sit back, relax and listen to the music with a drinking on one of the seated carriages or get up and boogie the blues away in one of the dance carriages.
Please visit the website for the different show dates.
Romantic Getaway & Weddings
Only one hour from the Westgate Bridge you will find Saltair Spa. Situated in a unique location, offering stunning views of Torquay's rolling hills and crystal blue waters. Calm your mind as you are cared for by the exceptional therapists and Indulge in a complete menu of day spa treatments and therapies. Derma-Cosmeceuticals Skincare is available using the latest Multi-spectrum imaging.
Try something new like an Indigenous Inspired Rhythmic Massage or a Facial Treatment using a combination of the purist organic bases and pure oxygen gas. Captivate your senses while your stresses melt away in the Hydrotherapy Spa, Geisha Spa, Vichy Shower or Steam Sauna. Saltair treatments use only the highest quality aromatherapy oils, earth ochres, desert salts, ocean mineral polishers, moisturisers and elixirs used in the finest destination spas worldwide.
Saltair Spa uses and recommends Li'Tya Spa products. Capturing the potency of indigenous Australian plants, fruits, earth ochres, desert salts and sea plants, with each product depicting the wonder and beauty of the country. Li'Tya offers exquisitely pure health, beauty and wellbeing treatments - individually tailored to energise and beautify every part of your being.
Saltair Spa also use and recommend Heritage Healers facial treatments. Pure oxygen gas, in conjunction with vitamins and minerals, is used to nourish and revitalise the skin cells. With Heritage Healers O2 Oxygen Therapy they soothe away internal stress, then regenerate and boost the health of every skin cell with pure oxygen gas, plus essential vitamins and minerals. It is the most effective skin treatment program of its kind, designed to cleanse, nourish and revitalise every skin cell of the face, pore by pore.
Choose from body treatments, geisha tub, hydrotherapy, massage, facials, oxygen treatments, hand and foot treatments, Day Spa packages and Professional Skin Health Advice and treatments, spray tans, waxing and tinting.
Spas, Relaxation & Wellbeing
Bellarine Massage and Holistic Therapies focuses on clients who want a relaxing massage in the luxury of their own home.
Having a massage really allows you to slow down and switch off, both mentally and physically, from the pressures of society. On a physical level, massage treats the whole person, releasing tension from the mind and the muscles, communicating through caring touch, imparting inner peace and tranquillity. When you are receiving a massage, you may find that you tend to drift away into your own personal paradise.
Massage promotes self -awareness and treats the mind, body and spirit, enabling you to achieve a truly holistic state of homeostasis, returning balance and harmony to yourself.
Visit the website or call for more information. Gift vouchers available.
Rising from the flat, volcanic plains between Geelong and Melbourne, the granite peaks of the You Yangs are a terrific destination for many outdoor activities.
Walk to Flinders Peak for panoramic views of Geelong, Corio Bay, the Western Districts and beyond. There are several walking tracks within the park catering for varying abilities.
The You Yangs are popular for mountain biking; the two designated mountain bike areas offer 50km of track. The park is also popular for rock climbing, abseiling and horse riding and there are BBQ and picnic areas available, as well as toilets.
Forrest is one of Australia's best mountain bike destinations. With over 60 kilometres of purpose built single track, there is more than three days of riding here.
You can stay in a variety of accommodation options and ride right from your front door of your accommodation.
Forrest is the gateway to the Otways, with places to stay, eat and ride. Platypus tours are also available.
Visit the Ride Forrest website to find all you need to know about Forrest and Mountain Bike riding in the Otways.
With an international reputation as one of Australia’s best surf beaches, Bells Beach is amazing spot – either in the water or out. There isn’t much ‘beach’ at Bells, it’s mostly a glorious cliff-face, and views from the cliff-top car park are spectacular – a great spot to watch local surfers out in the water.
There are several quality surfing spots in the precinct from Southside to Steps Reef. Every Easter Bells Beach hosts the international professional surfing community for the Rip Curl Pro event.
To get to Bells Beach, travel along the Great Ocean Road past Jan Juc – turn left into Bells Boulevard and follow the signs.
General Beach Hazard Rating: 6
Least hazardous: 1-3
Moderately hazardous: 4-6
Highly hazardous: 7-8
Extremely hazardous: 9-10
Hazard rating refers to physical beach and surf conditions ONLY and does not include potentially dangerous marine life.
Bells is a world class right when above 1.5 m. When smaller, the waves break close in to the headland and produce a right called Rincon. Further around the head are two more reef breaks which work below 2 m, called Centre Side (a right) and Southside (a left).
The water is deep right off the beach, while at low tide you can fish from the reefs at each end.
One of the meccas of surfing and well worth a visit, if only to view the beach and surf from the bluffs.
Type: Formal parking area
We provide this information as a guide only. Surf conditions are variable and therefore this information should not be relied upon as a substitute for observation of local conditions and an understanding of your abilities in the surf. We remind you to always swim between the red and yellow flags and never swim at unpatrolled beaches.
Torquay lives and breathes surfing, and the region has a global reputation as an amazing surf destination. Bells Beach hosts the annual Rip Curl Pro, where the best surfers in the world compete each Easter.
Nearby Winkipop is also popular with experienced surfers. Torquay and Jan Juc offer good conditions for those wanting to learn to surf, and several schools operate classes at local beaches.
Surf conditions can vary greatly, check with the Visitor Information Centre or local Surf Life Saving Club.