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Families

There are loads of things to do and places to see in the region for families. With so much coastline, well serviced towns, villages and regional centres and a hinterland area that has some of the best attractions in Australia, there are activities to suit every type of family, and family member.

Rockpool rambling and beach activities at any number of the beaches in the region are popular. You can learn to surf, boogie board, paddle in the waves or try skim boarding in the shallows. Build sandcastles, play cricket or just enjoy a picnic or ice cream on the sand, the beach is the perfect place for families to spend some time.

As well as Victoria's biggest theme park Adventure Park at Wallington, there are some fantastic attractions suitable for families. The Otway Fly tree top walk is exhilarating, and the dinosaurs hiding in the forest below are popular with kids. There are mini golf courses, a giant maze, loads of playgrounds and places to swim. Pick your own berry farms, animal sanctuaries and a vintage steam train operate in the region, and many of the museums and heritage attractions have specific programs to keep the kids engaged and entertained - learning by stealth.

Sporting activities are also great for families - horse riding tours in the hinterland, bike riding on designated tracks, swimming or water sports, there are places to do all these things and more.

Highlights

Golden Plains Farmers Market

Come and taste the real food and produce from the farms and vineyards of Golden Plains and Moorabool Valley. Fresh from the farm, sold by the farmers. The award winning Golden Plains Farmers’ Market is authentic and accredited, held in the heart of Bannockburn just 20 minutes from Geelong. Held on the first Saturday, every month, every season, from 9am to 1pm—you can start at the farmers’ market then spend the day touring Golden Plains.

Fairy Park

Fairy Park is a place dedicated to story telling of fairy tales and ancient myths and legends. A spectacular rocky hilltop has been crafted into a truly unique place where family and friends come to relax and enjoy a day out together in a tranquil environment. Most visitors spend the day but if you are in a hurry allow a couple of hours to get a feel for the place. The three main areas that combine to form Fairy Park are the Fairytale Land, Camelot Playground and the Elephant Rock Picnic Grounds. Suitable for the young and the young at heart, Fairy Park will delight and intrigue all those who make take the journey.

You Yangs

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.

Combat Laser Strike Geelong

Laser Strike is a safe and exciting outdoor laser skirmish, laser tag based in The Basin, Gembrook, Geelong, Warrnambool, Mansfield-Benalla, Phillip Island, Mt Buller and Mobile! The laser skirmish guns shoot harmless beams of infra-red light, they work both indoors and outdoors, make lots of noise and have sensors on the target lighting up to show a 'hit'. Each hit reduces available health points, until the player gets "killed or retired" from the game. There are several different weapons on offer including short-range sub-machine guns through to long-range telescopic sniper rifles, each with its own tactics and uses. Many different tactical missions and scenarios are battled out and are to be won or lost. Teams must work together on their planning and strategy to achieve their aims and objectives. Games and sessions available both during the day and at night. Laser Strike and it's combat simulation is just like paintball but without the pain or the bruises and is great for birthday parties, sports teams, corporate team building events, school and university groups, social clubs and groups, hens and bucks parties and individuals Laser Strike is also 100% fully mobile. Yes, Combat Laser Strike can come to you! Best of all ----ANY AGE CAN PLAY!

Moorabool Valley Chocolate

Moorabool Valley Chocolate is a small family-owned business. The chocolates are carefully hand-made in the new chocolate kitchen attached to an 80-year-old farmhouse on the outskirts of Geelong. Moorabool Valley Chocolate use fresh ingredients and natural flavourings, locally sourced whenever possible. They are always experimenting with new flavours and combinations to add to the product range, which means that the range is constantly changing. Moorabool Valley Chocolate make truffles, pralines, fruit and nut clusters, chocolate bars and novelty items. They respond to consumers' needs and will do the best to create the chocolate you want. Most of the chocolates have no preservatives, so it is recommended that you store them in a cool place and consume them as soon as possible. The owner and chocolatier, Lynne Meek, was awarded second prize, Hand-Made Chocolates, Royal Melbourne Show 2006.

Saddle On Riding School

Saddle On Horse Riding School is situated 15 kilometres north east of the Geelong city centre. At Saddle On Riding School facilities include an indoor riding arena, three outdoor arenas, lunging arena, cross country and jumping course, undercover horse bays and more. Whilst the locals enjoy riding lessons and celebrating birthday parties, visitors are welcome to visit the animal nursery and feed the animals for a small fee, or have a led pony ride on Tuesday till Fridays between 10.00am and 2.00pm. For people wanting to settle in the Geelong Region or close proximity, Saddle On Riding School is a Registered Training Organisation offering accredited equine courses of study. These include: stable hand course, assistant instructor and instructor or coach courses. Canteen facilities and clubrooms are available for all to enjoy. Bookings can be made for riding lessons, led pony rides, animal petting and birthday parties. Birthday parties can include pony, BMX, archery, animal, Cart Ride, Jumping Castle or any combination. Please view their website for information. School holiday day programs are also available for horse riding enthusiasts. For further information please contact Saddle On Riding School or visit their website.

Balyang Sanctuary Geelong

A haven for waterbirds and popular with picnicking families, Balyang Sanctuary is situated in Geelong suburb Newtown. The centrepiece of the nine hectare park is a lake with three islands – two connected by bridges and the third retained as a safe nesting place for native birds. Feathered residents at the sanctuary include swans, pelicans, Eurasian coot, dusky moorhen, Pacific black duck, mallard, pied cormorant, geese and silver gulls There are also shady grassed areas, picnic areas, a rotunda, free parking and public toilet facilities.

Barwon River Geelong

From its beginnings in the Otway Ranges, the Barwon River winds its way through suburban Geelong before flowing into the ocean at Barwon Heads. The Barwon River is the site for a huge number of leisure pursuits for Geelong residents. There are several rowing clubs located in Belmont, and a little further south there is an area for waterskiing. At various points along the river as it runs through Geelong there are tracks for running, cycling and walking. There are also several parks, playgrounds, picnic spots and BBQ areas. The mouth of the river has sandy banks that are well used walkers and families who build sandcastles and paddle in the shallows. Fishing is popular on the jetties near the mouth of the river and kayakers and paddlers are often seen in this area. Barwon Heads also has a sailing club where laser yachts are often seen at high tide. There are also BBQs and picnic areas alongside the riverbank.

Kardinia Park

Just South of the Geelong CBD, Kardinia Park is most famous for its AFL Champion tenants, the Geelong Cats. Simonds Stadium, the Geelong Football Club home ground, is on the Eastern side of Kardinia Park. The stadium seats 28,300 people and hosts AFL matches during winter and a range of other sporting events at other times during the year. Kardinia Park is also home to Kardinia Swimming Pool, which operates with seasonal hours between October and April. With two Olympic sized swimming pools, several childrens’ pools, two diving boards (1m and 3m) and a waterslide. Also within the bounds of the park are a childrens’ playground, fitness circuit, cricket and football ovals, netball courts and walking / running / riding tracks.

Pakington Street

Pakington Street (or ‘Pako’ to locals) is a vibrant, cosmopolitan mix of shopping and eating out. Food and drink ranges from casual coffee shops with al fresco facilities and pubs with bistros to trendy bars and top class restaurants. Fashion stores, boutique giftware, specialty stores and gourmet groceries make up the eclectic mix of shops. You are likely to finish your day with a killer pair of heels and a bag of locally grown gourmet tomatoes.

Rippleside

The Rippleside foreshore reserve in Geelong’s Northern suburbs is best known as the home of the Geelong Community Adventure Playground. The wooden playground offers a great range of equipment for children of all ages and abilities. There are also public toilets, picnic and BBQ facilities at the park, as well as a great expanse of grassed area perfect for ball sports, kites or just a run-around.

Great Ocean Air

Great Ocean Air are the premier air travel service in Victoria. Their luxurious air conditioned Airvans seat seven passengers in spacious cabins with panoramic windows. Choose from a variety of private flight and tours, charter flights, half day scenic tours, day and overnight golf and outback tours and their popular girls day/surfing King Island adventures. Ground transportation, farm stay and beach stay accommodation are available and included in some packages. Make your journey part of the destination. Experience Great Ocean Air. Live the dream.

Eastern Beach

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 Surf Coast Walk

Whether you're a nature lover or a fun lover, whether you take an hour, a day or a week, the Surf Coast Walk puts a stunning and unique coastal environment within easy reach. - Offering natural beauty and easy access - A world-class walking destination for all to enjoy - On the edge of the stunning Great Ocean Road - Do a section or do it all; at your own pace - More than a walk, over half the track is suitable for bikes Relish the rich ochre of the Bells Beach cliffs, the deep blue of Bass Strait and the leafy green of eucalypt forects. Discover traditional Wathaurung country, fascinating surf culture and abundant wildlife as the walk connects you with the coastal town comforts of Torquay, Anglesea and Aireys Inlet.

Adventure Park

Super charge your summer at Victoria's biggest theme park! With 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.

Bellarine Adventure Golf

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 even if the weather isn't the best, 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.

SEAROAD FERRIES QUEENSCLIFF

Searoad Ferries connects the Great Ocean Road and the Bellarine to the Mornington Peninsula, the 40 minute crossing is a stress free alternative to driving through the city. Two specially designed all weather 60 metre ferries have easy drive on/drive off facilities, spacious comfortable lounges with full-length windows, a tempting cafe and plenty of deck space. Watch out for dolphins, whales in winter and enormous ships as you breathe incredibly fresh air. Arriving at Sorrento, you will have a perfect view of multi-million dollar mansions sitting atop cliffs, tiny coves filled with boats, the beautiful foreshore and old limestone buildings. Whether you are going home or on a journey far away, there's no better way to see the bay than with Searoad Ferries. Passengers with vehicles are advised to arrive at the terminals at least 20 minutes prior to departure. The ferries depart from Queenscliff Harbour, Queenscliff and the Sorrento Pier, Sorrento. Special Features on the 40 minute journey are the unparalleled views of historic lighthouses, the Point Nepean fortifications, navigational features, seals and dolphins are available from the comfortable lounge areas, cafe style seating or numerous observation decks. Both vessels are fully equipped to cater for passengers with disabilities, including an internal lift from the vehicle deck to the passenger lounge. Coaches may be booked ahead. Seven days notice is advisable to secure passage.
 

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Packages & Offers

Legendary Blues Train Weekend: Stay & Play, Save 50%

A unique musical experience! Toe tapping entertainment, cool drinks and a good laugh.

Seahaven Village - Taste of The Bellarine $495

Relax at stunning Barwon Heads Friday and Saturday night in a cosy 4.5 star one bedroom spa suite.

Barwon Heads Golf Club - Winter Escape with Free Golf

$240 per couple per night

Drive In + Chill Out at BIG4 Beacon Resort

Drive In + Chill Out at BIG4 Beacon Resort.

Twilight Cruise - Searoad Ferries

Take a stroll on the viewing decks, sample some of the regions finest produce, all in the privacy of the Portsea Lounge.

High Tea on the High Seas - Searoad Ferries

Experience High Tea on the High Seas in the privacy of the Portsea Lounge on board the Queenscliff Sorrento Ferry.

Girls Indulgence Getaway

Reboot your life with an indulgent Girl's Getaway.

Legendary Blues Train Weekend: Stay & Play, Save 50%

A unique musical experience! Toe tapping entertainment, cool drinks and a good laugh. Make a weekend of exploring Queenscliff with 2 nights’ accommodation at the award-winning BIG4 Beacon Resort including Blues Train tickets, return transfers to the event, buffet breakfast, 6pm checkout, local discounts and more.

Only $487 per couple.

Phone: 1800 351 152 or visit BIG4 Beacon Resort for more information.
 

Seahaven Village - Taste of The Bellarine $495

Relax at stunning Barwon Heads Friday and Saturday night in a cosy 4.5 star one bedroom spa suite. Enjoy fabulous bonuses including:

  • A $70 dinner voucher
  • Welcome pack including wine, chocolates and a breakfast basket
Stay between Sunday and Thursday nights and receive THREE nights accommodation for the same price.

T: 03 5254 1066
 

Barwon Heads Golf Club - Winter Escape with Free Golf

This winter, guests who book a standard room at our normal Bed and Breakfast rate play golf for free. Want an even better reason to take a break? The Club is rated one of Australia’s Top 10 public access courses.

From $240 per room per night.
($120 p/p twin share)

  • Accommodation in a standard room with ensuite at Barwon Heads Golf Club
  • Fully cooked breakfast
  • A complimentary round of golf each person (normally up to $85 each).

Address: Golf Links Rd, Barwon Heads, Victoria 3227

To book:

Phone: 03 5255 6255
Fax: 03 5255 6266
Website: www.bhgc.com.au
Email: reservations@bhgc.com.au

T&C's: Valid Sunday to Thursday inclusive. 1st June to 31 August 2014. Dress requirements apply on course and in the clubhouse.
 

Drive In + Chill Out at BIG4 Beacon Resort

$317 for 2 adults & up to 2 children (save 60%)

  • 2 nights in a Lonsdale Villa
  • Unlimited Mountain Bike Hire
  • Unlimited DVD Hire
  • A daily Espresso Coffee or Hot Chocolate per person
  • A bottle of local wine
  • Free Daily Kids Activities
  • An extra Long Late Check-out to 6.00pm

Plus get two LI'TYA Deep Ocean Renewal Facials for the price of 1 at the resort's Mud Day Spa (save $120)

And there's plenty of indoor fun at the resort with an indoor heated swimming pool and 8-seater spa, an indoor toddler playroom and a games room. Add another layer of clothing and there's even more to explore outside! BIG4 Beacon Resort is the ideal base to check out Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale.

Phone 1800 351 152 or Book Online.

Terms and Conditions: Offer expires on 31/08/2014

 

Twilight Cruise - Searoad Ferries

Take a stroll on the viewing decks and find the best spot to capture the setting sun. Sample some of the regions finest artisan products from both the Bellarine and Mornington Peninsulas. Enjoy a regional produce platter with an award winning wine, locally made ale or cider, all in the privacy of the Portsea Lounge.

$35.00 per person (includes return sailing between Sorrento and Queenscliff)

Every Friday and Saturday from April to December
4pm sailing from Sorrento
5pm sailing from Queenscliff

To book visit www.searoad.com.au or contact 03 5258 3244

 

High Tea on the High Seas - Searoad Ferries

Experience High Tea on the High Seas in the privacy of the Portsea Lounge on board the Queenscliff Sorrento Ferry.
Enjoy table service in elegant surroundings, exquisite food, quality tea and real coffee!

$40.00 per person and includes immediate return travel on the same ferry for a leisurely experience.

Every Sunday from February to November
12pm sailing from Sorrento
3pm sailing from Queenscliff.

To book visit www.searoad.com.au or contact 03 5258 3244

 

Girls Indulgence Getaway

Reboot your life with an indulgent Girl's Getaway. When life gets a little overwhelming, an escape with your best friends can be the best way to share some uninterrupted catch up time, a little relaxation and, of course, some well-deserved indulgence on looking after you.

$798 is for 4 people ($199.50 per person) and includes:

  • 2 nights accommodation at Beacon Resort in a Curlewis Villa
  • A Food Purveyor "Little Extra" Hamper (special treats from our region including jams, chocolates, tapenade and much much more)
  • 1 x bottle of Jack Rabbit Sparkling
  • 4 x 60 minute relaxation massages in our day spa
  • Return transfers to a venue of choice (within 3225 postcode area during your stay)
  • Unlimited DVD Hire
  • 12 noon check-out

This offer is valid until the 20th December 2014; No further discounts apply; Some exclusion periods to apply; Package is subject to availability at the time of booking.

 

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