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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. Facilities include an indoor riding arena, three outdoor arenas, lunging arena, cross country and jumping course, undercover horse bays, agistment, custom built BMX track, jumping castle, archery, animal petting farm, cafe and more! Whilst the locals enjoy riding lessons and celebrating birthday parties, visitors are welcome to book in for a private riding lesson, or enjoy the 'Tourism Special' - A parent-led pony ride around this beautiful property, followed by a visit to the petting zoo, then a coffee for the parent and a babyccino for the child, all for only $30! 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. Courses can get you qualified to become everything from a stable hand to a horse riding instructor! Over the school holidays we offer a range of programs, including fully catered day camps. Cafe facilities offer a variety of treats and espresso coffee.

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.

Melbourne's Tall Ship - Enterprize

Step aboard Melbourne's Tall Ship Enterprize and step back to a time of daring voyages and discovery. Feel the romance and excitement of sailing with the wind in your hair as you take in spectacular views of Melbourne's skyline and Port Phillip Bay. Experience history on a magnificent handcrafted replica of John Pascoe Faulkner's Enterprize, the ship that brought the first permanent European settlers to Melbourne in 1835. Discover life as an early explorer and uncover the tale of ambition, intrigue and rivalry that led to Melbourne's foundation. Relax on deck or hoist the sails, steer the ship and climb the rigging for heart stopping thrills. Enterprize has monthly public sails from Melbourne Docklands, Williamstown and Geelong, with sails from Portarlington (near Geelong) and Blairgowrie and Rye (Mornington Peninsula) during peak season. The most popular Enterprize sails are the one hour sails and twilight sails of 1.5 hours. These are suitable for people of all ages. Take your family for an adventure and let the kids explore the ship. Relax on the evening cruise as the sunset paints the coastline in vibrant colours. There are also a number of overnight adventure sails and half day bay cruises scheduled from Docklands, as well as transit passages from all of the ports. For a multi-day tall ship experience Enterprize has unique trips to Port Welshpool, Hobart and Portland. These trips include meals and accommodation. See Australia's unique southern coastline as you travel through Port Phillip and Bass Strait. Enterprize is a wooden topsail schooner operated by volunteers under the not for profit Enterprize Trust. Enterprize is available for School, Corporate and Special Occasion charters. Advance bookings are recommended. Tickets for shorter trips are available from ship 30 minutes prior to sailing, where not booked out.

Motor City Music Festival

Geetroit Rocks as Motor City Music Festival celebrates Geelong's past and present, with a great live soundtrack. Held over the (Victorian) Labour Day long weekend each March at the Geelong Show Grounds, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you like rock, roots, blues, country or a great tribute act, we've got you covered. Friday night and Saturday is for the over 18s. Enjoy the mix of over 40 acts over five stages (one open air) as you chow down on fare from the famous food trucks. Sip on a craft beer from the beer hall or relax in one of the cider or wine bars in between sets. Don't forget to download the free MCMF App and plan your weekend. You can also share your photos in real time, as a live feed to Motor City Music Festival wall will be showcasing your snaps. On Sunday kids are free so bring the tribe and enjoy quality family entertainment. There will be vintage steam engine displays and a steam truck driving around the site dispensing Beer Goodness. Watch the air guitar competition, Totem Tennis Open or compete in the colouring in competition. There is a great line-up of children's entertainment. The weekend will culminate in the now-famous Motor City Music Festival fireworks display. With free on-site parking and free carnival rides all weekend, head to Geelong's own Motor City Music Festival and help celebrate what's great about the town.

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.

Motor City Music Festival 6 - 8th March

The Motor City Music Festival taking place on 6th - 8th March 2015 has something for everyone! Grown-ups will rock out on fully licensed Friday and Saturday (day and night) at five stages (over-18s only). On family-friendly Sunday, bring the kids, tweens, teens and the grandparents for an all-ages family day featuring the fun of the showgrounds, a wider musical spectrum plus kids’ entertainment. Pass outs are allowed all day on Sunday, so you can come and go as you like, spend a few hours in the morning or afternoon and then leave and come back for the fireworks. We wrap up the festival weekend on Sunday night with a huge fireworks display at 8.45pm. With a large range of music, one open-air and four undercover stages, gourmet food vans, lots of well-stocked bars, carnival rides, market stalls and ample free parking, what’s not to like about the Motor City Music Festival? So come together and celebrate some of the special things about Geelong and the region. We’re proud of our community, our icons past and present – icons like Ford, tractors and trucks from International Harvester, our agricultural past and our food and wine will all be encapsulated at the fantastic Geelong Showgrounds.
Avalon Airport
Near Lara

Avalon Airport

Avalon Airport is Melbourne's newest airport specialising in domestic flights across Australia. Choose Avalon Airport, the Melbourne airport where flying is made easy. There's no hassle getting there with a toll free car trip from Melbourne's city centre along an uncongested highway. Geelong and the Great Ocean Road are also just minutes away. The Airport Car Park is only metres from the terminal, and you can select from their convenient standard car park or their secure undercover Premium Parking service. Why not also give your car a holiday with one of the Vehicle Detailing or Servicing options from their VACC accredited mechanics. You could say that they are the Melbourne airport with less turbulence. Avalon Airport is Melbourne's easy way to fly.

Van Loon's Nursery

Van Loon's Nursery is an award winning destination for all garden and home lovers. Established in 1965 the garden centre has been providing top quality garden plants and seedlings along with professional advice to generations of gardeners. Located on the picturesque Bellarine Peninsula, Van Loon's is approximately 22 kilometres from Geelong, just off the Bellarine Highway. Van Loon's keeps a comprehensive range of trees, shrubs and ground covers as well as indoor plants. A wide selection of Australian natives are available as well as ornamental and cottage favourites such as roses and lavender. Citrus and fruit trees are available year round. Professional and well qualified staff are always on hand to help with plant selections. Van Loon's features the largest range of seedlings in the area. Top quality vegetable, herb and flower seedlings are available year round with varieties changing seasonally. Van Loon's Gifts and Homewares area is the style Mecca for the Bellarine Peninsula! Browse the gorgeous collections of homewares including throws, cushions, furniture and prints. Fashion and jewellery are always changing with new stock arriving seasonally. Books, kitchen goodies and personal luxury items are always popular. Van Loon's Gifts are only too happy to gift wrap for any occasion. Van Loon's Café is situated in the heart of the nursery with lovely views out to colourful plant and pot displays. It is the perfect spot for a delicious breakfast, lunch or morning and afternoon teas. All food is cooked fresh on the premises using herbs and vegetables from the kitchen garden. Indulge in fresh muffins, homemade slices and delicious home style cakes. Gluten free menu items and cakes are always available. Van Loon's Café is licensed and serves great coffee.

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.

Supatramp Geelong

Get set for full-on-fun at Supatramp, one of the largest custom-built indoor mega trampoline and activity complexes in Australia, based in Geelong. Supatramp offers a dynamic environment and caters for all ages and fitness levels. Supatramp boasts high octane, adrenaline rush type activities in a healthy, safe and fun environment. The centre features: Over 80 indoor interconnected trampolines plus Slamball and Airmats Dodgeball competitions. An indoor kids / toddler jungle themed playground including an array of climbing obstacles, slides and floor space with numerous entertainment objects. Clip 'n Climb exclusive to the Geelong area. State of the art climbing equipment, a variety of wall spaces for different climbing challenges, as well as adrenaline filled rides. Fitness classes: using trampolines, ropes and ample floor space. Unique trampolining development and training programs, stunt classes and school programs all utilising the unique equipment in the park. Party Packs for all ages. Corporate and team building packs. Discos for the youth - staging, professional lighting and top DJ's in attendance. School educational / practical excursions. Cafe that will deliver great fresh food, drinks and coffee. Supatramp will give you the wow-factor experience. Bring the family, rally your friends and come and enjoy Geelong's newest recreational entertainment venue, one of the largest centres in Australia, right here locally owned in Grovedale, Geelong.

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.

Airodrome Trampoline Park

Welcome to Airodrome Trampoline Park, a spring-loaded playground, where your feet will barely touch the ground. Little kids and big kids alike are guaranteed the ultimate experience during their air time at the Airodrome. The flight deck is fitted out with state of the art interconnected Australian- made Trampolines, it's time to party with your friends, defy gravity and climb some walls. Perhaps you would like to compete in a dodge ball challenge, shoot some hoops, practice flips and tricks or lose yourself in the huge foam pit. Recharge with in the First Class Café Lounge, before your next flight of extreme fun and fitness for the whole family. Bookings can be made for birthday parties, corporate events, group and school bookings. To avoid waiting in queue, please book and pay online and see what life is like in the air.

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

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.

Blues Train & BIG 4 Beacon Resort - May and August

Enjoy the legendary Blues Train and the equally legendary BIG4 Beacon Resort with this package, from $497 for two people.

Family Supatramp & Stay Package at BIG4 Beacon Resort

Bring the kids and their bucketloads of energy to BIG 4 Beacon Resort with this Supatramp accommodation deal for 2 adults and 2 children, from $459.

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

 

Blues Train & BIG 4 Beacon Resort - May and August

Enjoy the legendary Blues Train and the equally legendary BIG4 Beacon Resort with this package, from $497 for two people:

  • $40.00 per person and includes immediate return travel on the same ferry for a leisurely experience.
  • 2 nights accommodation.
  • Charcuterie Plate dinner and live band at Flying Brick Cider House, and a 1 litre cider ‘Growler’ to take home.
  • $50 voucher for Mud Day Spa, located at the resort.
  • Breakfast hamper.
  • Extend your stay with early check in (10am) and late check out (6pm).
  • P: 5258 1133 or book online

Only valid for Blues Train events in May and August 2015. Terms & conditions apply.

 

Family Supatramp & Stay Package at BIG4 Beacon Resort

Bring the kids and their bucketloads of energy to BIG 4 Beacon Resort with this Supatramp accommodation deal for 2 adults and 2 children, from $459.

  • 2 nights in a Queenscliff cabin.
  • A Supatramp pass for each child including an hour of clip ‘n climb and an hour of trampolining, plus socks and $10 to spend in the café.
  • 1 hour GoKart hire at the resort.
  • Unlimited DVD hire and a milkshake for each child from the resort shop.
  • Late 6pm checkout.
  • P: 1800 351 152 or book online

Offer available from 11 March to 30 April 2015. Terms and conditions apply.

 

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