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Museums, History & Heritage

Much of the region's maritime history and heritage is still visible in the lighthouses that dominate the landscape at various points along the road.  In Queenscliff the Maritime Museum celebrates the town's background in the marine industry with fantastic displays. 

Also in Queenscliff, Fort Queenscliff is an interesting look at a still functioning Australian Defence Force facility that was initially built on the cliff overlooking the Rip to protect ships during the gold rush of the 1800's.

Torquay's position as the capital of the international surf industry makes the local museum 'Surfworld' ideally placed to deliver a historic look at the origins of surfing and the phenomenon it has become.

Geelong grew on the back of the sheep, and the 1800's bluestone building in the centre of town that now houses the National Wool Museum was initially a woolstore facility.  The wool industry in Geelong was built around the need for wool grown in the surrounding districts to be processed and shipped internationally from the docks on Corio Bay.  Also in Geelong, the Ford Discovery Centre is an interactive museum profiling the history of Ford in Geelong as well as giving a behind the scenes look at the design, engineering and manufacturing processes in the automobile industry.

Across the broader region, there are several National Trust properties open to the public that give an indication of early life in the region.  There are also a range of interpretive historic sites, such as the old mill site at Triplet Falls and guided heritage walks in towns such as Queenscliff.

Historic means of transport in the region have been preserved by the Bellarine Railway, with their steam hauled engines still running on weekends and holidays and also powering The Blues Train - a moving, progressive concert on board.

Highlights

Steiglitz Historic Park

Situated between Geelong and Ballarat, Steiglitz is almost a ghost town today but in the 1860s and 1890s it was a busy goldmining township with hotels, shops, churches and a population of over 1000. At the height of the 1860s gold rush, Steiglitz township had more than 1500 residents, four hotels, a newspaper, a variety of shops and even an undertaker. Now most of the town and its surroundings are included in the Steiglitz Historic Park. Enjoy a pleasant bushwalk, relax with a picnic or pan for gold. Of course, a trip to the park wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Steiglitz Court House, with its display of photographs, maps and relics of gold year. The court house is open on Sunday and public holidays, and at other times by arrangement. Before you go Conditions can change in parks for many reasons. For the latest information on changes to local conditions, please visit the relevant park page on the Parks Victoria website. Be bushfire ready in the great outdoors. Refer to the Bushfire Safety section on the Parks Victoria website for tips on how to stay safe.

National Wool Museum

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.
 

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Packages & Offers

BIG 4 Beacon Resort Blues Train Package

A unique musical experience! Toe tapping entertainment, a cool drink and a good laugh. Rock your stay in Queenscliff with Blues Train tickets and award winning accommodation at BIG4 Beacon Resort.

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

BIG 4 Beacon Resort Blues Train Package

A unique musical experience! Toe tapping entertainment, a cool drink and a good laugh. Rock your stay in Queenscliff with Blues Train tickets and award winning accommodation at BIG4 Beacon Resort.

Phone: 1800 351 152 or visit BIG4 Beacon Resort Website 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.
 

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