Top Thing to do in Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula 

Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula offer tons of things for visitors to do. You can easily find activities that are suitable for a hen party or a weekend with friends as well as things that are perfect for a trip with kids or someone special. Thanks to some amazing things to do, the Bellarine Peninsula and Geelong are top destinations for all types of visitors. You can swim with dolphins and seals, sample local produce and beers, tour art galleries and find some great souvenirs that will remind you of your trip. 

Bellarine Taste Trail  

No trip to Geelong is complete without a visit to the Bellarine Peninsula to visit its beautiful beaches and try its local produce. The best way to start is to follow the Bellarine Taste Trail. One of the best features of this trail is that you can customise it based on your interests. The trail winds its way around multiple farms and stores that let you pick up local goods. You can get salmon from some of the smokehouses and pick berries at the Tuckerberry Hill Berry Farm. As long as you have a map, you’ll have no problem finding the best spots to hit on the trail. 

Bellarine Peninsula Wineries 

We are very lucky to call our region one of the best wine regions in Victoria! The fertile soil on the Bellarine Peninsula and the clean air from the ocean, give the area the perfect growing conditions. Most wineries are part of the Bellarine Taste Trail, so if you follow the trail you will pass by places like Curlewis Winery, Scotchmans Hill, McGlashan Wallington Estate, Oakdene Vineyards, Yes Said The Seal, Bellarine Estate Winery, and many more. Many of these local wines are sold world wide, not only in Australia. So if you are visiting our beautiful wine region, make sure you take home some bottles of our fine wine. If you are looking for one place to try all local wines, then you should visit Tastes of the Region, the cellar door at the Queenscliff Brewhouse.  

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Queenscliff Brewhouse 

The Queenscliff Brewhouse is known as the region’s “flavour destination”, with an onsite microbrewery and boutique distillery. They have an incredible selection of local, national and international craft beers to try, including their own range of Queenscliff beer and Prickly Moses beer. The Brewhouse has an award winning bistro and a dog-friendly beer garden. The menu changes with the seasons and the presentation of the food is mind-blowing. A must visit for the whole family! 

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Queenscliff Distillery

This boutique distillery, the Queenscliff Distillery, is located onsite at the Queenscliff Brewhouse. They make a range of botanical gins.  At the Queenscliff Distillery cellar door they offer regional tasting experiences. Not only can you get a paddle with five drinks to share (or not to share!), but you can also get a platter of artisanal goodies from local farms and producers. You might sample five yummy wines or a few different beers from their onsite micro brewery. 

The Whiskery 

Queenscliff Distillery is not the only local distillery in the region. Teddy and The Fox is a very popular gin brand Australia wide and is stilled here on the Bellarine Peninsula at the Bellarine Distillery. Their cellar room and cafe are called “The Whiskery”, and the place is located on 7 acres of land in the middle of the Bellarine Peninsula. You will fall in love with the beautiful set up and the colourful gardens surrounding the cellar door. They sell various Australian and international whiskies and gins, and local wines, beers and ciders for those who are after something lighter. You are able to join tastings and guided distillery tours or you can sit down in the cafe for some tasty pizzas or local produce platters. 

Local Farmers Markets 

If you still haven’t had enough of local tastes and produce, then you should definitely visit the local markets in Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula. The markets are great places to take kids because of the farm animals and the open fields to play and run around. At some of the markets you can stop to pet a range of animals, including pigs and cows. Most of the farmers and producers who set up stalls also offer free samples that let you try cheese and dairy products before you buy them. Tastings of local gin, wine and beer are also available for the adults. The markets offer plants that you can take home as well as meats and fresh produce. If you spend more than a day in the area, you can pick out ingredients for a picnic lunch or a quick dinner too. Here is an overview of the local markets you should visit: 

  • First Sunday of the Month: Geelong Waterfront Makers (All Year Round) & Growers Market and Ocean Grove Market (Oct – Apr) 
  • Second Sunday of the Month: Point Lonsdale Market (All Year Round) 
  • Third Sunday of the Month: Torquay Cowrie Market (Sep – Apr) 
  • Last Sunday of the Month: Queenscliff Market (Sep – May) and Portarlington Market (Sep – Mar) 

 Bellarine Railway 

Opened in 1879 and closed in 1976, the Bellarine Railway connects Queenscliff to Drysdale and runs for 16 kilometers. A group of volunteers created an organisation that stepped in and restored the old railway and trains. Those volunteers now offer tours that let you book a seat on the train. If you travel with kids, book a trip during a Thomas Weekend, which is when the train will feature the face of Thomas the Tank Engine. The Blues Train has musicians playing live music on trips that begin in August and end in May. Then lastly, the Q Train is a traveling restaurant on the historic railway between Drysdale and Queenscliff. Most days the train departs from Drysdale, only 15min away from Geelong, but some days the train departs and returns to Queenscliff. The perfect opportunity to combine a delicious dinner on the train with a beer and a boogie at the Queenscliff Brewhouse afterwards. 

Eastern Beach 

As you look for activities in Queenscliff, consider heading over to Eastern Beach. Built in the 1930s, the area has an Art Deco feel with many historic and charming buildings close by. You can pick up some local produce and snacks from Tastes of the Region and enjoy a picnic right by the water. A large staircase with palm trees and lights will take you down to the beach and around a large fountain. From the top of the staircase, you’ll get one of the best views of Eastern Beach. 

Seal and Dolphin Swim  

The Seal and Dolphin Swim is worth including on your things to do Queenscliff list. You probably came across similar activities on other trips, but most companies won’t let you swim with dolphins. This excursion gives you the chance to jump in the water and play with both dolphins and seals as you swim around. Perfect for kids and adults and a great thing to do on warmer days. You might not realise how exciting this type of experience is until one of the wild animals swims up and touches its nose to you. If you don’t like getting in the water, you can book a boat tour instead that takes you out to where these wild animals live. 

Queenscliff Gallery and Workshop 

 The Queenscliff Gallery and Workshop is one of the best things to do in Queenscliff. It sits inside a former church that dates back to the 1860s. While professionals can use the workshop to print brochures and other promotional materials, you can tour the facility and learn more about printmaking in Australia. Before heading to the workshop though, make sure that you spend some time in the gallery. This is where you’ll see prints and other art pieces made by on-site artists. Those displays might inspire you to make some new artwork too. 

Barwon Heads 

 Whether you have a few hours or a whole day free on your Geelong trip, you might want to take a side trip over to Barwon Heads. Located on the Bellarine Peninsula, it is also close to the Barwon River. Known as a fishing town for many years, it served as a setting in several books. You can drive across the Barwon Heads Bridge to get an impressive view of the water below and take a tour of some of the areas featured on the SeaChange television show. There are golf courses, hiking spots and beaches in the area too. 

Golf Clubs 

 When the weather is nice and the temperature is high, no one would blame you for wanting to hit the links. There are several golf clubs across the Bellarine Peninsula and Geelong. It’s more, the Bellarine has some of the finest golf destinations in Australia! If drive from Melbourne’s Tullarmarine Airport towards the Great Ocean Road, you will find many golf layouts ranked in the Top 100 Courses in the country. Some of them are classic gems, others modern masterpieces from well-known golf course designers, but they are all regional golf wonders patiently waiting to be discovered. Some of the must-visit golf clubs are Sanctuary Lakes Golf Club, Curlewis Golf Club, 13th Beach Golf Course Estate, Point Lonsdale Golf Club, Swan Bay Golf Club, Barwon Heads Golf Club, Port Fairy Golf Links, RACV Torquay Golf Club and Geelong Golf Club. Just to name a few!  

Botanic Gardens 

Built in 1851, the Geelong Botanic Gardens are among the oldest in the country. On both Wednesdays and Sundays, volunteers run tours through the gardens. You can learn about the plants that grow, including where they came from and how old they are. If you can’t visit on one of those days, you can still tour the gardens. The self-guided tour lets you go at your own pace and spend more time in the areas that interest you. Both a cafe and a play area for kids are on-site too. 

Geelong Art Gallery 

Fans of art and local artists will want to make a trip to the Geelong Art Gallery. Established in the 1890s, this is one of the region’s top galleries. Many of the paintings on display date back to the 19th century, though some are from the 21st century. You can view art made by Australian artists and those from Europe. Also on display ceramic pieces and sculptures from the modern era and large collections of jewellery and coins from history.  

National Wool Museum 

Geelong has a strong connection to the wool industry in Australia and is home to the National Wool Museum. Located inside a former wool store that dates back to 1872, this museum is one that no history buff will want to miss. Though the exhibitions change every few months, you might see displays dedicated to quilts and other goods made from wool by local artisans. The main collection includes more than 7,000 artefacts and objects, most of which are open to the general public. You can also buy rugs and quilts made from Australian wool in the on-site gift shop. 

Whether you want to swim with dolphins and snorkel in the ocean or check out historic museums and indoor attractions, you can find some activities to add to your things to do in Geelong and Bellarine Peninsula list.