Geelong Waterfront


Just 75km south-west of Melbourne is the regional city of Geelong, the second largest city in Victoria with an estimated urban population of 185,000. Geelong, which is known as the ‘Gateway City’ due to being centrally located to surrounding Victorian regional centres including Ballarat Torquay, Great Ocean Road, Warnambool, Hamilton and the state capital of Melbourne, is perfectly positioned for a holiday stay whether you are travelling to Melbourne, or heading out of Melbourne to one of the many tourism towns located nearby the city.


Geelong’s recent reinvention from a historically renowned manufacturing hub to a thriving cultural tourism destination, also makes it an interesting and educational place to explore. Geelong has long been a manufacturing town; ever since it was proclaimed a city in 1910. This marked the beginning of its industrial growth that established the town as a manufacturing centre for Victoria, making its identity.


In recent times, however, some big transformations in Geelong combined with its ‘gateway’ proximity has led to the city’s reinvention as a cultural tourism hot spot for Victoria.


One of the city’s biggest transformations has been the new 45 million dollar architecturally designed library that is an incredible 9-storeys high. The library and heritage centre, which opened in November 2015, is a spectacular addition to the city’s cultural landscape. The magnificent dome structure features state-of-the-art facilities, an event space, children’s tactile area, archive collection, café and the library itself. Inspired by the magnificent dome structures of iconic libraries and museums around the world, Geelong’s newest building takes on a modern edge, which is a substantial difference to the city once renowned for its manufacturing and history.


Geelong’s reinvention has also been influenced by the emergence of new galleries; as a venue to host various world class exhibitions and vibrant arts and culture-focused events and more.


Everything in the cultural hub located around the library and gallery is within easy walking distance. It’s remarkable how much cultural interaction you can get in only one day. There is a big cultural buzz in Geelong which makes it worth a visit. 


Here’s some of the other things you can do in this city where history and location combines with modern culture:


The Geelong Performing Arts Centre (GPAC) , which is located opposite the library and Geelong Gallery. It hosts a large number of shows including theatre, opera, dance, comedy and live music. GPAC offers big name acts, emerging artists and blockbuster shows.
50 Little Malop Street, Geelong


Geelong Gallery, which was established in 1896 and is home to an impressive collection of 19th and 20th century Australian and European paintings and decorative arts. The Gallery has a particular focus on early images of the Geelong region and hosts a rotating roster of exhibitions. Open daily, entry is free.
55 Little Malop Street, Geelong


Metropolis Gallery, which is a contemporary art gallery with an impressive range of Australian paintings, limited edition prints, art glass and jewellery. There is an exciting calendar of exhibitions. Open from Monday to Saturday, and entry is free.
64 Ryrie Street, Geelong


Boom Gallery, which is a vibrant contemporary art and design gallery housed in an historic woolen mill. You can see the work of emerging and established artists. There is also an onsite café and events space. It is one of the city’s most dynamic galleries. It is open from Monday to Saturday, and entry is free.
11 Rutland St, Newtown


The Hot Chicken Project, is a charming space with a huge copper-topped bar and black metal stools. The food focus is almost entirely chicken, prepared Nashville-style by highly acclaimed local chef Aaron Turner and supplemented by tasty sides, straw chips and deliciously fresh oysters.
84A Little Malop Street, Geelong


Armageddon Cake is a quirky evening cake and dessert bar that is the go-to-option for the best hot chocolate, coffee and cakes. Armageddon specialises in the freshest and most decadent cakes, fondues, canapes and desserts. Everyone is considered, with skinny, gluten free, dairy free, vegan and soy catered for.
7 McLarty Place, Geelong


Coffee Cartel embraces Geelong’s industrial heritage with its cool industrial-style fit out that offers a range of amazing coffee and organic tea. You can also purchase from a huge selection of specially roasted beans. Coffee Cartel roasts all coffees on site, guaranteeing the freshest mix of single origins and house blends to please your palette. Tea lovers can enjoy their adjoining teahouse serving over 150 specialty teas. It’s the place to visit for all your hot beverage needs.
Shop 1, 80 Little Malop Street, Geelong


Enjoy the cultural and historic aspects of modern Geelong. There are some great holiday houses to choose from to make your stay relaxing and memorable. See our Geelong holiday house deals for a high quality stay.