Geelong – See and Do

There are a number of Arts and Culture Walking Trails through the city area, taking visitors to a variety of locations, including art galleries, historic and significant buildings, Geelong Botanic Gardens, the Eastern Beach bathing complex, and Geelong’s hand carved wooden carousel, one of only 200 in operation around the world and takes pride of place at Waterfront Geelong. A booklet with details of the walking trails is available free from the information centre and museums around the city.

About 40% of the city’s area has been reserved for parks, gardens and sports grounds. They include: Geelong Botanical Gardens, Eastern Park overlooking Corio Bay, Queens Park (with walks to Buckley’s Falls).

Visitor Information: Geelong Visitor Information Centre
National Wool Museum
Corner Moorabool and Brougham Streets, Geelong, Victoria 3220
Ph: (03) 5222 2900 / 1800 620 888

Things To See And Do

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National Wool Museum

The National Wool Museum tells the story of Australia’s wool industry, for which Geelong was a major export point, combined with contemporary exhibitions about the city. The displays showcase the Australian wool story – from the sheep’s back to the clothes rack, and from the birth of the industry in the 1840s to its place in the world today.

The National Wool Museum was established in 1988 as part of the Australian Bicentennial Celebrations. It is housed in the former Denny Lascelles wool store in 26 Moorabool Street, Geelong.

One of the most popular parts of a visit to the Museum is seeing the grand centrepiece in action – the 1910 Axminster Jacquard carpet loom. Regular demonstrations are provided by skilled carpet weavers who produce the Museum s own Manor House Rug, available for purchase through the Museum Shop. Located in Gallery Two, the 1940s Komet Sock Knitter can make a pair of socks before your eyes, with a range of socks made in the Museum also available for purchase in the Shop.

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9:30am to 5pm
Saturday to Sunday 10am to 5pm
Shop: Daily 9am to 5pm
Closed: Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Good Friday

Phone 03 5272 4701

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Geelong Maritime Museum

Located on the site of Australia’s first naval college at Osborne House and its first permanent submarine base, Geelong Maritime Museum houses an excellent display relating to nautical development and technology as well as naval and marine artefacts. The courtyard of the stables of Osborne House, which houses the museum, is the perfect spot for a picnic lunch.

The Museum collects and displays historic artefacts and documents related to the Maritime History of geelong and Victoria, and the history of the Victorian and Australian Navy’s. Displays at the museum include scale models of ships that either visited Geelong or called the port home and relics of the trade and navigation, as well as uniforms, weaponry and other naval artefacts. Exhibitions also presents the HMVS Cerberus Gun Turret and the helm of the HMVS Nelson.

Ph: 03 5277 3808

Open Sunday to Friday, 10.00am to 3.30pm.

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Waterfront Carousel

Geelong’s beautiful waterfront carousel is truly one of the jewels of Geelong; it is one of the ‘must see’ attractions for any visitor to the city. The pavilion houses an extremely rare and beautiful Armitage Herschell Carousel dating back to 1892. Magnificently restored to its original glory, the carousel is complete with 36 horses and two delightful chariots. The historic carousel is one of the few left in the world, and it is not hard to see that ours is regarded by many as the best still in use.

The carousel tells the story of King Arthur and Camelot. The beautiful paintings form branches which hold the canopy like a giant tree, with panels showing the tales of the story. The horses and chariots circle the story and along with the whimsical carnival music give the pavilion a fairy-tale like atmosphere. Originally the carousel was powered by steam, but in its restored form it now runs on electric power.

Alongside the carousel is a pipe organ which is another historic and magnificent piece of detailed craftsmanship. The organ has also been painstakingly restored using many of the original items and exact authentic replicas of original pieces. The organ plays collection of colourful Dixieland melodies and gives the pavilion a cheerful atmosphere.

Geelong Botanical Gardens

Located within Eastern Park on the eastern outskirts of the central business district, Geelong Botanical Gardens were established in 1851 and are the fourth oldest botanic garden in Australia. The location was first set aside as a public space in 1850, taking up the whole of today’s Eastern Park. The botanic gardens were later isolated to a fenced-off area in the centre of the park.

The gardens were renovated in 2002, with a new section for arid-climate and local native plants opened. It features a dramatic entrance with Queensland Bottle Trees (Brachychiton rupestris), combining architectural plants with modern garden sculptures. Trees in the Botanic Gardens and Eastern Park are some of the finest examples in Victoria. 36 trees are listed on the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) Register of Significant Trees.

The gardens are also home to some of the city’s heritage buildings. The Cabmans Shelter and the Ladies Kiosk are great features. The fountains which used to be in Market Square are now part of the fabric of the garden.

Admission – Free

Daylight Savings Opening Hours: 8:00am – 7:00pm

All other times: 8:00am – 5:00pm

The Tea House: 11:00am to 3:00pm. During warmer months teahouse hours may be extended. Please call 0413 706 535 to confirm.

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Bellarine Railway

Bellarine Railway operates on a 16 km section of a formerly disused 3’6″ gauge branch line on the Bellarine Peninsula between the coastal town of Queenscliff and Drysdale, near Geelong. The Bellarine Railway has a current fleet of ten heritage steam locomotives, and a number of these are operational at any one time. Visitors have the opportunity to ride behind locomotives from each Australian state, and sometimes in unique combinations such as a Tasmanian locomotive, teamed with a Western Australian locomotive hauling a train of heritage carriages from Tasmania and Queensland. Passengers travel in comfortable leather seats as the train traverses rural farmland on its way to Queenscliff and skirts the foreshore around Swan Bay during the 16 km trip.

Trains run every Sunday of the year and several days a week during school holidays. Contact: (03) 5258 2069. More >>

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Geeling Wool Museum

Ryrie Street, Geelong