Geelong (Photo:FiledIMAGE/Shutterstock)
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Cruise Critic Staff

Port of Geelong

Victoria's second largest city is many decades away from its industrial past of woollen mills and Ford car manufacturing. Whimsically decorated bollards along the waterfront offer a glimpse of what this bayside place now offers its visitors.

Geelong was founded in the 1850s as a centre for the nearby goldfields of Ballarat and Bendigo, and a port to transport the inland's wheat and wool. It has grown up to become a cosmopolitan city well placed between Melbourne to the north and the scenic Great Ocean Road to the west. From its location on Corio Bay, it's only 45 minutes to the Bellarine Peninsula where you may taste local wines and olive oils or relax at cafes and restaurants.

About Geelong


Pro

Whether relaxing on the beach or exploring the local art scene, you'll find something fun to do in Geelong

Con

Not all beaches are patrolled by lifeguards, so be careful of rip currents and strong waves

Bottom Line

This artsy city has a unique past and plenty of sights and attractions to keep you busy


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Where You're Docked

The Port of Geelong is a busy working port, the largest regional port in Victoria. Large cruise ships anchor in Corio Bay off Central Geelong, and passengers are tendered ashore to Cunningham Pier just a couple of blocks from the city centre. There are plans for appropriate berth arrangements in the future with the construction of a new Yarra Street Pier.

Good to Know

Those brightly painted and quirkily decorated Baywalk Bollards are the work of local artist Jan Mitchell. She created these in the mid-1990s, painting more than 100 timber bollards that had once been a vital part of the port. They are worth looking at carefully as they reflect local history and identities. You won't miss seeing them as they are dotted all around the waterfront between Rippleside Park and Limeburners Point and the Botanic Gardens.

Not all beaches are patrolled or have flags so do watch out for 'rips' (strong currents) when there is a big swell. If bushwalking, be alert for snakes, and wear a hat and use sunscreen when outdoors.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

ATMs and currency exchanges may be found throughout the town at banks and also in shopping centres as well as many hotels. Withdrawals will be in Australian currency, usually in $50 and $20 notes. For current currency conversion figures visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com. U.S. dollars are not acceptable when shopping, but major credit cards are generally welcome.

Language

English is spoken in Geelong. Listen closely, though, and you may detect a slightly different vowel use in Victoria. For instance, Melbourne becomes Malbourne, and television is talevision.

Shopping

Most visitors fall in love with the decorated bollards along Geelong's waterfront and can't resist stocking up on miniature ones. Easy to find, you'll see them in many gift shops, as they have become the iconic symbols of this town.

Head to the National Wool Museum for woollen goods, linen, and beautiful handmade local arts and crafts. Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre is the best place to go for authentic Aboriginal artifacts such as didgeridoos and boomerangs as well as handmade indigenous items such as clothing and ceramics.