Location: 191 Moorabool St, Geelong
Wrap up: The Eureka quickly became the home of ‘Uni Night’, packing up with students on Thursdays after it underwent major renovations several years ago. The Eureka holds the reins for reasonable drink prices and good music. Chinese Whispers will be returning for a reunion (possibly a permanent return) and is a huge new drawcard for the building on weekends. The Eureka Hotel also underwent a funky refurbishment as part of the Reborn Project. Using a combination of street art and recycled, vintage or pre-loved items, the venue is currently looking amazing.
Cloud 9 Bar
Location: 2/96 Pakington St, Geelong
Wrap up: An intimate bar, Cloud 9 is the perfect place to catch up with a mate for a cocktail on a Friday night or a pre-drink location before you hit the town. Also perfect for an after-date drink with that new miss/mister you snagged on the Eureka dance floor during O week. Cloud 9 and the dedicated team also offer Geelong’s number one function service, so if you need to book a 21st look no further.
Location: CNR Moorabool & Brougham St, Geelong
Wrap up: Lambys’ Sunday Sessions is a phrase you will become quite familiar with. Sunday nights and Lamby’s have and will continue to go hand-in-hand for a long time. Tall people will develop both a love and loathing of the venue as the low ceilings make you feel like a little bit of a giant. Lamby’s is known for having a great atmosphere, a good crowd, a packed dance floor and some very fond but hazy memories.
Home House Nightclub
Location: 40-42 Moorabool St, Geelong
Wrap up: The unshakeable, unmovable, irreplaceable nightclub of Geelong, Home House truly will become your home away from home this year. Whilst they have a “no dickhead” policy, they respect that uni kids love a good time, and security manages accordingly. It feels safe enough to call ‘home’, but you can get away with all that crazy shit that mum would never let you do inside. It is Geelong’s Michael Jordan of clubs.
Location: Cnr Malop St & Bellerine St, Geelong
Wrap up: With one of the largest beer gardens in the CBD, Lord Nelson is your best bet for a cruisey beer with mates. They’ve put the effort into layout and design to ensure you’ll have a good time. Things get quite fancy inside if you’d like to sit down and have a civilised dish – we’re thinking definite first date material.
Location: 11 Malop St, Geelong
Wrap up: A newie to the nightlife scene in Geelong, Quban offers up some of the best cocktails in the biz. With a focus on South American, things are a little bit different here, but we’re totally okay with that. This is a mighty fine place to take a group of gals for a night on the town, for celebratory drinks with mates or a nice sit down meal with the family. It’s mighty nice-looking inside too, so be sure to step in.
Location: 64 Malop Street, Geelong
Wrap up: Tomi Lounge pretty much covers whatever outing you’re feeling. Casual Sunday morning breakfast? Tomi’s got you sorted. Birthday dinner? Sorted. After work drinks? You guessed it, sorted. Time to spend the rest of your life here…
Location:8 Malop St, Geelong
Wrap up: Heads up, Captain and There There are where all the cool kids hang. So put on your nice digs, and cosy up on a stack of pallets and spend a night in one of the most unique venues in Geelong. It’s a little bit Yin and Yang with the two venues, Captain is a little rustic, while There There is all class.
The Wool Exchange Entertainment Complex
Location: 44 Corio St, Geelong
Wrap up: This historic venue used to be the pinnacle of the local live music scene back in the day and has recently been restored to its former glory. Reinvented to include a state of the art upstairs band room, it’ll be in this room you’ll witness performances from some of the best touring artists in the country this year.
Location: 509 Moorabool St South Geelong
Wrap up: Another iconic live music venue, the BC is everything you love about a pub. The BC is without doubt Geelong’s most iconic and successful pub. The BC is infamous for pre/post Cats game day celebrations – make sure you are feeling courageous if you decide to rock up in another team’s guernsey. The BC is currently providing Geelong with its most consistent and worthwhile line up of live music each week, under the watchful eye of Band Booker Al O’Neil. Also keep an eye out for their day parties – they are off the hook.
Location: 77 Little Malop St, Geelong
Wrap up: Great place to listen to some acoustic original singer-songwriters and chill out on the lounge having a drink with your mates. It’s quirky and it has personality, and that’s why we like it. And promise you will too. When at the bar make sure you look up, there you’ll find some handy tips on life…
Location: 6-8 Eastern Beach Rd, Geelong
Wrap up: For the nights when you’re feeling a little less drab and a touch more classy. Quite a sophisticated venue to hang out, it’s not really one for getting messy and rocking up in your trackies with a goon sack. Great for pre-drinks on a Friday night or celebrating a special occasion with your friends. A lot of pretty people hang out here, and the food is good.
Location: Cunningham Pier, 10 Western Beach Foreshore Rd, Geelong
Wrap up: One of the best views of Geelong can be captured from this venue as you overlook Corio Bay. Love a great acoustic set on a Friday and Saturday night and is similar to Edge in terms of style and crowd. A very trendy bar to enjoy a drink at, especially throughout the warmer months. The CQ also plays host to the CQ Unplugged series which continues to grow in stature.
The Max Hotel
Location: 2 Gheringhap St, Geelong
Wrap up: One of the best places in town to throw a party, the team at The Max go above and beyond for your special occasion – so keep that in mind when you begin planning your upcoming 21st. A great place to have a knock-off-from-class beer as it is just opposite the Deakin Waterfront campus, and their mid-week meal specials are great for those nights you want to feel fancy enough to go out for a meal but don’t have much cash to back it up.
Location: 2 Thompson Rd, North Geelong
Wrap up: The venue whose exterior wins the award for ‘Most Personality’, hands down The Sphinx Hotel is like nothing else in the region. All sorts of fun to be had here, and a great location to bond with your newly acquired uni mates … Most of the time by shaming yourself through a less than inspiring karaoke performance.
The Grovedale Hotel
Location: 236–258 Torquay Rd, Geelong
Wrap up: This is a pub with a real local feel. You know when guys are like, ‘Hey mate, wanna pop down to the local for a pot?’ Well, they are probably referring to the Grovedale – or the Grovey as you’ll come to know it. Great food, live music on the weekends and pokie machines for those of you who can spare a couple of bucks for a flutter. They’ve recently had a bit of work done, inside and out, and now boast a pretty trendy (did we just say trendy?) garden bar called The Juke, complete with street art, petrol tin stools and an American inspired bar food menu.
Location: 93A Little Malop St, Geelong
Wrap up: There’s a lot of people doing pulled pork but no one does it quite as good as Pistol Pete’s. Head down to this venue and check out the recent expansion into the space next door and try some American inspired dishes, great blues acts and quality service, all for a price that won’t hurt the student budget.
Location: 69 Yarra Street, Geelong
Wrap up: Formerly the Bended Elbow, the Geelong Hotel has recently had a massive facelift. The fresh fit out boasts a slick interior, nods to Geelong’s past and three beer gardens to escape that pesky person who just won’t take no for an answer. The hotel also holds Uno nights, which are always known to go off, and features meal specials throughout the week, that trust us, you’ll want to get in on.
Location: 114 Moorabool Street, Geelong
Wrap up: Dirty Dutch is the newest club set to join the ranks, though there’s something a little different about this one. The club is also set to have an over 28s night, so for those mature age students of you wanting to avoid your younger counterparts, this is the place. Though there’ll still be a night for everyone – stay tuned.
Location: Princes Hwy, Geelong
Wrap up: Just down the road from the Waurn Ponds campus, the Ponds Hotel used to play host to a lot of ridiculous student antics. It has since mellowed out with the major renovations and the retirement of Wednesday nights’ Dodgy Disco, but the Ponds hosts regular poker nights and there are always pool tables on hand if you are looking to get off campus and enjoy a study break over a parmy and a game of pool.
The Barking Dog
Location: 126 Pakington St, Geelong West
Wrap up: Located down Pakington Street in one of Geelong’s few “hot spots” is the Barking Dog. Mid-week it is an awesome place to study over a coffee or grab a delicious lunch; a drink there on a Wednesday night will get you that ‘Hump Day’ pick-me-up that you are looking for, but the best time to be there is Friday nights from 5 p.m. onwards. There’s a real ‘Thank F*** it’s Friday’ attitude that everybody loves, not to mention there’s Strasse Bar inside the Dog with all your cocktail needs.
Gin & Co. Supper Club.
Location: 30 Aberdeen St, Geelong
Wrap up: Formerly Irish Murphy’s, this new bar is in a great location for those of you who aren’t too sure where the night is going to end up. Located halfway between Newtown and the centre of town, Gin & Co. is an elegant bar with an old fashioned speak-easy feel to it. With a laid back lounge area, cocktails to die for and their supper menu running ’til late, this spot is a cosy and unique addition to Geelong’s nightlife.
The Elephant & Castle
Location: 158 McKillop St, Geelong
Wrap up: Owned by Geelong’s infamous Darryn Lyons, the Paparazzi King’s trademark is all over this venue. If nothing else, you will enjoy sitting down over a drink and checking out all the amazing photographs of A-list celebs taken by the man himself. The food is incredible at the Elephant & Castle, and they have some good deals on Monday and Tuesday nights so even the student breed can afford to eat like a king every now and then.
The Torquay Hotel
Location: 36 Bell Street, Torquay
Wrap Up: One thing you will learn very quickly whilst livng in the area is we have access to some of Victoria’s best coastal towns. Topping that list is Torquay, and laying at its heart is the Torquay Hotel. It’s got everything from a great menu to live music. It is the perfect place to escape after class on a balmy evening.
Slate Pool Lounge
Location: 50 Little Ryrie Street, Geelong
Wrap Up: Slate Pool Lounge is so much more than your average pool lounge. At Slate you can relax with a beverage and shoot some pool with your mates. The venue has become a mainstay. It is stylishly furnished over three levels, including a mezzanine level and an outdoor smoking area. It is the perfect place to meet before a night on the town.
Location: 15 James St, Geelong
Wrap up: Really intimate little bar located in the busiest pocket of the city. The perfect spot for a small function, a celebration with some friends or an end of the week uni debrief. A delectable cocktail menu and an A-grade list of boutique beers available.
The Workers Club, Geelong
Location: 90-92 Little Malop Street, Geelong
Wrap up: Recently opening in the past year, Workers has quickly become a hub for live music, its Thursday themed trivia nights and cheap booze. Head in for some smoked meats and stay for some of your fave local, national and international acts. When you enter a place through the laneway, that ranks pretty high in our book.
Location: 5 James Street, Geelong
Wrap up: Also opening in the past year, the venue offers an alternative to the sounds the rest of the clubs are playing. Instead, RnB Fridays are one of the favourite nights at this joint, and the stylish fit out will match your fit out.
Barwon Heads Hotel
Location: 1 Bridge Rd, Barwon Heads
Wrap up: Great place to escape with your newfound friends and discover some of the hidden gems the region has on offer. As live music lovers, the team at the Barwon Heads put on an array of live music with all kinds of genres, making it a trendy place to hang out, discover a new artist and enjoy a beer up the coast.
Location: 6/58 Liebig St, Warrnambool
Wrap up: Home of original live music in Warrnambool, The Loft enjoys a booking list of both local bands and international headliners. Awesome selection of beers and ciders on tap and a great affordable menu. For Warrnambool students it will be their home away from home this year.
Warrnambool Laneway Bar
Location: 78-82 Liebig Street, Warrnambool
Wrap up: Warrnambool, you have yourself a new laneway bar. Opening recently, the space is for those fresh summer nights (of which Warrnambool is full of) and the times when all you want to do is hang out with mates and have a cruisey evening.
Location: 112 Fairy St, Warrnambool
Cally Hotel has a bit of everything. Whether you want to drink, place a bet, play some pool or darts or order a pub meal, it’s all here. Sports fanatics will enjoy the screening of a range of matches and there are regular live music events featuring local musicians. Something for everyone.
Location: Cnr of Field St & Camp St, Ballarat
Wrap up: One of the biggest icons for live music in Victoria, the Karova Lounge will host some of the best gigs you’ll see all year. It gave birth to the Yacht Club DJs and is a regular hangout for stars like Tim Rogers. It draws a pretty trendy crowd but is balanced out by the grungy live music pub-vibe. If you love live music your best nights in Ballarat will be had at The Karova. It has proven to be a mainstay in the fabric of live music in regional Victoria.
Location: 101-103 Mair St, Ballarat
Wrap up: The kind of venue you walk in to and go ‘Woah’, The Bluestone is huge. But not the sort of huge where you go ‘Man, it looks like no one is here’. It fills up super quick, especially on Wednesday nights (Ballarat uni night) and weekends. It also has a really cool, contemporary design so you can feel a little bit fancy, even if you’re not.
Miners Tavern / Element Nightclub
Location: 120 Lydiard St [North], Ballarat
Located in a historic bulding, Miners Tavern not only offers students a cheap pub meal, but a new nightclub with regular events to schedule into your calendar. Their beer garden is the perfect place to have a few relaxing drinks and some food with some mates on a warm evening. And if you’re heading to Element Nightclub afterwards, you can count on those cheap drinks to keep you going all night.
Suttons House of Music
Location: 31 Sturt Street, Ballarat
With its old-style lounge chairs and cheap gigs, Suttons House is the place for music lovers. With regular performances from local, national and international acts, it’s great for a relaxed drink with friends or a more social night of dancing to live music. Open seven days a week and with a large selection of food, wine, beer and cocktails, what more could you ask for?
Location: 24-28 Armstrong Street North, Ballarat (Back entrance)
Wrap up: Another new venue to join the Ballarat scene, Hop Temple is a beer enthusiasts delight with some pretty tasty treats to accompany each beverage. Located through an alley, and fitted out with pallets and odd bits and pieces inside, it’s the perfect place to grab a few with some mates to start off your night.