Wondering what the best things to do in Geelong this year are? We've got you sorted
From world-class cycling races and music festivals to fine wines, local delicacies and aerial acrobatics, there are plenty of unmissable, high profile festivals and community events happening across the Geelong and Bellarine region every year.
Check out our curated guide to all the fun things to do in Geelong this year, plus a few extra ones to add to your calendar for next year. We’ll continue to add to this list as events get announced.
Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here.
Pinot Affair at the Wineries
When: Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22
The juicy goodness of grapes extracted from the Bellarine Peninsula, Surf Coast and Moorabool Valley has never tasted so good. Smooth but full in flavour, the humble Pinot Noir will be celebrated at a ‘Pinot Affair’ in an exciting reimagined event.
While previous Pinot Affairs have been held as a central tasting event, this year will see several events happening at participating wineries to encourage you to reconnect, explore, taste and discover Geelong Pinot like never before. Running across two days on Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22, there are more than 15 wineries participating in the celebrations, featuring more than 18 special Pinot focused activities across this weekend including masterclasses, tasting experiences, high teas, special lunches and degustation dinners, just to name a few.
Providing a weekend to taste, discover and explore Geelong Pinot like never before, this event is all about championing the strength and quality of Geelong’s Pinot Noir across more than a dozen of our beloved local wineries.
Browse the program and purchase tickets for individual events here.
RSPCA’s Million Paws Walk
When: Saturday, May 22
Australia’s premier event on the canine calendar is back, with around 10,000 people and their dogs set to walk together for RSPCA’s Million Paws Walk on Sunday 22 May.
Events will return to towns across the state, including Albert Park Lake, Bendigo, Eildon, Geelong, Hamilton, Mansfield, Mornington Peninsula, Traralgon and Wangaratta raising vital funds for the thousands of animals in need who come through RSPCA doors each year.
RSPCA Victoria CEO, Dr Liz Walker, said the organisation is excited to be welcoming people back to Albert Park Lake, as well as to events across the state, with all funds raised going to animals in need. “We know people love their pets and that they make people’s lives better. There is nothing better for people or their dogs than getting out for a walk. At Million Paws Walk, people are not only doing something good for themselves and their dogs, but they are also helping to make life better for other animals,” Dr Walker said.
“Our fundraising target in Victoria is $360,000, with every single dollar raised through Million Paws Walk, including entry fees, merchandise sales and online fundraising, helping fund RSPCA’s critical work for vulnerable animals.”
So far $154,345 has been raised to fight animal cruelty.
Buy tickets to a Million Paws Walk event or sign up for Walk This May at www.millionpawswalk.com.au
Share The Dignity’s DigniTea
When Friday 27 May 2022
Geelong, prepare yourself for an afternoon of fun, bubbles, and incredible guest speakers and play your part in ending period poverty with the annual fundraising event, DigniTea.
The beloved event is run by Share The Dignity, an Australian charity that works to make a real, on the ground difference in the lives of those experiencing homelessness, fleeing domestic violence, or doing it tough. They distribute period products to those in need and work to end period poverty here in Australia. When someone is doing it tough, the last thing on their mind should be dealing with their period.
Tickets are $99 per person or $950 for a table of 10. Your ticket will include a delicious high tea, bubbles on arrival and amazing guest speakers as we come together to help women and girls in need!
Grab your besties and secure your tickets to the sell-out high tea of the year where people will unite to laugh, cry and Share the Dignity together.
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National Celtic Festival
When: Friday, June 10 to Monday, June 13.
Rug up, put your winter woollies on and dive head first into this Celtic affair. The National Celtic Festival is back for 2022, transforming the Portarlington foreshore and surrounding haunts into a bustling winter-wonderland of talented musicians and performers over the wintery long weekend in June.
Attracting thousands of visitors every year, presenting concerts across 14 stages over four days, punters can expect showcases, dance, theatre, literature readings, masterclasses and more celebrating all things Celtic and Craic, providing a long weekend to remember.
For those well-versed with the Irish and Scottish traditions, the National Celtic Festival is compulsory. Meanwhile, for those not initiated, it is a wonderful surprise to find such amazing music and dedicated musicians in our midst. For the past 17 iterations, the festival has showcased some of the world’s most culturally rich performers and introducing fresh up and coming act. The talent is second to none, but it’s the diversity of this festival that gives the National Celtic Festival a distinct edge, attracting audiences from all walks of life.
Along with the focus in diverse genres of music, the festival is known for delving deep into the culture to include countless comedy, singing sessions, dance, literature, medieval sports and theatre troupes, all of which you can expect to see at this year’s return festival.
Head here for more info.
Tastes of Central Geelong
When:Friday, June 10 to Wednesday June 29.
Coming to Geelong for a bunch of mouth-watering day throughout June is the annual ‘Tastes of Central Geelong’ festival, celebrating all things delicious in the region.
A real favourite on the foodie festival calendar, as per usual, you can make your way into Central Geelong to sample gourmet food and drink and participate in food-themed activities and offers from restaurants and cafes who need your support. The program is yet to be announced but usually the event hosts activities like guided tours, cooking classes, workshops and competitions, lunch and dinner events, tea parties, children’s activities, special offers and more.
With tonnes of activities on offer, it doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned foodie or a new-found food lover, young or young at heart, we can guarantee that there will be something new and enticing for you to devour, and this year, it’s more important than ever to support local restaurants and cafes.
You can keep up to date with all the latest via Central Geelong website.
New To You: Pre-loved Clothing Market
When: Sunday, June 12
New To You Markets are all about sharing the love of pre-loved clothing, shopping for bargains, never paying retail, prolonging the life of clothing, having fun, and community. The markets have up to 65 stalls selling quality pre-loved contemporary, designer, vintage and retro fashion in all sizes.
Arriving in Geelong, the pre-loved clothing market arrives at the Geelong West Town Hall, on Sunday 12 June, from 10am to 3pm.
The market is located indoors, and there is a $4 entry fee to the market.
Find out more here.
Adventure Park’s Winter Glow
When:17 – 19 June, and from 23 June – 10 July 2022
Adventure Park are once again giving families, couples and friends a chance to explore a dazzling glowing wonderland with the return of its sell-out event ‘Winter Glow’ for the June-July school holidays.
Taking inspiration from their ever-popular Christmas Festival of Lights, Winter Glow will see the venue transform into a frosty winter wonderland with daily snow showers, dazzling magical and immersive light installations, spectacular fire-twirling and ice-sculpting displays from local artists, and plenty of comfort food and alpine-appropriate drinks. This year there will be two massive snow play zone where attendees can make snow angels, build snowmen and for some, touch snow for the first time. There will also be a new snow flurry experience with realistic falling snow.
Putting their Christmas lights to good use, there will also be a whopping 2.7 million shimmering lights illuminating Geelong’s night sky, plus hundreds of glittering installations around the park and even UV face painting for anyone who wants to get their glow on. The park will also be running a bunch of dry rides and mini golf, and as for the food, think roasted marshmallows, hot chocolate, spiced cider and mulled wine, all promising to keep you warm while the kids decorate cookies to take home as a souvenir treat.
BYO warm clothes, gloves and gumboots for those keen to jump in the snow.
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here.
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When: Saturday, June 25
The Bantu Market is proudly promoting African culture and its diversity through a shared love of music, dance, market stalls, visual arts and food.
Returning for its second leg this year, Bantu Market will take over the Barwon Valley Activity Centre in Belmont on Saturday, June 25 from 12pm to 5pm, bringing along a wide range of Africa’s finest tastes, style, homewares, exceptional talent and more. There will also be traditional drum and dancing performances, hair braiding, delicious food trucks, market stalls, games and kids entertainment.
Dubbed ‘the quintessential African experience’, the Afro market’s aim is to bring together the wider community together by creating opportunities for community participation and engagement through celebrating Africa and cultural diversity – and what’s not to love about that.
Find out more here.
When: Saturday, October 8
The overnight art party that is White Night is back in Victoria, making its colourful return to Geelong this year, transforming the city streets, parklands, laneways, public spaces and cultural institutions with spectacular illuminated art and colourful projections.
Returning in October, colourful projections and installations will again light up the city, transforming the streets, laneways, parks and the Geelong foreshore, providing a significant boost to tourism businesses. The festival also features a host of musical performances and interactive works that you can get amongst in the wee hours of the morning. More details will be announced closer to the event.
The program, directed by Joseph O’Farrell, will feature artists from the categories of installation, visual art, lighting, audio-visual, projection, film, music and performance. The theme will be ‘everything on the land is reflected in the sky’.
For more info, visit White Night’s website.
Geelong Revival Motoring Festival
When: Friday, November 25 to Sunday, November 27
The Geelong Revival Motoring Festival is back for an action-packed motoring festival held on Geelong’s picturesque waterfront. Now spanning across three days, the schedule will feature all things vintage, bringing together hundreds of classic and exotic vehicles to Geelong’s magnificent waterfront, along with racing, exhibits, entertainment, food, music and fashion.
Take pole position for the historic quarter-mile sprints, as 300 classic and exotic cars and motorcycles sprint down Ritchie Boulevard at full throttle.
The Geelong Waterfront will also be covered with over 800 quirky, valuable and fascinating vehicles that are guaranteed to please anyone with an appreciation for unique vehicles. Take a step back in time into the vintage lifestyle zone featuring live music, trade stalls, delicious food and entertainment. The lifestyle zone wouldn’t be complete without the Vintage Caravan Display and of course the National Vintage Fashion Awards, a crowd favourite!
Motoring enthusiasts can top off their weekend in our trade expo zone, featuring great displays, sales and unique demonstrations.
Queenscliff Music Festival
When: Friday, November 25 to Sunday, November 27
Queenscliff Music Festival (QMF) has long been a significant fixture of the festival calendar – one that has filled a beautiful part of Victoria with joy and creativity for over two decades.
Fresh from delivering the region a host of incredible Australian talent with the inaugural By The Pier festival, the music jewel of the Bellarine the Queenscliff Music Festival is officially back for its usual November timeslot, with tickets to the beloved festival now on sale.
This will be the first Queenscliff Music Festival since its 2019 event, which featured one of the best collections of diverse musicians the Bellarine has seen in years.
While we don’t yet have a lineup for the long-awaited event, QMF has become a festival renowned for its impressive lineups over the past two decades. Prior to cancelling its 24th event back in 2020, and again in 2021, the festival had just dropped its largest first lineup announcement that we’ve seen from the festival in years featuring an eclectic mix of homegrown acts including Archie Roach, The Bamboos, Client Liaison, Emma Donovan & The Putbacks, John Butler, Julia Stone, Sam Teskey, Bones and Jones, Telenova, Mama Kin Spender, William Crighton, Gordon Koang, Jess Ribeiro, Didirri, Kee’Ahn and Mark Seymour & The Undertow.
With a proven history of delivering epic events and the return of international artists to Australian stages, we’re confident this year’s QMF lineup with be their best yet.
Purchase tickets to the Queenscliff Music Festival here.
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Meredith Music Festival
When: Friday December 9 – Sunday, December 11 2022
Held at the famous ‘Supernatural Amphitheatre’, Meredith Music Festival is back for three glorious days in December. A transcendent and intangible experience that’s often referred to as the greatest music festival on the planet, the culture of the festival is a true testament to the strength of Melbourne’s own music scene. This is the first time they’re hosting an event since 2019 – and boy, we couldn’t be more stoked.
A self-funded and non-commercial event that’s been delighting festival goers since 1991 with a diverse selection of local and international acts. A festival like no other, it was the winner of the Licensee of the Year award at the APRA Music Awards of 2020. Meredith Music Festival is held on the family property of one of the festival’s organisers, a farm complete with a Ferris wheel, an Ecoplex Cinema, the extremely popular Pink Flamingo Bar and famous nude running race, The Meredith Gift.
With only one stage, so no timetable clashes, Meredith Music Festival is known primarily for its great music and great culture – the reason that we love the Melbourne music scene so much in the first place.
Keep up with all the upcoming news from Meredith Music Festival by heading here.
A Day on The Green: The Killers
When: Saturday, December 10 2022
After the toughest two years in a day on the green’s 21-year history, Australia’s favourite outdoor concert event is making its mammoth return to Geelong in 2022 with one of the biggest live bands in the world – The Killers.
Making the band’s a day on the green debut, The Killers will be performing at Mt Duneed Estate in Geelong, VIC on Saturday 10 December 2022 as part of their Imploding The Mirage Australian tour. This will be The Killers’ first time back on our shores since their 2018 Australasian tour which included ten completely sold-out arena shows.
Presented by Roundhouse Entertainment and Frontier Touring, the phenomenal live band will deliver an electric set filled with their biggest hits, non-single fan favourites and choice cuts from Imploding The Mirage, and perhaps even a few cuts from their seventh studio album, the quieter, character-study-driven Pressure Machine. Released last year while touring was still on hold due to the pandemic, Pressure Machine is an aural document of growing up – and living – in the American Southwest, told from a myriad of perspectives.
For further event information, visit a day on the green.
And coming up in 2023:
Australian International Airshow
When: Friday, March 3 to Sunday, March 5 2023.
Australian International Airshow is the biggest and best Airshow in the southern hemisphere, incorporating breathtaking flying displays, a huge variety of ground exhibits, plus the spectacular Night Alight night show, not seen anywhere else in Australasia.
Marvel as jet fighters and strike bombers are joined by swarms of helicopters for a series of breathtaking serial routines and simulated combat manoeuvres. There will also be incredible aerobatics displays and the most impressive collection of World War II aircraft ever to soar skyward at Avalon.
The aerospace showcase and Science and Technology Precinct will feature hands on science fun for kids of all ages, plus special insights into the technology of tomorrow.
And the fun doesn’t stop at Avalon. Take some time to explore the surrounding areas of Geelong, The Bellarine Peninsula and Victoria’s famous Surf Coast. There’s plenty do and see in a region that’s rich with delicious food and wine, breathtaking coastline, fantastic family beaches and awesome surf breaks.
Find out more here.
IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong
When: Sunday, 26 March 2023
IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong has long been the best-kept secret on the Oceania circuit, with a stunning venue, world-class course, vibrant community and loads of local support.
No surprise then that this race was voted #1 in the world in 2018 for Overall Athlete Satisfaction, it’s the ideal race to kick-start your year.
Find out more here.
This article was made in partnership with Visit Geelong & The Bellarine