Greater things do happen in Geelong and The Bellarine

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Greater things do happen in Geelong and The Bellarine

Words by Chloe Waddell

As the school holidays approach next week, forget chasing the sun and embrace the best the Geelong region has to offer.

Many people jet overseas to try to escape the Victorian winter, but there is plenty happening right here in the Geelong region to help locals and visitors alike make the most of the winter season. While we all know this area absolutely shines in summer, there are a wide range of things to see and do to keep you entertained, even on the dreariest of days.  Whether you’re looking for an activity for the family, somewhere to eat, or simply an excuse to get out of the house, it may be time to cancel the overseas flight, and invite your friends and your family over to explore (or re-explore) some of the local offerings of the Geelong and The Bellarine region. 

It’s an incentive backed by Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine, who have just launched its ‘Greater Happens Here’ campaign. For locals it heralds that “greater” is right here in your backyard; for visitors it invites them to “come here for greater”. The campaign showcases diverse winter experiences from cosy wineries and unique breweries to adventure sports and imaginative solstice events, and here are some of their clear winter winners.


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When winter comes around, there is little better than a warm, hearty meal. Right in Geelong’s Little Malop Street precinct, you can find authentic Japanese ramen and dumplings, which are sure to warm you up. Of course we are talking about none other than Sober Ramen. With gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options available, as well as signature dishes like their Spicy Dumpling Ramen and Signature Beef Tataki, Sober Ramen is well worth a visit. Also in the area is the new and cosy Non Disclosure Bar. With private booths for you to settle into with your friends or loved ones, this is a luxurious new stop for your Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night. If your style is more casual, Blackmans Brewery is now serving up their own craft beer, as well as local wine and spirits, in Grovedale. The family run-and-owned brewery also run affordable tours, which include a tasting paddle. Plus, with a pizza-truck onsite, it’s a great spot for the whole family.


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Heading 30 kilometres away from Geelong, you will find Clyde Park. This vineyard and bistro located in Bannockburn showcases peaceful views of the surrounding hills, offering an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. There is plenty on offer, whether you’re keen on coffee and cake with your friends, a bistro lunch with your family, or a cellar door experience to taste the vineyard’s collections. If you’re looking for something more hands-on, Ceres Distilling Co offers masterclasses; you can tour their distillery, learn about the art of gin making, and even make it yourself, over a 3-hour session. Did we mention you get to snack on a Charcuterie platter, sample the gin, and even take home a bottle? 

For adults and children alike, it is easy to feel cooped up over the winter months. For those seeking a physical activity that is safe from the weather, The Rock Adventure Centre has you covered. Catering for children of all ages (including for birthday parties!) through to advanced adult climbers, the Geelong centre features climbing walls, a bouldering cave, a training area, and a café. Heading down the highway, Salt Contemporary Art showcases contemporary art in Queenscliff. Featuring work by Australian artists, including painters, sculptors and ceramicists, perusing the gallery is an ideal rainy-day activity for lovers of contemporary art. For those not fussed by a bit of wintry weather, Lonsdale Links Golf Club is a newly redeveloped golf course in Point Lonsdale on The Bellarine. Those visiting in the off-season also benefit from reduced rates, giving you even more incentive to get out with your golf-loving-mates this winter. Inside, the golf club offers casual dining options in a cosy environment, with their lounge space even boasting an open fireplace. 

It’s already cold out, so why not make the most of it and go for a rejuvenating cold ocean swim or splash with likeminded people to start your morning? The Salty Bitches do just that across the Bellarine year-round, and are welcoming to others who want to challenge themselves and give it a go! Bring a friend, or find your tribe there – this is a unique way to embrace winter, and take advantage of living in this part of the world. The group are based in Indented Head, but also swim in different areas in the region. While you’re on The Bellarine, a visit to the Mussel Capital of Victoria is always a great idea. Portarlington Mussel Tours offer the opportunity to tour the bay by boat and be immersed in the mussel farming process, see mussel cooking demonstrations (with tastings!), and enjoy local produce platters and drinks on board. A range of tours are available throughout winter, and are a perfect opportunity for you to get together with your friends and family for a unique day out. 

With an abundance of things to see and do, there’s no doubt that Geelong and the Bellarine is a great place to be this winter. For even more inspiration, you can visit