What to do in Geelong for the long weekend if you haven’t got a clue

What to do in Geelong for the long weekend if you haven’t got a clue

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Not one to put three days off to waste, we’ve highlighted a few things to do around town to make the most of it.

In case you’ve missed it, this weekend we’re blessed with a long weekend thanks to our linkage to the ol’ monastery in Britain and it being the Queen’s birthday (or thereabouts). It’s going to be our last long weekend until Footy finals so it’s time to make the most of it!

While the pandemic has made planning for this weekend a bit of a nightmare, Geelong will be open and sparkling with things to do for the entire long weekend.

To make the most of the three-day weekend, we’ve rounded up our ultimate list of things to do in the Geelong region.

Treat yourself to a night away from home

We’ve spent the most part of this past year dreaming of a weekend away from home and away from this desk, so why not make the most of the weekend and book a cheeky night away.

While usually it would be impossible to score a booking over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend on such short notice, but tourist and accommodation venues across the Geelong/Surf Coast region have a lot of empty beds, thanks to the lingering effects of Melbourne’s latest COVID lock-down.

Some businesses are reporting cancellation rates above 90 per cent after Melbourne’s stay-at-home orders lifted last night- but with a 25km travel limit in place.

If you were ever looking for a chance to discover something new – even in your own backyard – now’s the time.

Visit Geelong and Bellarine have listed a range of local accommodation options to suit every lifestyle and budget which you can check out here. Alternatively, check out sites like Booking.com, Airbnb, Stayz, Last Minute and Riparide to discover something new.


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Hit up a gig

There is no doubt in our minds that you’ve been missing a good live show these last few weeks. With restrictions still in place, this weekend punters can treat themselves to seated, COVID-safe gigs and acoustic performances at the likes of Piano Bar, Volta, Valhalla Taproom, Pistol Pete’s Food n Blues, Murphys, The Green Room Wine and Whiskey Bar, and Beavs.


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Indulge in a local feast

We’re quite blessed in Geelong. Whether you’re after a quick bite, a group celebration or a fancy date night, there’s a huge range of places to eat, both in the city and in the surrounding suburbs, precincts and regions. Formal restaurants awarded hats by The Age Good Food Guide, quick and cheerful cafes with better-than-average coffee and loads of venues that take advantage of our position on the coast to offer views, alfresco and an amazing range of local produce.

A simple stroll down Little Malop Street or Pakington Street and you’ll come across some great cafes and restaurants for any time of the day. With restrictions the way they are, it’s probably best to book prior if you’re really craving but otherwise there’s no harm in trying your luck. We’re loving the OpenTable app, which gives you a rundown of participating venues and what time slots they have left. Very handy for the indecisive among us.

Alternatively, if you feel like staying in for the long weekend treat yourself to some takeaway from a local business. They’ve had a tough few weeks and would love some support!


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Pull up a stool at a cocktail or wine bar

Whether it’s after work bevvies on Fridays, dinner-turned-drinks on Saturdays or a chill mimosa brunches on a Sunday, Geelong’s bar game is strong.
And whether you stick to old faithful favourites such as espresso martinis, pina Coladas and margaritas, you like a big, bold glass of shiraz, or you chase alcohol-infused adventure at the hands of your mixologist, there are a bunch of venues to find your perfect tipple.

If you’re into wine, slink into a booth with a cheese platter at Geelong Cellar Door or Union Street Wine, work your way through the winelist at Archive Wine Bar or check out one of the many surroundings wineries for quality drops and even better views.

If a cocktail is more your style, head to popular speakeasy 18th Amendment Bar for a world of discovery, kick back at Manhattan Bar, pull up at stool at Doni Bar on Pako or make your way to the likes of Recess, Wah Bah or Black Sheep for some of the best cocktails in the heart of Geelong.

Hit the road for a day trip

With three days to kill, why not fill up the tank, load up on snacks, download a banging playlist and take a little day trip? Geelong has plenty of day trip options that might tickle your fancy – and they’re just an hour or so drive away.

If you like to get moving, you could go hike the You Yangs, explore Hepburn Springs, or chase waterfalls in Lorne. If you prefer a slower pace you could head out to Bellbrae and check out the Brownie Festival at the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie, or take a drive out to Slip Point Lighthouse and embrace the nostalgia of an Aussie classic.

There’s plenty of options. We’ve listed a whole lot here for you. Please note, Adventure Park is currently closed.


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Finally do the Great Ocean Road

This one links into the above, but how many of you have lived here for years and never explored the Great Ocean Road and all its delights?

Hailed one of the bucket list places to visit in the region and sprawling out for 243km around Victoria, the Great Ocean Road is one of nature’s most marvellous creations and a place you have to set out to visit at least once in your life. So, a three day weekend seems like the perfect time to just that.

Alongside the obvious 12 Apostles, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite lookouts and trails here that you should definitely put on your list if you feel like making the trip.


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Try something different

There’s plenty of fun, quirky and relaxed things to do in Geelong. You could show off your swing at the Curlewis Driving Range, check if any creative workshops are running (here’s a whole list of our favourites), get your skates on at the rollerway, ghost tour the old Geelong Gaol, suss the virtual golf green at X-Golf, lace up your bowling shoes at Tenpin bowling, or try your luck with a horror escape room at Containophobia.

We’ve compiled a few more quirky ideas here if you need more inspiration.

Stock up on homewares, indoor plants and other local goodies

Regional towns have some of the best and finest small businesses that shine a light on local creators and fresh produce. There’s nothing better than spending some money supporting a local producer, who makes their stuff fairly, unlike the unfair production standards that many big department stores follow.

There is plenty of cute homeware stores along Pakington Street, like Frankie Says Relax and Ampersand; we’ve blessed with a tonne of indoor and outdoor plants stores for any plant-lover to go wild, Satellite Hearts is Geelong’s premier Crystal shop if you’re feeling witchy this weekend, or head to the Amazing Mill Markets – a bargain hunters haven with all the classic market stalls; books, vinyl, clothes, jewellery, and even a bunch of awesome Australiana.