Geelong is a city on the move and the signs of change are everywhere, from the stunning waterfront and urban precinct to the craft breweries and hole-in-the-wall cafes that have reclaimed and reshaped the city's old industrial landscape.
Get a dose of sunshine with a stroll along the waterfront, taking in public artworks, landscaped gardens, ice-cream parlours and eateries. Cool off in the art deco-style pool and kick back in the promenade complex and restored pavilion at Eastern Beach.
Sign up for an eco-adventure tour, use it as a base to explore the famous Geelong wine region, or take your pick from a wide range of adrenaline-charged activities.
Artisans and cellar doors
Take full advantage of Geelong's unique north-facing bay at fabulous waterfront restaurants and cafes, from Cunningham Pier to Eastern Beach. Grab a bite to eat on Pakington Street and visit delicatessens and wine merchants for some take home goodies.
Take things up a gear with a special night out at Igni, awarded two hats by the Good Food Guide, or settle in for an evening of fresh, modern flavours at Tulip. Time for a drive? Spend a day or two sampling craft beers, ciders and renowned local varietals at vineyards and breweries across the region.
Art and heritage
Discover the wealth of public art works along the waterfront from the whimsical Baywalk Bollards to the iconic Shark Fins and Cargo Boxes. The sculpted bollards chronicle characters from the city's past and present, including dapper young ladies in neck-to-knee bathing costumes, 1930s lifesavers, traditional Aussie families and jaunty sailors. For an inside look at the city's vibrant contemporary art scene, check out Boom Gallery in the industrial area of Geelong, a complex that houses, galleries, workshops, studios and an event space. Urban art enthusiasts will love the Powerhouse Museum, home to work by some of the country's finest street artists.
Explore the city's 100 National Trust listed buildings, delve into the region's history at the National Wool Museum, and take the kids for a ride on the historic wooden carousel. Art lovers will enjoy the outstanding collection of Australian paintings, sculpture and decorative arts at the Geelong Art Gallery, including Frederick McCubbin's A Bush Burial from 1890.
With a packed calendar of events celebrating everything from sport, music, film and theatre to food, wine and community activities, there's always plenty going on. Watch a game of Aussie Rules at Kardinia Park Stadium, bring your bike to take part in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, or join 100,000 fellow revellers at Pako Festa, the largest free celebration of cultural diversity in Australia. Sea dogs will want to time their trip for the Festival of Sails – one of the oldest sporting events in Victoria and the Southern Hemisphere's biggest annual keelboat regatta.