Geelong is a bayside city with an enviable lifestyle and industrial roots. Charismatic cultural precincts attract locals and visitors with galleries, boutiques and excellent places to dine and drink. Just 30 minutes from urban Geelong lies the Bellarine Peninsula and its lush vineyards. Here you'll find bay views and charming coastal villages. Slow your pace and stop off to discover delectable provedores and farm gates, world-class golf courses, seaside stores and pretty beaches. Explore the best of Geelong and the Bellarine on our four-day getaway road trip.

  • Just an hour from Melbourne, it's no surprise that the city's caffeine culture has made its way to Geelong. There are countless reliable cafe options, with Coffee Cartel a standout.

    Batteries charged, it's time to have some fun on the Geelong waterfront and the outdoor playground that is Eastern Beach. If it's too chilly for the seaside pool, you can watch the boats bobbing on the bay and take a turn on the historic carousel. Watch Geelong's famous bollards come to life with the augmented reality app downloaded to your smartphone.

    Head towards the striking domed roof of the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre, in the heart of Geelong's cultural precinct and while away some time in this library with a difference. Wander through Geelong Gallery, one of Australia's leading and oldest regional art galleries, and see what's on at Geelong Arts Centre. Grab tickets for an evening show later.

    Take a break for lunch at the Hot Chicken Project. It's the hottest spot in town and will prepare you for an afternoon exploring edgy Pakington Street. Make sure you check out the emerging art in the former wool mill at Boom Gallery, then sit back and watch the world go by with a glass of wine from Geelong Cellar Door on Little Malop Street. Have dinner at ALMA Restaurant, The Beach House Geelong, Wah Wah Gee at the end of Cunningham Pier, or The Continental on Little Mallop Street. And save room for a cheeky late-night cocktail at the 18th Amendment Bar.

    It's time to call it a day. Collapse into bed at Anchor Geelong or Novotel Geelong on the waterfront, and get ready for a jam-packed second day.

  • Up and at 'em and prepare for a morning of retail therapy with breakfast at King of the Castle. Nab a rare vintage find at the Mill Markets in central Geelong, or stop by Geelong Vintage Market in North Geelong.

    If you're lucky with your timing, you can combine lunch with craft beer tastings at Little Creatures Brewery. Be sure to check out White Rabbit Brewery while you're there.

    The afternoon is time to venture a little further afield; north-west to the Moorabool Valley and its cool-climate wineries. Look out for Lethbridge Wines, Clyde Park, Moorabool Ridge and del Rios of Mt Anakie.

    If your visit coincides with the first Saturday of the month, head out of town to Golden Plains Farmers Market in Bannockburn for delicious fresh produce.

  • Follow your tastebuds for your third day on the Bellarine. Set off on the Bellarine Taste Trail, and stop off at boutique wineries, restaurants, cafes, provedores and farm gates.

    Keep your eye out for McGlashan's Wallington Estate, Oakdene Vineyards, Little Mussel Café, Wildings Pantry Essentials, Lighthouse Olive Mill Shop, Curlewis Winery, Lonsdale Tomato Farm and Basils Farm.

    Pause for lunch with breathtaking views at Jack Rabbit Vineyard or get the lay of the land on a segway tour at Leura Park Estate and tuck into lunch at Flying Brick Cider House.

    Spoil yourself with a spa treatment at Mud Day Spa or Queenscliff Day Spa before calling it a night at Starhaven Retreat.

    Or head straight for the Lon Retreat & Spa to check in and relax.

  • Grab a bite to eat at your accommodation or head to PIKNIK, the converted roadhouse serving up the region's best produce.

    Wander through charming Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale at your leisure, then cross to Hitchcock Avenue in Barwon Heads to browse Annie's Provedore, Barwon Heads Winestore and Kiitos Living by Design.

    If you're feeling a bit more energetic, jump aboard a sightseeing boat tour to spot Port Phillip Bay's resident dolphins, seals, whales, penguins and sea birds.

    For lunch it's hard to choose between Mr Grubb @ Oakdene or Jack Rabbit Restaurant. You won't be disappointed. Summon the last of your energy to stop off at beautiful Merne at Lighthouse to feast one more time upon the flavours of the Bellarine and the stunning scenery.