How to see the best of Geelong in a day
As it transitions from industrial hub to hip, Victoria’s second city is emerging from behind Melbourne’s shadow. Find out the best places to eat, play and stay.
- May 2018
BreakfastKing of the Castle
From the airy warehouse setting dripping with greenery to the cold-brew coffee and matcha lattes, if you were looking for a sign that Geelong has turned a new leaf, look no further than this popular café in Geelong West opens in new window. Start your day with a breakfast bowl piled with a kaleidoscope of super foods, or decadent twice-cooked French toast topped with mascarpone.
Inhabiting yet another reincarnated warehouse space (a common theme in Geelong), Boom is a creative hub for emerging and established artists. The space in Newtown’s art precinct of Rutland Street houses a gallery, design store and café called Neighbour Geelong. Duck across the road to watch artists in residence at work in their studios, and pick up a piece of Geelong’s budding creative scene direct from the maker opens in new window.
Carrying on the legacy of their restaurateur parents, siblings Nathalie, Carlo and Marc Moussi have established an all-day eatery in the lofty new iteration of The Federal Woollen Mills in North Geelong opens in new window. The kitchen’s renditions of classic Lebanese dishes such as lamb shawarma and falafel are the standout. Before leaving, indulge in a spot of bargain hunting in the cavernous Geelong Vintage Markets across the car park.
With views over the rushing Barwon River, local boutique winery Provenance has just opened its new cellar door in the neglected Barwon Paper Mill in Fyansford. A symbol of Geelong’s proud industrial heritage, the grand bluestone mill was the largest in the Southern Hemisphere when it opened in the 1870s. Winemaker Scott Ireland opens in new window hopes to share some of the winemaking craft with the public through The Mill. Taste his award-winning wines surrounded by barrels in the maturation cellar, and watch the next vintage in the making in the adjoining winery.
DinnerWhite Rabbit Barrel Hall
The Geelong home of Little Creatures and White Rabbit is a must-do for beer lovers. Inside the sprawling red-brick textile mill on Swanston Street, White Rabbit brewery opens in new window stays true to its craft roots with a barrel-ageing program and rotating selection of brews. Taste through the taps, matched with a meal of mezze-style share plates and salumi. For Good Beer Week the complex will host the Little Creatures West Side Village.
Soak up Geelong’s balancing act of old and new from between the sheets, courtesy of the Devlin – the apartments are set within the sensitively restored, heritage-listed Gordon Junior Technical School on Moorabool Street. The Manhattan-style ‘New Yorker’ suites feature high, arched windows and rich textiles in charcoal tones. Bonus for sports fans – it’s a mere two-minute walk to the Geelong Cats’ homeground in Kardinia Park opens in new window.