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Geelong – Gateway To The Great Ocean Road
geelongThe city of Geelong is central to some of the most exhilarating scenery in the world,. Historical and local attractions, and plenty of parks, shops and restaurants line the city streets making Geelong an ideal tourist destination. It is also a perfect base to visit the Great Ocean Road and surrounding attractions! A visit to Geelong is an essential on any Victorian campervan holiday as it has everything you would expect in the state's second largest city.

Geelong lies south west of Melbourne so you can be assured that there is plenty to do within and around the city centre with campervan Melbourne . Friendly cafés and waterside restaurants are speckled throughout and there is a relaxed ambience that will keep you coming back. The city’s east brings you to the Geelong Botanical Gardens which are home to hundreds of exotic plants, giant palms and sculptures that create the ideal spot for picnics and a leisurely stroll. This endless array of diverse attractions in the area make it hard to choose which one to see first.

Perhaps the best way to start here is to pay a visit to the Geelong Goal. This ancient landmark has a disturbing past that is worth discovering on its educational tour. Only reopened recently when a new prison was built, there is a wealth of history here. However, if culture is more your forte, the Geelong Art Gallery will be perfect for you as it is over a century old with fascinating gems to discover. You will want to take your time here enjoy the artwork and displays.

If cars are your thing, then the Ford Discovery Centre is just the place for you. This museum features everything you would want to know about the legend of Ford. Take a journey of discovery through the history of this Australian icon because even if you’re not ‘into’ cars like some of your friends, once you’ve been here you soon will be!

The National Wool Museum is a must see because the sheep industry has been such a big contributor to Geelong’s development. The museum was built in an 18th century wool store and the very structure of it will captivate and amaze you. Enjoy the shearer’s quarters, songs, machinery and exhibitions or relax in the café and shop to purchase sheepskins and souvenirs. You will need to spare at least half a day for this activity to make the most of this historic attraction.

Take a short drive out of the city and you will come across the beautiful Barwon River , which is the ideal destination for cycling, fishing or a family picnic or barbeque. There are plenty of walks, and over 20km of bike paths and gardens. While here, be sure to drive a little further and take a look at the Buckley Falls which have a platform for viewing the panorama of the valley and river below.

Ocean Grove is the best place to be in summer. This amazing area lies to the south of the Bellarine Peninsular, with the Barwon River in the west. It often has the largest beach crowds in Victoria, with safe beaches and proximity to the two main cities a big factor. The Ocean Grove Holiday Park is fantastic if you are keen to stay for a while and soak up the sun. With excellent facilities and a river setting it is great for fishing, water sports or just lazing around and soaking up the views.

If you venture west of Geeling for around twenty minutes, you will come to the picturesque town of Torquay. The most famous element of this town would have to be Bells beach which has become one of the most popular surfing beaches in the country. This beach town is the starting point to the breathtaking Great Ocean Road which presents spectacular raw beauty. Covering a large portion of southwest Victoria, tourists flock here from all over Australia to experience the majestic natural wonders this coastline has to offer.

No tourist experience would be complete without staying at Apollo Bay, a tourist paradise with rainforests, waterfalls and excellent beaches at your doorstep and just over 100km from Geelong. The Kooringal Caravan Park is a great base to explore the famous Twelve Apostles, Cape Otway and coastal attractions. Apollo Bay is also an excellent place for fishing, horse riding and walking, making it an ideal place to stop.

Geelong truly has something for everyone. The diversity of attractions, sports, culture and natural beauty will keep everyone fascinated. It is an ideal city for a self drive holiday with so much to see and do. Even if you are only here once, it has to be seen at least once in a lifetime, if not a few more.

Christine Barton

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