Is Geelong part of the Great Ocean Road?

The Great Ocean Road is one of the best destinations in Australia if not the world so if you are going to make the trip you need to know where it goes.  A little over an hour from Melbourne (where most visitors will begin the journey) Geelong is a vibrant city overlooking Corio Bay with the Moorabool River running through its centre.

Is Geelong part of the Great Ocean Road?  No.  In fact a definite no.  It has been known as the Gateway to the Great Ocean Road as it is only 20 minutes from Torquay and is a popular seaside destination.  I would see at as close cousin to the GOR.  Before heading off on your GOR adventure consider spending a day or two in Geelong as this rural city has a lot to offer.

Geelong has a population approaching 220,000 (almost as big as Hobart).  The city is sophisticated with very good dining with views of the bay (you can even dine over the water at the end of Cunninghan Pier).  There are clubs, hotels, bars and theatres to keep you entertained as well as several movie theatres.  Accommodation is abundant with plenty of choice in quality and price.

So now you know Geelong is not part of the Great Ocean Road but is the key that unlocks your coastal adventure so don’t give it a miss on your way through.

 

 

 

  

Christmas in Geelong 2016

If you haven’t been to Geelong for Christmas it is not too late. Every year I take a trip to Geelong to take in the local festivities, shopping and dining. For the last two years it has been near impossible to get parking in the CBD but this year I nabbed one only a short walk from Bay City Plaza. If you get there early you should have no trouble.
Geelong is huge now so don’t just get caught up with the CBD as Waurn Ponds and Pakington Street offer great shopping as well. This year the Geelong CBD has a floating Christmas tree at the bottom of Moorabool Street which gives a light show at night. If you are coming from Melbourne and looking for easier access then forget the CBD as it is very, very busy. You may fluke a park but don’t count on it. Waurn Ponds had more parking but even earlier this week it wasn’t easy to park.
If you like specialty shopping then head to Pakington Street. Pakington Street offers some very good cafes and shopping with parking more available. I am a fan of Pakington Street and as a coffee enthusiast it is on my list of must do Geelong destinations.
If you are happy to take a drive and haven’t been to Geelong before then I recommend you spread your Christmas cheer.


 

Wombat Gully Plant Farm, Geelong

Despite the name I never found one wombat on my rounds of this very impressive nursery.  Although two and a half acres of thick plants offered plenty of cover for it to hide so you never know.  I consider this Geelong’s best nursery and certainly the best for the Great Ocean Road.

It is located out of Geelong in the direction of the Bellarine Peninsula and is well worth a few extra kilometres drive.  There is a large carpark out the front but it can get quite full but I have always managed to get a park.  From the moment you walk through the entrance you view a large and abundant nursery with plants lined on both sides as you walk to the main sales area,

On your left you can enter the salesroom to find goods for gardening and weeding where there is usually someone on hand to help.  If you veer around to the right it leads to a large shed with a very good array of terracotta and glazed pots.  The rest of the farm is plants and lots of them.  Be careful not to separate from your partner as it can take ages to find them again.  My wife can spend hours here just wandering around but the joy of visiting Wombat Gully Plant Farm for me is not in the plants.

For me it is the Fig & Hoe Cafe.  Only open during the warmer seasons it is the perfect place for a coffee and cake or a light lunch.  You can dine inside but I prefer the outside where potted plants have been arranged to provide secluded areas around each table.  Sitting under the large umbrellas it is hard to picture a more scenic location.  My personal favorite is the scones with jam and cream.

The Wombat Gully Plant Farm is open 7 days.


 

Phone: (03) 5248 6911

Address: 201 Townsend Rd., Moolap, Victoria 3221

Monday:  8:30 am to 5 pm
Tuesday:  8:30 am to 5 pm
Wednesday:  8:30 am to 5 pm
Thursday:  8:30 am to 5 pm
Friday:  8:30 am to 5 pm
Saturday:  8:30 am to 5 pm
Sunday: 8:30 am to 5 pm

 

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