Econo Lodge Hacienda Motel Geelong
15 Mt. Pleasant Road
Geelong, VI 3216
Phone: (61) 3 52435844
Fax: (61) 3 52419613
Located right near the tip of the southeastern part of Australia, Geelong embodies the charm of a vacation destination. Just about an hour from Melbourne, the bustling capital of Victoria, Geelong is blessed with pristine beaches, sandy shores, a rich cultural heritage, and a stunning city landscape. As with the rest of Australia, Geelong was first inhabited by the native Aboriginal people, of the Wathuarong tribe. The European settlers arrived as late as the 1800s, and the city was officially established in 1836. The city's cultural wealth is evident in the range of events and festivals that take place here, like the Royal Geelong Show, the Geelong Heritage Festival, and the Pako Festival. Call to know more.
Learning to surf can be very intimidating. However, Point Impossible Surf Beach, despite its name, is a good place to start out in the sport, mainly because of the right hand reef break that offers a gentle ride to learn the finer points. There are two breaks here: the learner friendly wave called the Insides, and the slightly bigger waves called the Outsides. Best conditions can be found with a south-westerly swell and north-westerly wind on a low tide. Beware of the crowds during the summer. Stay clear of the rocks!
13th Beach has a range of left and right-hander breaks with powerful and popular waves. As it is only a short drive from Melbourne and Victoria's second largest city, Geelong, quite a crowd gathers here in summer. One section, known as 'The Hole' can be quite dangerous on low tide when rocks become a problem, while The Beacon has less power but is safer.
Jan Juc Beach is quite easy on the eye, and is a great spot for swimming, surfing and fishing. The quality of the waves is up and down, but you can be assured of a crowd on weekends and public holidays. Prime conditions occur with a south-westerly swell and north-westerly wind. If you do not feel like surfing, sit back and soak up this scenic spot because it is a beautiful beach to enjoy in its own right.
The Bellarine Peninsula, just to the south east of Geelong is developing its own identity as a wine sub region. It produces distinctive and individual Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Kilgour Estate is testament to this with a fruit driven award winning Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. This hillside vineyard offers great rural views across farmland to the tranquil expanse of blue that is Port Phillip Bay. The winery restaurant serves local seafood delicacies a must for visitors to the area.
Bells Beach conjures up almost mystical images to the members of the Australian surfing scene. It is a long right-hand point break which just keeps on going. Best conditions can be found with a south-westerly swell and north west wind on mid-high tide. During Easter the normally quiet town of Torquay comes alive as the Bells Beach Easter Classic is held. This event is the world's longest running pro-surfing competition. It attracts the top surfers from around the globe and thousands of spectators.
A must for all rail enthusiasts, this blast from the past is a real journey back in time. Starting from the sedate little seaside town of Queenscliff, a restored steam train runs over 16 kilometers of track through scenic countryside overlooking Port Phillip Bay. The train was once a vital form of communication, but nowadays it is packed with holidaymakers enjoying the relaxed pace and sense of history. The train puffs over to Drysdale station, before making the return trip, 90 minutes in all to cover the Bellarine Peninsula Railway.
The Queenscliff Railway Station is a small but very significant site. It was built in 1881 from a tourist-centered perspective and stands testimony to the unique railway system in the country. It is one of the oldest functional railway stations in the country. If local architecture and history interests you, this is a must-visit when you are in the city.
The Blues Train ride is possibly one that you will never forget. It is a historical train that is now an event venue and dining space, with shows, private events and tours taking place all round the year. The train departs from the historic Queenscliff Railway Station. Check the website for more details about this unique one-of-a-kind venue.
Mount Anakie Estate (also known as Zambelli Estate) is one of the first vineyards of the modern era in this region, producing vibrantly fruity wines. Try the unusual and delicious red wine made from the Italian Dolcetto, or sample the Cabernet Sauvignon, Rhine Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz, Semillon and Biancone. While visiting the winery, why not have lunch in the rustic style restaurant? It seats 60 people for weekend lunches, and is available for group bookings at other times.
The best waves are often found to the west of the surf lifesaving club. Beware though, the rips here are very dangerous, as former Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt found out in the 1960s, when he disappeared while taking a dip. If you can get there on mid-tide and there is a south-westerly swell with a north-easterly wind, you will find yourself in some pretty good conditions. The beach is quite long, but also very popular with holiday-makers. If the area near the surf club is too busy, a short walk will bring you to a less crowded spot.
Werribee Open Range Zoo's wide plains have that are proved ideal for African, Asian and North American wildlife. The park is home to giraffes, hippos, zebra, antelopes, monkeys and cheetah, as well as native Australian animals such as kangaroos and koalas. Visitors can tour in safari buses to take a closer look at the inhabitants. There are plenty of picnic spots and walking areas if you prefer to do your own thing. The Zoo is part of historic Werribee Park Mansion, which is only a five minute drive away.