Over the weekend the whole family headed down to the Geelong Waterfront. Not exactly a great family holiday for us, as we live 15km away. But, I have this thing about appreciating what’s in our own backyard so I like to get the kiddos down there whenever we can. Added to that, it’s fabulous! Why not go? You should, if you’re in town. Even if you’re not, you should make the effort. You won’t be disappointed, I promise.
Geelong is beautifully situated overlooking Corio Bay. For the longest time, the potential of the waterfront was ignored. It has an industrial history with woolstores and working ports taking up many of the best spots for years. Then someone came to their senses and council has spent a lot of time and money reclaiming the area. Now instead of farm trucks loaded with wool chugging down the streets there are tourists and the lucky locals.
The most kid friendly part of the Geelong Waterfront starts around Cunningham Pier. You can’t miss it, stretching out into Corio Bay and punctuated with a perfectly white restaurant at its end. The restaurant is currently under redevelopment, but when it reopens with a cafe, restaurant and function rooms it will have the most spectacular views of the bay and city. If you never leave this little part of the waterfront you’d still have a fun filled day.
There’s the skate park. I don’t know much about skate parks, but my skating mad nephew tells me it’s the bees knees (my words, not his – obviously). I saw it on TV too, in an interview with an award winning skate park designer, so I figure it’s up there as far as skate parks go.
Younger kids are catered for in this area with a playground, including slides, a climbing rope pyramid and what I like to call Puff the Magic Dragon. He floats along partially submerged in the grass and makes a great climbing frame too.
On the first Sunday of each month the tall ship Enterprize docks at the pier and does 1 hour sails around the bay.
Next to Cunningham Pier is the beautifully restored carousel, in it’s equally impressive “glass house”. The carousel operates every day.
Continuing east around the waterfront past the Geelong Yacht Club and marina is Eastern Beach. Volleyball nets are a permanent fixture on the beach, although they don’t get used much during winter. Nonetheless, the kids love a bit of sand. They seem to be quite happily to dig holes and build sandcastles until the icecream truck beckons.
Then there’s the part of the waterfront that was developed in the old days (the 1930′s is old days now, isn’t it?): a promenade passing by the huge semi-circular ocean swimming pool (free), the kids pool (free) and a new, you beaut playground.
The shore is lovely and grassy with a smattering of tables, although you’d be wise to BYO picnic rug as the tables are taken up pretty quickly. The adjacent Beach House has a cafe and restaurant.
This is the area I like best. There’s so much to keep the kids occupied that hubby and I can lounge back, taking in the beautiful view, and actually speak to each other without being interrupted every 30 seconds. Magic.