One of Geelong's unique bollard characters which make Geelong a unique and unmissable experience

8 things unique to Geelong and The Bellarine

From one-of-a-kind entertainment to quirky characters, here are 8 experiences exclusively unique to Geelong and The Bellarine.

Geelong is a proud coastal city, boasting a charming landscape full of daring fixtures, spectacular features and unique experiences.

Mythical creatures and cheese trains, Geelong unveils its distinct character with these one-of-a-kind attractions.

Fairy Park

Where: 2388 Ballan Road, Anakie

The fairytale fantasy of Fairy Park is ingrained as a childhood rite of passage for Geelong locals.

Appearing through the tree-lined, winding stretch of Ballan Road, perched atop a spectacular granite outcrop born of prehistoric volcanic activity, is a castle guarded by a green glistening dragon.

Beyond these castle walls the pages of Grimm lore and the Disney dynasty come to life in this magical storytelling theme park.

Wandering from the mushroom home of the happy gnomes and finishing at the wonderland tea party with Alice, Fairy Park jumps from storybook to storybook, collecting princesses, Snow White and her seven dwarves, Cinderella, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel, on the way, and gathering furry friends from nursery rhymes Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks and her three bears and the bears of the Teddy Bears Picnic.

As Australia’s very first themed attraction opening in 1959, Fairy Park is a beloved attraction of the region.

Two kids with their dad sitting atop unicorn statues at having a unique experience only found at fairy park geelong
Fairy Park

The Sphinx Hotel

Where: 2 Thompson Road, North Geelong

Geelong brings ancient Egypt to town with our very own Sphinx at the aptly named Sphinx Hotel. Nestled in North Geelong and standing 15 metres tall, this mythical creature with the head of a human, the body of a lion, and the wings of an eagle is a replica of the Great Sphinx of Giza, only it doubles as a one-stop entertainment venue.

The building has not only hosted many live music acts, but it has also been a backdrop to several music videos and the cover art for many albums including Client Liaison’s 2014 clip for ‘Free of Fear’. You’ll also be able to grab a bite to eat for lunch and dinner at the bistro seven days a week and kids can run amuck in the playground.

Unique dining and entertainment experience in Geelong. The Sphinx Hotel North Geelong
Sphinx

The Blues Train

Where: 20 Symonds Street, Queenscliff

With the tagline, “Shake, Rattle and Roll”, Queenscliff’s rocking railway is a mini festival on wheels.

The Blues Train takes a scenic return-route through the Bellarine, providing an onboard dining and drinking experience to the sound of blistering blues bands.

Broken into sections with intervals at station stops, The Blues Train leads into an epic final leg of the journey where you can dance your feet off! For a unique Australian experience, bookings are required, with artist announcements on the website.

People enjoying the unique travel and entertainment experience upon the Blues Train Geelong
The Blues Train

Queenscliff Golf Club

Where: Golf Course Road, Point Lonsdale

Heading back out to Queenscliff is a golfer and history buffs delight.

In 1907, Championship player, Mr. Banks, set sight on Swan Island, deeming it the perfect location for a five-hole course.

In 1913, the course became Department of Defence lands, with keen golfers still required to pass military grounds to access what is now an 18-hole course with stunning views across Port Phillip.

The island is also one of the last remaining homes of the rare orange-bellied parrot.

Please note: You must have a booking to access the golf course.

A man sits in a golf buggy overlooking Swan Bay on the course and Queenscliff Golf Club.
Queenscliff Golf Club

Splatters Cheese Bar

Where: 168 Pakington Street, Geelong West

“Ride on the Cheese Train” was a fantastic lyric from Cat Stevens.. Oh wait that was a Peace Train…alas Geelong have redefined the tune thanks to Pakington Street’s Splatters Cheese Bar.

Unlike The Blues Train, you won’t need to jump into a carriage to enjoy Splatters signature cheese train which rolls by you for artisan cheese tasting. Like a sushi train but swapping out the sashimi for gouda and brie.

Hailed as Australia’s first and only cheese train, You can also indulge in cheese boards or hang out with a cocktail in the Garden of Edam.

Patrons enjoying a unique tasting experience at Splatters Geelong
Splatters Cheese Bar

Queenscliff High Light

Where: Fort Queenscliff Museum, Queenscliff

Remaining in Queenscliff, Queenscliff High Light is another unique site.

When picturing a lighthouse, the associated exterior colour is often white—well not old mate Queenscliff High Light.

In direct contrast, standing on Queenscliff’s edge is the only black lighthouse in the southern hemisphere, one of three to exist worldwide.

With Fort Queenscliff built around the fixture, this still operational lighthouse is not only a rarity but is said to have housed the first public telephone in Victoria, and is further famed by its mention in Henry Handel Richardson’s book The Getting of Wisdom.

Visit the Fort Queenscliff Museum to learn the history of the area and have a tour around the unique lighthouse.

Queenscliff High Light, black lighthouse, perched atop the end of the coast. The pier is infront across the water.
Queenscliff High Light

Bollard Trail

Where: Geelong Waterfront

Have you ever felt like you were being watched at Geelong Waterfront It’s probably because the Eastern Beach Road path is lined with repurposed timber from old piers shaped and painted as characters. Meet the unique bollards of Geelong that overlook our waterfront and city!

Painted as figures who played a part in Geelong’s history, over 100 wooden statues form the 1995 installed Bollard Trail.

Made by artist Jan Mitchell, you will come across lifeguards at the promenade, surveyor Ian MacDonald, a Geelong Footballer, the founding editor of Geelong Advertiser, James Harrison, and the Sisters of Mercy nuns down at St Helen’s.

The trail runs from Rippleside Park all the way to Limeburners Point.

Experience all of Geelong's Unique characters with the Bollard Trail
Bollard Trail

The Carousel

Where: 1 Eastern Beach Road, Geelong

Moorabool Street rolls straight through the town centre down into the waterfront swells where our famed Carousel lives. Housed inside a pavilion, this Armitage-Herschell portable steam-driven, hand-carved wooden carousel was constructed circa 1892 and is one of only 200 in operation around the world.

Having been restored to include wheelchair access, this 36-dare horse and 2-chariot fixture mesmerisingly circles with bay views in what is a truly magical and unique experience for the family.

Young girl enjoying herself on the Geelong Carousel, the original hardware creating a unique memory experience
Carousel Geelong

This article originally appeared on fortemag.com.au and has been republished and modified in partnership with Visit Geelong & The Bellarine.

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