A guide to the emerging Federal Mills precinct

One of Geelong’s newest precincts is firmly rooted in the past. Federal Mills started out in 1915 as the city’s biggest industrial operation at the time – woollen mills pumping out fabric and making everything from fashion clothes to military uniforms. Now the heritage-listed complex is a hub of cool that makes the most of its industrial architecture with plenty of old red brick and high-ceilinged spaces.

Situated in North Geelong (only a kilometre from the Spirit of Tasmania terminal), and with free parking, it’s easy to drop in for a visit.

Geelong Vintage Market

Treasure hunters head to Geelong Vintage Market to trawl its cavernous 2,000 sqm for vintage clothing, furniture, books, records, antiques and collectables. Onsite is The Pickers Union, a funky café dishing up tasty treats for breaky and lunch – anything from shakshuka to bao buns.

1915 Restaurant & Bar

What was once the mill’s boiler house is now a restaurant and bar serving up Mediterranean-inspired dishes, cocktails and wine. Sit down and soak up its impressively high vaulted ceiling, arched windows and red brick walls from the ground floor or mezzanine levels.

Anther Distillery

In the same building that houses 1915 (beneath the brick chimney) is Anther Distillery. “Curiosity, bottled” is how they describe themselves and they’re certainly not afraid to experiment with their botanicals. Book a tasting or enjoy a few drinks alongside the shiny stills.

Popcultcha Gallery

This place is absolute nirvana for anyone interested in action figures (including life sized ones!) collectables, comics and loads more. Even if you’re not in the market yourself, it’s an impressive place to visit and marvel at the hundreds (thousands?) of figurines on display.

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