Extending around the bay, the Geelong Waterfront is a gorgeous place to visit year round with waterfront restaurants and cafes, walking tracks, swimming areas and plenty of gardens for picnics and BBQs. However summer is when shines, the roof top bar goes off, restaurants throw open their huge windows, people wander the foreshore with icecreams and families enjoy the grassy areas.
There is no place in Geelong more full of atmosphere than the Geelong Foreshore on a balmy daylight savings summer night!
Things to Do on and near the Geelong Waterfront
Visit the Botanic Gardens
The Geelong botanic gardens are definitely worth visiting if you are interested in plants or just enjoy walking through or relaxing amongst trees, gardens and flowers. There is a series of paths around the outside of the gardens and crisscrossing through the middle, taking you through a fern garden, vibrant flower walk (at the right time of the year) as well as a hot house with beautiful tropical indoor plants to further feed your list of plants to add to the indoor plant collection.
There is also a cafe on site amongst the gardens or take your own picnic and relax on the lawn.
The Geelong Botanical Gardens and the outdoor tables at the cafe are dog friendly on lead.
Swimming at Eastern Beach
There are several options for swimming at Eastern Beach. You can swim in the bay but there are also two designated swimming areas, the swimming area inside the Eastern Beach Promenade and the enclosed sea bath area which is called the Childrens Pool on the map/info(but anyone can swim in this pool).
According to the city of Greater Geelong, there are lifeguards on duty during the summer months and there are also changerooms and toilets near the childrens pool.
Eastern Beach Playground
If you have kids there is also a playground adjacent to the swimming areas, giving you plenty of options to entertain the family. I am currently developing a photo guide to Geelongs Playgrounds.
Picnic and BBQ
There are plenty of picnic areas on the Geelong foreshore with tables and BBQs all over Eastern Beach and up in Eastern Gardens. They can be popular on sunny days in summer so get in early if you have something special planned.
Walk the Dog
Dogs are allowed on lead around much of the Geelong foreshore (with the exception of playground/built swimming areas and some parts of the beach) so you can for a stroll and enjoy the views and bollards with your doggo.
Popular with families and for kids birthdays the carousel is a reasonably priced ($5 per kid at June 2023) paid activity if your looking to splash out on a paid activity.
Ferris Wheel – Seasonal in warmer months only
Named the Giant Sky Wheel by the council, I have never done this because I am a big giant wuss who hates heights. But given its location, this paid activity will have great views over the Geelong foreshore.
Operated out of the Yarra Street pier a helicopter ride gives you a birds eye view of the Geelong area.
Fishing is popular from the pier and foreshore area.
Sailing is a popular activity out of the marina and the Royal Geelong Yacht Club runs adult learn to sail courses if you are keen to learn something new.
Geelong Waterfront Bars with a View Restaurants and Cafes
Sailors Rest Roof Top Bar & Lounge Bar
Sailors Rest has the first waterfront rooftop bar on Geelongs foreshore. The rooftop bar tends to be a bit more of a louder, party vibe some nights (not always, more when theres events and traditional weekend evenings) while the lounge bar on the middle level with balconies tends to be a bit more chilled out while still having great views so you can pick the option that suits you visit best.
Novotel Terrace Bar
This one is still on my list to try out but similar to the lounge bar above its a second level balcony with a relaxed atmosphere and views over the Geelong Waterfront.
Perhaps the lesser known of the two, it’s sure to get busier over time given its great location and the Novotel has just finished renovating its downstairs restaurant )which prior to its renovations felt like a canteen) but post renovation is rebranded as Tempo Kitchen and Bar and has great views of the waterfront over the road, attentive staff and warm and inviting decor with a range of tables and booths.
The Wah Bah is a bar located out on Cunningham Pier, the pier on Geelong’s Waterfront, so it offers a different perspective of water views, looking back over the bay towards Geelong Foreshore.
Geelong Restaurants and Cafes – coming soon
Breakfast Restaurants and Cafes