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The Regional Events Capital of Victoria: Geelong & the Bellarine

September 13, 2016 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

Victoria’s largest regional city, Geelong, along with its neighbouring areas, The Bellarine and Moorabool Valley, is home to an amazing year-round calendar of events.


Visitors to the region can choose from an impressive line-up of events that include everything from music to motoring, world class cycling and golf championships, along with seafood, beer, wine and cultural events.

Here is a taste of what’s to come over the next 12 months;

Geelong Cup – 19 October, 2016

The Geelong Cup is an historic race, run since 1872 and held over a distance of 2400 metres. It is traditionally held on the Wednesday after the Caulfield Cup and 13 days prior to the Melbourne Cup. Attracting crowds of between 15,000-20,000 people, the event has hosted several Melbourne Cup winners ahead of the Cup itself. A great day out for family and race-goers alike.

Where: Geelong Racing Club, Breakwater Road, East Geelong

When: 19 October, 2016

Tickets: Tickets are available online or at the gate from $20 for adults and $10 for concession


Toast to the Coast – 29-30 October, 2016

Held over the Melbourne Cup long weekend, Toast to the Coast offers two days of wine, festivities and fun. It includes more than 25 wineries from the Geelong region and showcases the area’s cool climate wines and local produce, with activities held across The Bellarine, Moorabool Valley and Surf Coast. Meet the makers and growers of the family owned, estate grown and hand crafted local wines.

Where: Various locations throughout The Bellarine, Moorabool Valley and Surf Coast

When: 29-30 October, 2016

Tickets: $45 per adult (purchase online)


Queenscliff Music Festival – 25-27 November, 2016

The iconic Queenscliff Music Festival hosts an amazing line-up of local and international talent. Boasting legendary acts Ben Harper & The Innocent CriminalsPeter Garrett & The Alter EgosPaul Kelly & Charlie OwenGeorge,AlpineUrthboy and Ash Grunwald, and a swag of other huge talent. Australian favourite Killing Heidi, Australia’s 90s indie pop darlings, will also reunite for their first show in ten years. International stars include ‘Queen of the Minor Key’ Eilen Jewell (USA), gritty groovers Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer (CAN) and Memphis’ musical marvel Julien Baker (USA). A must for any music lover.

Where: Princess Park, Queenscliff Foreshore Reserve and various venues in Queenscliff

When: 25-27 November, 2016

Tickets: Single day, three day and camping tickets available starting from $55 for adults.


Geelong Revival Motoring Festival – 25-27 November, 2016

Held on the stunning Geelong waterfront, this weekend of motoring action will showcase more than 600 quirky, valuable and fascinating vehicles. Take pole position for the historical quarter-mile sprints as 400 classic cars and motorbikes sprint down Ritchie Boulevard at full throttle. There will be a Friday night cruise, vintage fashion awards, music, and great food offerings. The Geelong Revival Motoring Festival offers a great weekend of family entertainment.

Where: Geelong Waterfront, Geelong

When: 25-27 November, 2016

Tickets: Spectators can view the cars and join the waterfront activities at no cost. Tickets to pit lane and VIP are available online.

Meredith Music Festival – 9-11 December, 2016
For the 26th year, this iconic three-day, two-night, musical odyssey will be held in the Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre in the Moorabool Valley. The ever popular event will include a range of amazing and talented artists such as Peaches, Triffids, Kelela and more.

Where: Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre, Mount Mercer Road, Meredith

When: 9-11 December, 2016
Via ballot online


Portarlington Mussel Festival – 14 January, 2017

The annual Portarlington Mussel Festival, held in the idyllic seaside town of Portarlington, offers great all day family entertainment with an assortment of gourmet stalls, cooking demonstrations, live music and roaming entertainment. Around 10 tonne of cooked and fresh mussels are expected to be sold at the festival from more than 150 stallholders.

Where: Newcombe Street, Portarlington

When: 14 January, 2017

Tickets: Entry to the festival is $2 and is payable on arrival


Festival of Sails – 21-24 January, 2017

Australia’s oldest sporting event and the largest regatta in the southern hemisphere, the Festival of Sails, returns to Geelong’s stunning waterfront. Each year more than 3,000 competitors, 300 boats and 100,000 visitors flock to Geelong to soak up the atmosphere. Whether you are a sailor or a spectator looking for some fun with the family, there is something on offer for everyone. There is live music, market stalls, food and wine areas, a regional summer boat show, free family friendly activities and a Discover Sailing program just to name a few. The shore-side activities rival the spectacular sailing. The festival finishes with a fireworks display on Australia Day.

Where: Geelong Waterfront, Geelong

When: 21-24 January, 2017


Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race – 27-29 January, 2017

The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race offers a weekend of world-class cycling and entertainment including events for athletes and novices alike. Cyclists can join Cadel Evans himself in the People’s Ride which starts and finishes in Geelong. It takes participants through some of the most beautiful and iconic areas of Victoria’s Bellarine, including some of Cadel’s favourite riding routes. There are long and short courses available for all fitness levels. Tens of thousands of fans line the streets to cheer on the best male and female cyclists from Australia and around the world on both days, with the weekend culminating in the men’s race on the Sunday. In just its third year, the 174km men’s one-day classic has reached the pinnacle of road cycling, having successfully secured a place on the coveted UCI WorldTour racing calendar from 2017 – 2019.

Where: Geelong, Barwon Heads, Torquay

When: 27-29 January, 2017


Oates Vic Open Golf Championships – 9-12 February, 2017

Australia’s best golfers and an array of international talent will play at the Oates Vic Open hosted by Thirteenth Beach Golf Links in Barwon Heads. The Oates Vic Open is an integral event on the PGA Australasia and ALPG Tour schedule and is a 72-hole competition. Prize money is evenly split between the men and women. This event is one of only two tournaments in the world which allows both men and women to compete in the same event (with both a men’s and women’s prize pool).

Where: Thirteenth Beach Golf Links, 1732 Barwon Heads Road, Barwon Heads

When: 9-12, February 2017

Tickets: Day pass $5, Season Pass $15, Parking $5 per car


Great Australian Beer Festival – 18 February 2017

Lovers of a fine brew can spend an afternoon sipping, sampling and tasting over 200 craft beers and ciders on offer at Australia’s biggest alfresco craft beer and cider garden. Returning to the Geelong Racecourse, the Great Australian Beer Festival introduces attendees to the many facets of craft beer, with workshops and demonstrations on how to combine beer with food. Plenty of tastings will also be on offer. The amber ale can be enjoyed with organic local gourmet foods, live music, vibrant cabaret, indie stalls and visual arts.

Where: Geelong Racecourse, 99 Breakwater Road, Geelong

When: 18 February, 12pm to 8pm

Tickets:  Are available online.


Pako Festa – 25 February 2017

The unique and popular Pako Festa is Geelong’s much loved, award-winning, free, annual community arts festival. Held on the last weekend of February, the event takes over Geelong’s west end of cosmopolitan Pakington Street – the multicultural heart of Geelong. The event incorporates an extravagant street parade with floats and hundreds of performers representing ethnic communities and other community groups and organisations. The street is lined with stalls selling traditional foods and arts and crafts.

Where: Pakington Street, Geelong West

When: 25 February 2017

Tickets: Entry to Pako Festa is free


Avalon International Airshow3–5 March, 2017
The ever-popular Australian International Airshow returns to Avalon Airport, promising to thrill the crowds as pilots take their crafts to the extreme. The thrust and grunt of the latest military heavy metal will take centre stage at Airshow 2017. The stars of the show will be state-of-the-art jet fighters, bombers and giant heavy lift leviathans from home and abroad. See them so close you could almost touch them. Brace for the experience of a lifetime as you marvel at the latest military jet fighters and bombers and attack helicopters, vintage warbirds and the barnstorming antics. Witness air power in action and enjoy a totally unforgettable day out for the entire family.

Where: Avalon Airport, 80 Beach Road, Lara
When: 3-5 March, 2017
Tickets: $65 for adults, $50 for concession and $30 for children (under 5 free) throughTicketmaster.

Golden Plains Music Festival – 11-13 March, 2017

Golden Plains is a much loved music festival, taking place over the March long weekend. Over three days at the Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre, a world-class eclectic and exotic music line up performs for thousands of music fans from near and far.

Where: Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre, Mount Mercer Road, Meredith

When:  11-13 March, 2017


Lara Food & Wine Festival – 26 March 2017

Local food and wine from the greater Geelong region will be showcased at the annual Lara Food & Wine Festival. Taking place at the historic Pirra Homestead just outside Geelong, the family friendly event also features an art show and photo competition and plenty of children’s activities.

Where: Pirra Homestead, 110 Windermere Road, Lara

When:  26 March, 2017

Tickets:  $5 for adults and free entry for children under 18.


Geelong After Dark – 5 May, 2017

When Geelong’s ‘one night only’ arts event – ‘Geelong After Dark’ – comes to town, the heart of the city comes alive with free pop-up performances, mini-exhibitions and installations. The arts event features a night of discovery and sharp and edgy art, as contemporary spaces by day transform at night into something exciting and unexpected.  The city centre, its streets, laneways, intersections, cafes and cultural institutions act as a canvas to present works from all disciplines. Attendees can expect vibrant projection art, underground and street performances, circus performers, installations, travelling artworks and much more.

Where: Central Geelong

When: 6 May, 2017


National Celtic Festival – 9-12 June, 2017

The National Celtic Festival is hosted in the seaside town of Portarlington on The Bellarine over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. Regarded as the Southern Hemisphere’s largest and most diverse celebration of Celtic music and culture, the festival incorporates music, song, dance, theatre workshops and more. Festival goers can discover the fascinating cultures of the seven unique Celtic lands, delve into their own Celtic heritage or learn about the Celts who came from across the seas to help shape Australia into what it is today.

Where: Portarlington

When: 9-12 June, 2017 (June long weekend)

Tickets: available online


For more information about events taking place around Geelong and the Bellarine go

A selection of high resolution images are available via drop box here.

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