Australia Day weekend celebrations in Central Geelong

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Order delicious picnic fare from Cafe Go. (Pictures: Supplied)

With Christmas and New Year’s now a distant memory for most, many of us are looking to the next reason to get together with friends and family … cue Australia Day!

Although there won’t be the usual Australia Day fireworks and festivities this year, there are plenty of venues, businesses and services across Central Geelong to help you enjoy a fun and memorable Australia Day weekend.

Celebrate in Central Geelong

Several of Central Geelong’s restaurants, bars and pubs are hosting functions and gatherings to celebrate Australia Day.

The historic Sailors’ Rest, on the corner of Moorabool Street and Eastern Beach Road, is inviting you to a free, rooftop party on Australia Day eve, Monday, January 25 from 3pm. Enjoy live entertainment from Coco Du Ma & Friends and stunning views of the Geelong Waterfront. Details: www.sailorsrestgeelong.com.au.

Piano Bar Geelong’s wonderfully energetic and elevating entertainment never disappoints.Its Australia Day eve event offers classic Piano Bar enjoyment with superstar pianists and vocalists who will take your requests and play your favourites right through until midnight. Book your table online at www.pianobargroup.checkfront.com/reserve

Sweet Cheeks, located above Parma Bar in Yarra Street, is hosting a ‘Hottest Rooftop 100 Summer Party’ from midday on Saturday, January 23. It’s a celebration of music from 2020 and the Australia Day long weekend. This gorgeous new cocktail and dessert lounge serves sensational drinks and desserts produced in house by the Sweet Cheeks pastry chef. For more details or to book visit the Sweet Cheeks Facebook page or www.sweetcheeksgeelong.com.au

The Inn Hotel in Corio Street is hosting its Australia Day Eve Car Park Party on Monday January 25 from 1pm. With live music, food, summer cocktails and an open-air dance floor you can dance the day and night away. 
Details: www.theinnhotel.com.au

Recess Bar + Eats invites you to a bottomless dinner and drag show on Sunday, January 24 from 6pm. Gather your friends (maximum of six per booking) and book a table for five courses and two hours of premium beverage service followed by drag show entertainment from Lady J and the Go Go Dancers from 8pm. Bookings essential at www.recessbarandeats.com/eats

For a slower pace, why not meander through the Geelong Gallery, one of Australia’s leading and oldest regional art galleries and home to a number of iconic Australian paintings? If you’ve always planned to visit, this Australia Day weekend may be the opportune time to drop in. Free entry and open daily from 10am – 5pm (check opening times on public holidays) Details: www.geelonggallery.org.au

Or discover more about Australia’s rich history in the wool industry at the National Wool Museum (NWM), Australia’s only comprehensive museum of wool.

Located on the corner of Moorabool and Brougham streets, the NWM is open from 10am-3pm, seven days a week. 
Details: www.geelongaustralia.com.au/nwm

Fancy a barbecue or picnic in the park?

If you’d like to celebrate with a traditional Aussie barbecue, Eastern Beach Reserve is a much-loved location for many over the Australia Day long weekend. With its historic and magnificently restored art deco swimming enclosure, surrounding gardens, public barbecues, playgrounds and amenities, Eastern Beach Reserve has everything you need to create a great Australia Day out with friends and family. Pool lifeguards are on duty daily from 11am-6pm.

While you’re down there, the Beach House Kiosk is open 7am-9pm (summer hours) to help you out with ice cold drinks or piping hot coffees (and more!).

You can pick up your barbecue essentials from The Fresh Food Merchant in Malop Street. The ‘From the Butcher’ range includes mince meat, sausages, chicken, hamburgers, cevapi and more and the range of delicious fresh fruit and vegetables, deli and pantry items will help you pull together a fantastic, all-round Australia Day feast.

For some delicious sweets after lunch, drop by Ferguson Plarre Bakehouse in Westfield Geelong. The bakehouse’s French éclairs and yoyos have had an Aussie makeover. Select from a Davidson plum and coconut éclair, a finger lime and pear éclair or a Kakadu plum and mango éclair. Yoyo’s have been transformed with lemon myrtle shortbread and a drizzle of Davidson plum chocolate. Check out the range at www.fergusonplarre.com.au/geelong

If you’re thinking more of a picnic than a barbecue, why not order some delicious picnic fare from Café Go’s range of ‘GO on the GO’ options? Located on Bellerine Street, it has a huge selection of ‘to go’ choices including a large-sized antipasto box, delectable pork and apple sausage rolls or daily baked scrumptious quiches and house-made muffins. And for a special treat, indulge yourself with a ‘Mixed Sweets Box’.

For a quintessential picnic experience head to Geelong’s iconic Johnstone Park with big open spaces and undulating lawn providing plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy the sunshine.

Add some extra fun to your barbecue or picnic with Big W’s range of Australia Day decorations including tableware and bunting, flags, stickers and costume props. Details: www.bigw.com.au/

Full list of public parks and playgrounds in Central Geelong: www.centralgeelong.com.au

Long Weekend get-away

For many of us, the Australia Day long weekend means camping!

Grab last minute equipment and supplies for your camping adventure from Kathmandu, on the corner of Moorabool and Malop streets. From apparel, to camping and hiking gear, footwear, accessories, equipment and more, Kathmandu’s got you covered.Details: www.kathmandu.com.au

You can also find high quality and multi-functional clothing for your outdoor adventure at the Patagonia Outlet in Moorabool Street. Here you’ll find environmentally-kind and socially responsible bargains to last a lifetime. Visit www.patagonia.com

However you choose to celebrate, please remember to follow the government guidelines relating to physical distancing, hygiene and gathering restrictions when visiting Central Geelong.

For more information on events and activities in Central Geelong visit www.centralgeelong.com.au, follow us at #LoveCentralGeelong or download the Love Central Geelong App.

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