15 summer activity ideas
Summer is the time to get out into the great outdoors and indulge your adventurous spirit.
Whether you’re seeking the water or want to soak up the sun, make the most of the sunshine with these outdoor summer activities.
Explore Geelong’s waterfront
Corio Bay faces north and basks in the sun most of the day. That makes it perfect for walks along the water’s edge, taking in gardens, parks, harbours and jetties. Eastern Beach Train Tours operate mini train rides in the area – flag them down and hop on with the kids. Follow it up with a splash in the children’s pool or promenade at Eastern Beach Reserve.
For fun and games, there’s a playground next to a huge skate park near Cunningham Pier. Younger children will enjoy The Carousel – a vintage merry-go-round, the Aero Bounce Bungy Trampolines, or a gentle spin on the Giant Sky Wheel. Water-lovers can book a sailing lesson with the Royal Geelong Yacht Club or get a taste of 1830’s maritime life on the replica 19th century topsail schooner Enterprize Ship when it visits the waterfront on February 3 and 4.
Get out into nature
For a playground that will keep everyone happy, it’s hard to go past the You Yangs Regional Park, known as ‘Wurdi Youang’ in Wadawurrung language, a mass of granite slabs and boulders bubbling up from the Western Plains. Hike its 20km of walking trails (the views from the top of Flinders Peak stretch all the way to Melbourne and Geelong), hang out on rock-climbing routes, or mountain bike 50km of graded, purpose-built tracks.
Geelong Adventure Specialists can have you clambering up rock faces – and flying down – among many other heart racing activities.
Swim with marine life
If you’ve dreamed of swimming with wild dolphins and seals, Sea All Dolphin Swims run unforgettable expeditions from Queenscliff. Even those who’d rather stay dry onboard the boat will have a brilliant time. Scubabo or Bay City Scuba offer dive experiences and snorkelling for beginners and professionals in Port Phillip where marine life thrives.
Cruise the coast in a kombi
Experience the slower pace of life in a 1970s Volkswagen Kombi with Hire a Kombi. As your accommodation is on wheels it makes for the perfect coastal trip where you can wake up to beachside views.
Learn to surf
Turn up the dial and follow the roar of the surf to Ocean Grove with its 10km of beach (Main Beach is patrolled in summer). With beautiful clean water protected by a headland, this is one of the best places to learn to surf in Australia. Instructors at Go Ride a Wave, SeaEarth Adventures or Great Ocean Road Surf Tours can get beginners standing up in no time.
If your skills are already sound, the swell is at its strongest at Point Lonsdale back beach and Thirteenth Beach, an exposed break near Barwon Heads.
If you’re wanting to get a bird’s eye view, Geelong Helicopters offer scenic flights which take-off from the waterfront. Adventure Flight Co operates from Barwon Heads and offers aerobatic flights and aerial tours. Geelong Ballooning and Liberty Balloon Flights will take you up, up and away in a hot air balloon.
Get on your bike
Cyclists are spoilt for choice. Ride the 20km of paths shadowing Geelong’s picturesque Barwon River (the cascading Buckley Falls are a highlight) or hit the Bellarine Rail Trail which runs a scenic 35km from South Geelong to Queenscliff.
For some rewards as you ride, Cycling Vine Tours will personalise a Bellarine foodie adventure on two wheels for you or hire an electric bike with Bella E-Bike and make your own way.
Sample fine wine in the sunshine
Geelong and The Bellarine is one of Australia’s leading wine making regions with its rich basalt soils over limestone base. And of course, wine tastes best when paired with a view so choose between a backdrop of captivating blue water on The Bellarine or the rolling green hills of the Moorabool Valley.
Many wineries make the most of their scenic location with outdoor dining options, explore the many options here.
Try your luck fishing
If you’re an eagle-eye for catching fish, the piers at Queenscliff, Portarlington and Point Lonsdale are great for dangling a line in search of whiting, salmon, snapper, flathead or squid. To launch into deeper waters, rent a tinny from Clifton Springs Boat Hire or head out with the likes of Gone Fishing Charters or Queenscliff Fishing Charters and Scenic Tours. In Bass Strait you might even hook a mako shark.
Calm bays perfect for SUPing
At Barwon Heads the wide, sheltered estuary flanked by sand flats sees the Barwon River flow out to sea forming a playground just made for stand-up paddle boarding. Hire a board with Paddle Life Barwon Heads. Or head to Geelong’s waterfront on calmer days and follow the water’s edge.
Dine on freshly plucked Portarlington mussels
Portarlington is the place for mussels. Jump aboard a restored Huon pine boat and pluck your own ‘fresh as fresh’ mussels with Portarlington Mussel Tours, or just sit back and watch the action. You’ll be joined by a mussel farmer, a cook and a deckhand who’ve mastered the art of cultivating and dishing up some of the finest mussels in Australia.
Pick your own berries
You can’t get any fresher than picking your own berries and it’s a great way to show children where their food comes from… and how good it can taste. You can pick your own blueberries and strawberries at Tuckerberry Hill Berry Farm or strawberries at Surf Coast Strawberries.
For more makers and growers on the coast, check out the Bellarine Taste Trail.
Splash about in Victoria’s largest water park
Adventure Park is a huge water playground and theme park – arrive early to snag a banana lounge or book a cabana, it’s going to be a big day! The waterslides are brilliant, the adults will have just as much fun as the kids. The season runs from November to March
Have a hit at mini golf
Children and adults will enjoy tackling the 18-hole courses at Bellarine Adventure Golf. Choose from The Mill course or The Mountain course, weaving in and around gardens, creeks and waterfalls. Keep an eye out for resident cockatoo Simon as well as possums, frogs and kookaburras. There’s a great playground and coffee.
The mini-golf at The Range @ Curlewis is another fantastic option. Navigate water, rocks and tunnels as you try your luck on this two-tiered course – go for the glow in the dark balls after sunset.
Have a summer picnic
Stock up on local produce at Wildings Pantry, Wallington’s Local Pantry or Annie’s Provedore and Produce Store and head to popular picnic spots along the river in Barwon Heads, at The Dell in Clifton Springs or at one of the many grassy spots at Geelong’s waterfront.
Or let someone else organise and join Lon Retreat‘s summer daytime and twilight picnics with various dates until the end of February. Grab some pre-packed goodies and get cosy on their lush grounds beside the bay.