Under 50km outside of the Victorian capital of Melbourne, Geelong is a thriving city in its own right. We chat with some of the locals about the events that top Geelong’s annual social calendar.
Running for over 150 years, the Royal Geelong Show is a celebration of the local agricultural and business community. Those travelling with their family will enjoy the huge carnival rides and show bags, while foodies will be able to experience the best produce the region has to offer, direct from the paddock to the plate. The Royal Geelong Show runs in October each year.
The Melbourne Cup might be the race that stops the nation, but the Geelong Cup is known as the social event of the year and acts as the main curtain raiser for the Victorian Spring Racing season. Thousands flock to race track to show off their finest clothes for the opportunity to make the best dressed lists, but if fashion and flutters aren’t your thing, you can visit the tents of larger local restaurants to feast on some of the best that Geelong has to offer. The Geelong Cup is held on the third Wednesday of October.
Heading a half hour from the Geelong city centre you’ll find the famous Bells Beach, home of the Rip Curl Pro surfing competition. This surfing competition is the longest running world championship level contest on the World Tour and is the place to be if you want to see some of the best male and female surfers from all over the world compete for their shot at glory. The Rip Curl Pro is held in April each year.
Celebrate the warm summer weather with the ultimate in relaxing Sunday sessions at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club. This free live music event combines the best local musicians with stand up paddle boarding and sailing. For those not wanting to dip into the water you can still relax with a jug of Pimms on the lawns. Summer Sessions on The Lawn run every Sunday evening from January – March.
Not only does the Festival of Sails hold the title of Victoria’s largest ongoing sporting event, but with over 400 yachts and 4500 competitors it is also the largest annual keel boat regatta in the Southern Hemisphere. Geelong’s magnificent waterfront is transformed into a huge shoreline festival with food, markets and entertainment for the whole family. The Festival of Sails is run over the Australia Day weekend in January each year.
There’s no denying that when it comes to Geelong’s sporting events, they’re all about the AFL. The Cats players are known as Geelong’s favourite sons, with practically every local business showing their support for their home team throughout the season. Locals have steadfastly refused to acknowledge the sponsored renaming of their home grounds, but with recent renovations to increase the amount of seating and to allow them to play night games, you have to experience the Cats playing a home game. The AFL season runs from March to September each year.