Geelong, Australia

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Geelong Guide – Spend Less, Do More

Sunrise Over Eastern BeachMelbournians might not say good things about it (mostly because they strongly dislike their AFL team), but you can't deny Victoria's second largest city, Geelong, has a much nicer waterfront than Melbourne. And indeed that's where you, like so many tourists before you, started your Geelong holiday. Situated on Corio Bay, you'll swear you're in Melbourne with all the quirky statues, artworks and installations (the entire state of Victoria must just be filled with artists). Our personal favourites are the wooden bollards depicting the inhabitants of Geelong from the original Indigenous people right up to the contemporary locals.

After that it was time for a wander around the beautiful Geelong Botanic Gardens. You needed to kill some time before the main event of the evening and you couldn't complain – the natural beauty took your breath away. But then night fell and that meant only one thing in Victoria – AFL. Wearing your navy and white merchandise that you picked up earlier in the day, you screamed your lungs out at Kardinia Park – it must have worked, because the Cats won! As you headed off to a bar to celebrate with some newfound mates, you decided Geelong was a pretty good town to explore – the Melbournians were just jealous – and you couldn't wait for the next lot of surprises it would throw at you.

Paris might be the city of love…

But that doesn't mean you can't charm that special someone with a unique foodie date in Geelong. Forget fancy and expensive fine-dining options, it's all about atmosphere and ambiance for some of the quirkiest cafés you can find in Geelong. Down the Alley is right up the alley (no pun intended) of breakfast lovers with their all-day menu. Is your date a classic Melbournian hipster who has strict dietary needs? No problem – Down the Alley has you covered with an abundance of gluten free, vegan and vegetarian options to satisfy everyone.

Want something slightly more romantic? Well Casanova, look no further than Café Go. Serving similar fare to Down the Alley, this quaint café is known as much for its food as it is for its comforting open fires. Make sure you request a seat right by it, so the mood is just right. With exquisite options like these, you won't ever have to worry about date night again!

It's time to kick things up a notch

Geelong Coastline Early MorningAt the granite ridges known as the You Yangs is the place to start. One activity that's sure to get your blood racing and your heart pumping – mountain bike riding! The Stockyards area is where most of the mountain bike trails start but be warned: some of the trails include fast runs, ramps and rock gardens so beginners take care to notice the signs so you don't stray out of your depth. But if that doesn't faze you, you'll be treated to the fresh air activity that will excite your senses to the umpteenth degree. So grab your bike and start riding!

The water was too cold at Corio Bay but you really wanted to go swimming

So it's a good thing you saved so much on your Geelong waterfront apartment. Now you can afford to splash out (pun very much intended) on Adventure Park, Victoria's biggest theme park! Speed down the six-lane Aqua Racer at up to 40km/hr - it's not fair though, dad always seems to win (speed equals mass times acceleration, you suppose).

But after that, dad wanted a slightly less intense form of exercise. So you and the family decided to jump in the car and head down the Great Ocean Road to Anglesea – dad had heard about the golf club there! But don't worry; the rest of you will want to stay in Anglesea too – with so much to do, the question really is what can't you do in Anglesea. Galleries, cycling trails, surfing, horse riding, fresh markets - there's so many activities you'll never want to leave.

Spend Less, Do More

Your Cheaperthanhotels Team

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