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5 Fun Family Ideas Under $20 – Geelong

Geelong’s Waterfront and surrounds make for a fabulous fun-filled family day out, even on a budget – rail, hail or shine!  AND you’re guaranteed to find something for everyone! a man standing next to a dock

Ferry & Stay Package – R Hotel Geelong

by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt  Published April 19th 2021

a tall building in a cityBay, play and stay packages

The first time I saw the Ritz Hotel, I was staying at the Vue Apartments next door. You can see them to the right of the photo above. I looked out and couldn’t take my eyes off an abandoned white building. It was so evocative, a shell of what had once been a magnificent structure, now covered with graffiti and full of rubble. The mysterious comings and goings, suggesting people slept rough here.

I have just learned that the Ritz had been done up and reopened on March 1, 2021, as the ritzy hotel shown. You can stay in the original shell but most of the old building has a modern/hotel ​building sprouting out of the top like a top-heavy mushroom. There are 128 rooms and apartments over nine floors, mostly with views over Geelong’s north-facing waterfront and city skyline.

While they wanted to build up for the views, they couldn’t pull down the old mushroom stalk of a building because it’s a heritage-listed landmark.

 

Why the Building is Heritage Listed

The Ritz Hotel, in the city’s heart, sat dormant for 40 years. It was formerly known as the Belle-Vue Hotel and built circa 1854. It later became a boarding house before falling on hard times. According to the Geelong Independent, the derelict building drew the ire of mayors, councillors, and Geelong residents, who labelled it an eyesore; “Anger over the condition of the building resulted in the December 2014 introduction of a neighbourhood amenity law, nicknamed ‘The Ritz law,’ allowing the council to fine the owners $2000 a month.”

Australia Day in Portarlington – 26 Jan 2021

a group of people sitting at a table holding a baby in a park

The story of Australia:  Reflect, Respect, Celebrate. We’re All Part Of The Story. ‘On Australia Day, we are asked to reflect on our nation’s true history, which began tens of thousands of years ago with the First Australians – the world’s oldest living culture – and on the impact that European settlement had on our First Australians…

Flying Brick Bellarine Sunset Run – 20 Mar 2021

Rachel Scott et al. standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera

Over our first 5 years we’ve found the perfect way to combine some of life’s loves. Many families and friends have ventured to the Bellarine Peninsula to spend a weekend running, eating, drinking, smiling and laughing with friends and love ones. Our family organised run is also an important contributor to Bellarine Community Health Youth…

A Post COVID Guide to Portarlington

a group of people on a beach near a body of water

If we’ve learnt anything over the past few months, it is that there is so much enjoyment to be had from the simple pleasures in life… the explosions of flavour from a great feed, the much-needed breath of fresh air on a mindful walk and the gaggle of giggles from family time. Add to your…

A Post COVID Guide to Geelong

a person standing next to a body of water

Now open to explore, Geelong is ready and raring to give you the grand tour of its wonderful sights and delights. Starting with just a few (because there are many), enjoy the delectable cafes, outdoor spaciousness and adventure awaiting you in G-Town.   The Coffee Scene First and foremost, let’s get you some much-needed sustenance…

A Post COVID Guide to Docklands

a man standing in front of water

Have you missed the soaring skyscrapers, the sensational shops, and the striking stylings of metro Melbourne?  Well great news!  The shops are re-stocked, the baristas are brewing, and the scrapers are definitely soaring.  Metro Melbourne is extremely excited to welcome you back, and with exciting escapades like these, you are going to want to make…

A Day Trippers Guide to Geelong

a group of palm trees

Get out and about for a day of fresh air and fabulousness with a trip across the bay to Geelong.  With Port Phillip Ferries docking into the heart of this gorgeous city, check out these go-getting experiences that await your enjoyment.       Get Playful  Playing host to an extensive range of highly entertaining play spaces, Geelong has four play parks, all within walking distance of the Port Phillip Ferries terminal.   …

A Day Trippers Guide to the Docklands (these school holidays)

a person standing next to a person

Looking to enjoy a day out of the house these school holidays?  Day trip across the bay with your youngsters and have some family fun revelling in the reopened delights of the Docklands…   You may not be able to fly across the county (just yet) but you can certainly fly with Melbourne Star.  Experience…

A Day Trippers Guide to Portarlington

a large ship in a body of water

Escape to Portarlington for the day.  A day of fresh sea air, wide open spaces and friendly faces does wonders!  While you are there, be sure to check out these superb seaside suggestions…   The beautiful bayside of Portarlington is nestled away on the Bellarine, surrounded by stunning coastline and scenic settings.  Discover it all…