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Moving to our region

About Geelong

The City of Greater Geelong covers 1245km2 with a contrast of landscapes including urban, country and coastal. Only 75 kilometres outside Melbourne CBD, Geelong has become a popular tourist destination. Elements of the region includes a bustling city centre framed by water which includes the multi-award winning waterfront, the Bellarine Peninsula, the Barwon River that runs through the region and it is also the gateway to the world-renowned Great Ocean Road.

Geelong is Victoria’s second largest city after Melbourne with a population of over 245,000 people and a forecast that shows it will grow a further 150,000 people within the next 20 years. The local government has placed a great emphasis on innovation, employment and economic growth in the Geelong region. The city has a broad industry of 17,000 businesses and a labour force of 110,632 (2016 Census estimate). The sector includes health and allied services, education and research, advanced manufacturing, tourism, agribusiness, construction and professional services.

With a low commute time, affordable house prices and a booming infrastructure, Geelong is a city difficult to compete with. The region is bounded by the Moorabool Shire, the Borough of Queenscliffe, Golden Plains Shire and Surf Coast Shire and Bass Strait. At Geelong's core sits Barwon Health, the state's largest regional health service with 23 sites and over 7000 staff.

Visa requirements and immigration

The Department of Health is offering $13,000 to International health workers to assist with relocation until June 2023. For interstate nurses and midwives we can also offer some accommodation support and salary packaging for relocation reimbursements. We have partnered with Deakin University to assist with accommodation packages that are available for eligible nurses looking to move to our region. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

To work in Australia, you need to either be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, New Zealand Permanent Resident or have a valid visa that has full working rights for Australia such as a family-sponsored visa. If none of these categories apply to you then you will require to be sponsored on a Skilled Regional Visa

Further detail on Immigrating to Australia can be found with The Department of Home Affairs Immigration Department of Australia.

Skilled migration

A skilled workforce is essential to the future success of Barwon Health. The pending skills shortage and changes to increased competition of health workers in the local market will mean the increase in recruiting skills from overseas. Barwon Health also relies on overseas workers that have immigrated through pathways such as family, student, holiday, independent skilled visas.

It is a requirement that all employees have valid working rights in Australia. Find out more about skilled migration in Victoria here

To find out more about living in Geelong click here.

Housing market

Geelong’s property market offers a range of lifestyle choices including inner-city, coastal, suburban and rural homes.

Below are a list of Geelong suburbs within their specified locations:

  • Central Geelong – Geelong, Newtown and South Geelong
  • Bayside – Drumcondra, Rippleside and North Shore
  • Westside – Geelong West, Manifold Heights, Herne Hill, Fyansford, Hamlyn Heights
  • Northside – Bell Park, Bell Post Hill, Batesford, North Geelong, Norlane, Corio, Lovely Banks
  • Eastside – East Geelong, Newcomb, Breakwater, Whittington, St Albans Park, Moolap and Leopold
  • South of the river – Belmont, Highton, Wandana Heights, Ceres, Grovedale, Waurn Ponds, Marshall and Armstrong Creek
  • Bellarine – Barwon Heads, Ocean Grove, Wallington, Drysdale, Clifton Springs and Portarlington
  • Surf Coast – Torquay, Jan Juc/Bellbrae, Airey’s Inlet, Fairhaven and Anglesea

For more information on Geelong suburbs click here


Pre-School / Kindergarten

The Victorian kindergarten program is a duration of one to two years prior to entering primary school. Children are eligible to attend kindergarten if they are 4 years of age on or before April 30. Kindergarten placements are generally in high demand and spots are limited, therefore it is important that parents register their child directly through their local kindergarten. Fees for kindergartens vary depending on location and organisation. Click here for more information.

Primary and secondary schooling

Geelong offers a wide range of public and private education throughout the region. In Victoria, secondary schooling begins for children at the age of 12 years old. Public education in Victoria is considered a ‘free’ education, however may still be associated with some costs such as school levy, uniform, excursions and some books. Private schooling throughout the Geelong region starts from around $2000 per child, per year.

To view secondary schooling colleges within the Geelong region, click here.

University, TAFE and Colleges

Geelong offers a range of educational opportunities including university, TAFE and college. Its unique range of pathways to education makes Geelong a popular destination for students across Australia to relocate to.  

  • Deakin University– Provides undergraduate and post-graduate studies in fields that include: business, nursing, science, technology, education and the arts.
  • The Gordon – Offers a hands-on approach to education with courses that include: fashion, graphic design, multimedia, agriculture, and youth work.
  • Marcus Oldham College– Australia’s only independent agricultural and equine business management college preparing its students to be business leaders within farming, agribusiness, and equine management sectors.

City of Greater Geelong Council

The City of Greater Geelong Council provides services and supports to the Geelong community and implements the strategic plan. City of Greater Geelong has a vision that by 2047, Greater Geelong will be internationally recognised as a clever and creative city-region that is forward-looking, enterprising and adaptive, and cares for its people and environment.

The City of Greater Geelong is divided into four electoral wards: Bellarine, Brownbill, Kardinia and Windermere.


The City of Greater Geelong have eleven councillors that represent COGG.

Sport and leisure


Geelong offers a range of sporting and recreational opportunities including supporting our Geelong Cats at GMHBA Stadium or local sporting opportunities. With over 600 sporting clubs within Geelong, there are multiple opportunities available. Our local sports are diverse and include archery, gridiron, golf, hockey, underwater hockey, rowing, football, soccer, netball, tennis and much more. We have an international standard baseball centre, a newly upgraded athletics track and state-of-the-art leisure and aquatic facilities.

To find a sporting facility close to you, click here

Walking and riding trails

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Geelong offers multiple picturesque and vastly different trails for locals to enjoy.

  • Geelong waterfront – is a favoured scenic walk along our multi-award winning waterfront in a cosmopolitan and vibrant city centre. The scenic bayside walk showcases a trail of Geelong’s famous bollards that begin at Rippleside Park and finish at Limeburner’s Point and the Botanic Gardens. Along the trail, there are multiple family-friendly park, playground and sea bath areas.
  • Barwon River – The Barwon River is a perfect spot for watersports, walking, cycling, or fishing. The walk passes beautiful wetlands, a golf course, Balyang Sanctuary and parks. The 160km river begins in the Otway Ranges and meets the sea at Barwon Heads.
  • Bellarine Road Trail – 35km trail that links South Geelong to Queenscliff that features indigenous vegetation passing farmlands and coast. The gradient is mostly flat with a gradual clime in some areas.
  • You Yangs - The distinctive granite peaks of the You Yangs rise from the flat volcanic plains between Melbourne and Geelong. The You Yangs is a fantastic park for mountain biking. It has two mountain biking areas with over 50 kilometres of exciting trails catering for riders of all ages and ability. The park is also popular for its magnificent views, birdlife, rock-climbing and abseiling, bushwalks and picnics.

Swimming centres and leisure

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  • Bellarine Aquatic and Sports Centre: Located on Shell Road, Ocean Grove. Provides activities for all ages in swimming, group exercise classes and gym programs.
  • Kardinia Aquatic Centre: Located on Park Crescent, South Geelong. Includes two 50-meter outdoor heated pools, 75-meter waterslide, diving pools, toddler pool and a learner’s pool.
  • Lara Swimming Pool: Located on Bank Street, Lara, Geelong’s oldest outdoor aquatic centre.
  • Leisurelink: Located on Pioneer Road, Grovedale. Leisurelink has an indoor swimming pool, with a child-friendly play area, water slides and fountains, and a gym. 
  • Splashdown: Located on Coppards Road Moolap. Splashdown is an indoor swimming pool, with a child/toddler pool and a gym. 
  • Waterworld: Located on Cox Road, Norlane. Indoor swimming pool and gym, outdoor waterpark for children.
  • Eastern Beach Reserve: A free fenced children’s pool that ranges from 60cm to 1.2m deep.

Theme parks

Adventure ParkGeelong holds Victoria’s biggest waterpark located on the Bellarine Highway in Wallington. The park offers many rides and attractions including waterslides, water playgrounds, mini golf, family rides, canoe and boat rides, an archery range and more. The theme park is a major attraction to Geelong and fun for all age groups.

Fairy ParkAustralia’s very first themed attraction Fairy Park is located in Anakie. The park was opened in 1959 when a German couple voyaged to Geelong creating fairytale-based clay figures. Fairy Park features castles, gardens and over 22 animated hand-crafted fairytale scenes housed in cottages and caves.

Parks and Gardens

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  • Eastern Beach Reserve - Eastern Beach is a popular tourist attraction, set in the city centre with a picturesque waterfront. The reserve has a vast array of facilities including BBQs, playgrounds, trail walks, a children’s pool and a shark-proof sea bath.
  • Botanic Gardens - Geelong’s Botanic Gardens showcases plants from around the world. Areas of the garden includes: 21st Century Garden, Tea House Lawn, Rose Garden Lawn, Flag Lawn, Bunya Lawn, The Forgotten Garden, The Temperate Garden and Walnut Lawn. There are multiple picnic spots and a teahouse available for those that wish to grab a coffee or something to eat in a picturesque location.
  • Rippleside Park - Located on the foreshore of Rippleside, the park has a vast amount of playground activities for children. The site has BBQ facilities, fitness equipment, public toilets, a rotunda and free parking making this spot a fantastic destination for families.
  • Barwon Heads Village Park - Barwon Heads showcases some major park facilities for all ages. Facilities include BBQs, ovals, pavilions, playground, skate park and tennis courts.
  • West Park - Located on Pakington Street, West Park is a perfect spot for workers within the area to eat their lunch on a sunny day, or host a BBQ on the weekend. Facilities within this park include a BBQ and rotunda.
  • Barwon Valley Fun Park - Unlike other parks, Barwon Valley has wide open spaces making it perfect to walk a dog, play a game of sport, or to relax and read a book. The park’s facilities include a basketball court, BBQ, fitness equipment and a playground.

Major events

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Geelong hosts excellent events that play a key role in keeping the community engaged. Some of these events include:

  • The Australian International Air Show - Hosted in Avalon over a weekend in March, the event showcases defence, airlines, business and general aviation, sport and recreational aviation, airports, MRO, Space and more.
  • Festival of Sails - This is the largest annual boat regatta in the southern hemisphere. The Royal Geelong Yacht Club welcome more than 300 boats and 3000 sailors to the marina, as well as an estimated 200,000 spectators.
  • Pako Festa - Organised by Diversitat, Pako Festa is Victoria’s largest free multi-arts and cultural event. The event highlights the contribution of individuals, cultural groups and multicultural communities in Geelong and across Australia. The event includes a street parade, food stalls, market stalls, and stages of free entertainment.
  • Toast to the Coast - Held each year over the Melbourne Cup long weekend, this festival showcases the region's wines and gourmet foods from the Surf Coast, Moorabool Valley and Bellarine Peninsula
  • Queenscliff Music Festival (QMF) - An annual family-friendly music festival held in the last week of November located in Queenscliff. QMF hosts Australian contemporary artists as well as emerging talent and occasionally special international guests.
  • The Falls Music and Arts Festival - This festival is held annually in Lorne in December/January  – you can purchase tickets for two, three or four days. The festival includes live music performances, dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and other acts.

Click here for more about events in Geelong.

Indigenous History

The custodians of the land on which Barwon Health is located are the Wadawurrung (Wathaurong) people, one of five language groups making up the Kulin Nation who prospered in the areas surrounding Port Phillip Bay. Traditionally, the Wadawurrung people lived as hunters and gatherers with seasonal changes in the weather and availability of foods determining where campsites were located. The Wadawurrung consisted of 25 separate clans which had commonalities in language, custom, traditions, marriage ties, totems, burial rites and very strong trading links. The Wadawurrung people have as their defining creation deity Bundjil, the eagle, and as another social Moiety, Waa, the crow.

Geelong has the highest population of Aboriginal people (approximately 2,500), in Victoria outside metropolitan Melbourne.

Barwon Health provides clinical outreach services at Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative Health Service including a Psychiatric Registrar, Dental Services, and Paediatric and Endocrinology clinics. Barwon Health has also established an Obstetric Clinic at Wathaurong and is supporting Koorie women and babies prior to their birth at University Hospital Geelong. 

Public Transport

Geelong has extensive public transport available to the region encompassing a network of buses and trains. Public transport across Victoria is managed by Public Transport Victoria (PTV). All travel using bus or train requires a MyKi card, you can buy this at any station.

Geelong Railway Stations

You can find your nearest railway stations at the following locations:

  • Little River
  • Lara
  • Corio
  • North Shore
  • North Geelong
  • Geelong
  • South Geelong
  • Marshall
  • Waurn Ponds


The main terminals for buses within Geelong are the Geelong Railway Station and the Moorabool Street Bus Interchange (between Ryrie Street and Malop Street).

Taxis and Ubers

Taxi and Uber services are available throughout the Geelong region including Bellarine and Surf Coast.

Taxis include:

  • Maxi taxis
  • Special needs taxis
  • Wheelchair accessible taxis
  • Gold care taxis
  • Corporate clients

Geelong Taxi Network:131 008

Airport Shuttle

Geelong to Melbourne: Gull Shuttle

Gull Airport Service provides up to 180 shuttle services weekly between Geelong and Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport. Gull Airport shuttle operates every day but Christmas Day.

Geelong to Avalon: MyBus Shuttle

SkyBus operates regular daily services between Avalon Airport and Geelong.

For any queries, you can call: 1300 169 287 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


What's it really like moving to Geelong? Ash, Workforce Relations Officer, shares her experience:

"The transition in moving to Geelong was comfortable, as Geelong really is like a big country town. Living and working in Geelong creates a great work life / balance with Barwon Health central to Geelong CBD, waterfront and close to so many great beaches. It is not too far to travel for work and the weekends are always filled with something fun to do. I am lucky enough to be involved in an array of great sporting clubs that enable me to feel part of the greater Geelong community. There is always somewhere new that I can take visitors to on weekends no matter what the weather!"

Last Modified: Tuesday, 21 February 2023

🚗 Did you know…? Geelong’s commute time is half the Australian average.