Learn About Geelong’s Rich History

Geelong is a must-see destination for all history buffs, offering numerous opportunities to explore key events in early Australian settlement.

Australia is well-known for its convict history. Geelong played a key role in the early settlement of inmates in Australia in the 1700’s. Today, the city is home to a number of museums that allow you to immerse yourself in the development of Australia from its foundations as a penal colony through to early industry and military history.

Old Geelong Gaol

If you’re interested in Australia’s past as a penal colony, The Old Geelong Gaol is a destination worthy of exploration. The formidable building was enough to scare even the toughest of inmates, who spent many dark nights burrowed away in its cells for their misdemeanours.

If you’ve got a nerve of steel, try one of the ghost tours that weave their way through the gaol on a nightly basis. Discover the old cells and hear the stories of the convicts and prisoners. The tours are not for the faint of heart, featuring graphic stories that offer an insight into the lifestyle, behaviour and mindset of the inmates at the time.

National Wool Museum

Geelong’s industry is built on wool, and there’s a museum dedicated to the textile right in the centre of town. The National Wool Museum showcases the Australian wool story – from the sheep’s back to the clothes rack. The museum gives an insight into the progression of wool from where it started in the 1840’s to its place in the world today.

Fort Queenscliff

A half-hour’s drive from the centre of Geelong, Fort Queenscliff gives you a glimpse into the region’s military history. Dating back to 1860 when the building was used as a military base, the structure now houses an impressive museum of old artefacts.