This short route is not just a ride, but also a nautical latte experience. Commencing with commanding views across Corio Bay to the You Yangs, the ride heads down to the bay and the popular Eastern Beach, around past the fishing and sailing boats toward Cunningham Pier. Along the way, there are quirky bollard figures, landscaped sculpture, helicopters, and flying boats with more eateries. The path then passes beside the fantastic skate park, the boat building precinct and then around to finish at Rippleside Park.
There is a shorter version of Corio Bay to Hovells Creek Ride, which continues on around Corio Bay all the way to Lara. In the other direction lies the Bellarine Rail Trail Ride.
This short ride is predominantly on a paved surface. It comes down steeply off the Eastern Gardens and is flat for the remainder of the route. Most of this route is well tramped by people coming down to the bay. For the majority of the ride, there is plenty of room to maneuver.
Geelong is 75 kilometers southwest of Melbourne on the Princes Freeway. Coming through North Geelong turn left onto Bell Parade and follow it around onto The Esplanade. Turn right at the Bellarine Street lights and immediately left onto Eastern Beach Road. At the top of the hill cross over Garden Street into the Eastern Gardens and then left onto Eastern Park Circuit. After the Botanical Gardens turn right into the Geelong Play Space car park. VicRoads Map: 454 D4.
Food and Drink
At Eastern Beach, there is the Beach House café. Along the way, you will find various eateries on either side of The Esplanade.
For many years, Geelong struggled to develop its waterside character. Wool stores and other maritime industries crowded out the waterfront from the rest of the city. Today this area is a Mecca for many locals and day visitors from Melbourne, as the area is sensitively developed to connect the city to the sea. Although the ride could have easily started at Eastern Beach, it commences in the Eastern Gardens where the views are panoramic and there are plenty of facilities.
These include the popular Play Space and Botanic Gardens whose entrance begs you to come in. It’s not far down onto the beach, although it’s a bit steep. Here you are met with the 1920s Art Deco styled Beach House Café, fountain, and other facilities. This well-maintained bayside area with its shark-proof swimming enclosure, diving platforms and pontoons, hark back to earlier times when this was a popular beach destination for our great grandparents. Along the beachfront, you are greeted by the famous bollards that graphically tell the history of this town. There are more than 100 of these individuals, involved in various past-times, spread out along the waterfront.
The middle section of this ride is full of water activity with fishing boats and yachts coming and going from the Royal Geelong Yacht Club. There is even the occasional tall ship or navy frigate dropping by. You can see all this from the air in the joy ride helicopter or flying boat, which are moored here. Passing the visitor information center, with its splendid 110-year-old carousel, you come to Cunningham Pier, which is the only remaining pier on the waterfront and was originally built in the 1850s. It carried locomotives full of wool and other exports out to the waiting ships. It now houses a collection of restaurants and cafes.
Beyond the pier lies the stylistic skatepark and the boatbuilding area where you are more than likely to see boats being built or repaired. The final section of the ride is usually quite serene through this sheltered expanse of water. The boardwalk provides a good place to stop and look out to sea. The ride ends as you enter Rippleside Park where you will find a café and a good park with all facilities.
- 0.0 The ride commences in the Play Space car park beside the botanical gardens. Leaving the car park turn left onto the path riding toward the botanical gardens.
- 0.3 Cross the road in front of the botanical gardens and follow the path on the right of the road.
- 0.4 Dismount at Hearne Pde and cross over onto the footpath going to the right.
- 0.5 Take a sharp turn onto the path that leads down the hill. If there are lots of pedestrians about you may need to walk your bike down. This will take you down to the fountain.
- 0.6 Go either way around the fountain, but take the lower path between the pavilion and the toilets down to the beachfront. Follow the path to the left around the front of the sea wall.
- 0.9 Head to the right following the path along the beach.
- 1.3 Cross over the entrance to the car park and the yacht club following the path alongside the fence between the palm trees heading toward the Eastern Beach Rd where you will continue along the shared footpath.
- 1.4 As you pass by the end of the yacht club, take the diagonal route toward the Fisherman’s Pier Restaurant between the jetty and the road.
- 1.5 Passing the restaurant turn right heading down to the waterside.
- 1.6 Turn left heading alongside the waterfront in front of La Parisienne Restaurant. The scenic helicopter flights leave from this area.
- 1.8 You will come up beside the visitor information center, kiosk and carousel continuing along the waterside.
- 1.9 Turn right following the wharf and again left coming toward Cunningham Pier. The seaplane flights leave from here. Cross over the pier and continue on between the toilets and the water. There is a great adventure playground on your left.
- 2.3 Having just passed the skatepark the path leads onto the road going in front of the boat builders.
- 2.8 You have come to the Drumcondra jetty and car park. Continue ahead through the car park.
- 3.5 You have come to a fork with the right path going out on the boardwalk. You can choose to go either route.
- 3.9 You have arrived at Rippleside Park and the end of the ride, next to the Ripples on the Bay Café.
3.891 km / 2.418 mi
18 m / 58 ft
44 m / 145 ft
28 m / 91 ft