Want to discover new wineries and places to eat? Looking for ways to entertain the family? The Austin’s East, Drink and play guide to the Moorabool Valley is here.
Look no further. Whether you hail from Geelong, Melbourne, Ballarat, or even further afield, the Moorabool Valley is the under-the-radar gem you’ve been searching for.
Avoid the hoards in Mornington, the Surf Coast or the Grampians, pack the car and head for Lethbridge or Bannockburn instead.
If you’re not yet familiar with this beautiful part of the world, we’ve compiled a list of our ten favourite things to do in the Moorabool Valley this year.
Play Moorabool Valley
Play – Anakie Fairy Park
Fairy Park is set in the beautiful open, rolling countryside of Anakie, just 35 minutes from Geelong, an hour from Ballarat or an hour and a half from Melbourne.
Discover fairies, elves, hippogriffs and dragons in this enchanting medieval wonderland! Suitable not only for the young, but for the young at heart, get ready to be delighted, entertained and intrigued, no matter your age!
2388 Ballan Road, Anakie
Play – Barrabool Maze Estate
There is just something magical and mysterious about hedge mazes, and kids of all ages seem to love getting lost in the never-ending pathways.
The 28-acre property in the picturesque Barrabool Hills features not only the maze, but a playground and gardens and The Woods End Cookhouse, a fully licenced, relaxed country style eatery, where you can sip on some local wines, nibble on some delicious delicacies and while the day away while the kids… *ahem* get lost.
35 Walter Rd, Barrabool
Eat Moorabool Valley
Eat – Moorabool Valley Chocolate
Moorabool Valley Chocolate is a small family-owned business in Batesford, just a 20-minute drive from the centre of Geelong.
The chocolates are carefully hand-made in their new chocolate kitchen, attached to a 90-year-old farmhouse, using fresh, locally sourced ingredients and natural
flavourings. Most of the chocolates have no preservatives, so it is recommended that you store them in a cool place (or, who are we kidding? Eat them immediately!).
Our friends at MV Chocolates are always experimenting with new flavours and combinations, which means that the range is constantly changing. Weekly visits anyone?
320 Ballarat Road, Batesford
Eat – House of Sonny
Replacing The Red Door cafe in Inverleigh (which operated for more than five years with its iconic red door), Sonny Café offers kitsch, yet modern dining with a twist.
Tapping into a bounty of local producers, Sonny’s friendly team delivers a fresh vibrant, vegan friendly menu, teamed with specialty small batch coffee.
15 High St, Inverleigh
Eat – The Door Gallery Café
The Door Gallery Cafe is Australia’s only Indian Antique Door display centre, café and wine bar! Serving gourmet pizzas, platters, curries, local wine, coffee, tea and home-baked delicacies, the Door Gallery Café is a peculiar combination of delicious fare and unique décor.
Settle in and enjoy the live music or book a room and spend the night, The Door Gallery Cafe is nestled in the heart of the Arts Precinct in the historic Fyansford
Paper Mill on the Barwon River, just four kilometres from Geelong’s CBD and one and a half kilometres from the Geelong Ring Road.
8/100 Lower Paper Mill Rd, Fyansford
Drink Moorabool Valley
Drink – Lethbridge Wines
Established by three scientists in 1996, Lethbridge produces savoury wines with intensity and finesse. Sit down at the tasting table inside the straw bale winery and sample wines to your heart’s content. Originally planted in the early 1800s, the site is perfect for vineyards. Current owners Ray Nadeson and Maree Collis searched the Geelong region taking soil samples before agreeing on the site. Lethbridge Wines is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxed tasting – often with the winemaker – allowing you to learn more about wine and the Geelong region.
74 Burrows Rd, Lethbridge
Drink – Clyde Park Wines
The cellar door and bistro at Clyde Park overlook some of the oldest vines in the Moorabool Valley.
Enjoy lunch in a relaxed and unique dining experience amongst hundreds of wine barrels, right where the winemaking magic happens. The bistro features house made breads, olive oils, wood fired pizzas, seasonal produce, fresh seafood and vineyard platters.
If live music is your thing – time your visit for a Sunday and take your tipple while enjoying smooth tunes on the outdoor terrace.
2490 Midland Highway, Bannockburn
Drink – Provenance
Right on the banks of the Barwon River in Fyansford, Provenance Winery offers tastings wines from their Geelong, Ballarat, and Henty region vineyards. Eat from their locally inspired kitchen or join one of their regular events. Whatever your reason, pay Provenance a visit to experience fine regional wine and delicious food, in a relaxed, authentic setting.
100 Lower Paper Mills Road, Fyansford
And of course…
Drink – Austin’s
Ok so we aren’t exactly open for visitors right now but as we type this our cellar door is underway with a 2021 opening. You can become a VIP, have your name on our door and we the first to visit us when you purchase one of our cellar door wines. There are less than 200 dozen left. Buy cellar door wine here