Moorabool Valley a day trip from Geelong
Moorabool Valley a day trip from Geelong

Geelong to Moorabool day trip, what to eat & drink: guide

Geelong is on the route to somewhere … Great Ocean Road or Ballart. Well known places. Geelong is G’town, compact, vibrant and has a wealth of attractions ringing the town. The Moorabool Valley is a perfect weekend getaway destination. Being a half hour or so from Geelong it makes sense to spend a few days in G’town. Linger in the district and find the hidden corners of Victoria that are worth a detour. The side roads take visitors to Victoria’s cool climate family owned wineries, a fabulous chocolate shop and bakeries with melt in the mouth crunch biscuits and goodies for the road. And the summer treat of fresh berries. Finish the day with a picnic at Anakie Gorge.

Where is the Moorabool Valley

Moorabool Valley covers Inverleigh to Meredith, Anakie to Ceres, with over 28 wineries, numerous farm roadside stalls, specialist produce stores and weekend farmers markets it is a foodie destination that is within easy reach of Geelong. Dedicated cyclists delight with time to stop at the roadside stall for a pick up of freshly squeezed juice or a burst of red sweetness from today’s picked strawberries.

Delicious never felt so good when sustainable farm practices are the hallmark of local food producers.


Your day starts with a visit to a chocolate shop and factory. An on-site cafe with everything chocolate as well as your regular coffee fix. Remember to check their workshop schedule, budding chocolatiers in all of us. Moorabool Valley Chocolate, Batesford


Weekend joy, Golden Plains Farmers Market Bannockurn first Saturday of the month with makers and growers joining forces to offer artisan cheeses, farm to shelf produce, honey and flowers. A stawlert of the Golden Plains market was Sage Choice Meats now trading as Provenir. Founder Chris Balazs explained on Provenir facebook page As many of you will know, the Sage herd wound down our farm meat sales to focus on our new business Provenir… Check out the Provenir link to ensure you get your box of ethically sourced meat.


I hope you’ve left room for morning tea at Inverleigh Bakery, and Farmer’s Daughter Produce Store, Inverleigh. With gourmet take home meals, hampers full of treats from local makers you’ve already started to fill up your esky (chilly) bin. Lastly Inverleigh is home to Berry Organic. Pick up a punnet of summer goodness during the season at the roadside stall.


You can travel north to Meredith Dairy to pick up additional picnic supplies for a lazy afternoon at Anakie Gorge picnic area. In late spring / early summer, in the berry season avid fans of all things berry take the berry trail. The summer crimson bursts of summer sweetness is hard to resist. You take the berry trail to Pennyroyal for all things berry and relax in local cafes.


You have the chocolates, fresh fruit and bakery goods now it’s time for dairy goodness then a picnic to take in all in. Meredith Dairy. A highlight is the interactive nature of the visit to Meredith farm and the organically farmed goat cheeses and natural sheep milk yoghurts. Then the afternoon is yours to kick back, relax and snack from the overflowing esky. Perhaps you can think about a walk… later after another chocolate truffle.



Anakie Gorge Picnic Area (Brisbane Ranges National Park)

Enjoy a family picnic, wedge-tailed eagles could soar overhead and a family favourite the echidna start foraging in the vicinity. The landscape is drier than the Dandenong Ranges with characteristic woodland trees of Red Stringybark, Messmate Stringybark, Broadleaf Peppermint and Red Ironbark are the type of tree that once flourished in the area. The area is also a well known koalas habitat. In spring the park is ablaze with wildflowers.

Anakie Gorge Walk

If you can bear the thought of a walk then follow the signs at the picnic area or simply collapse and keep snacking on your supplies stocked in the esky (chilly) bin. Plaques narrate heritage stories make for an interesting family walk, suitable for most fitness levels. Signs along the walk provide information on the geology and history. In the late nineteenth century the Lower Stony Creek Reservoir was constructed along with a pipeline through the gorge, to carry drinking water to Geelong.

Anakie Gorge Picnic area facilities:

  • Gas BBQ
  • Toilets
  • Seating
  • Length of walk: 2km
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Grade: Easy

Walk extension

Stony Creek Picnic Area, so there are plenty of options to take a break. The walk is an 8km return (4 km to the Reservoir, 4 km back). Start from the Anakie Gorge Picnic area and loop around the stony creek picnic area. Seating throughout the walk to rest little legs.


Pennyroyal Raspberry Farm is an organic, family business with a wealth of experience stretching back over 30 years. During the summer season raspberries, cultivated blackberries and many other varieties are available for “pick-your-own”. The farm specializes in making ciders or gins, While there some local retailers, Little Green Corner or Bottles and Barrels in Geelong. Our jams and relishes are available at the Birregurra General Store the product is limited edition and stocks are limited. Pennyroyal will take phone orders or email queries.

Ciderhouse Cafe serves light meals, snacks and cold drinks to refuel after travelling, or after some berry-picking in the season. Scones are a given with raspberry jam for afternoon tea. There is a selection of platters to accompany a glass of Crucible Cider or Perry. And who can turn down fresh berry ice-creams. There are prepared jams, zucchini relish, chutneys and relishes and the favourite raspberry vinegar.


Gentle Annie Berry Farm — 520 Pennyroyal Valley Rd, Deans Marsh. Here you’ll be able to pick berries you mightn’t even have heard of before, including marionberries, thornless blackberries, boysenberries, silvanberries, loganberries, blueberries and red and black currants. Visitors can pick-your-own veggies with beetroot, Japanese turnips, zucchini, peas and beans ready to go. A licensed farmhouse cafe offers a varied menu. The farm is open seven days a week, 10am-5pm. The kitchen closes at 4pm.

Travel Pack Information

Koalas and wildflowers are key features of the 7,700-hectare Brisbane Ranges National Park. Located west of Geelong, the park is Victoria’s richest wildflower habitat and has the state’s greatest density of koalas.

The park covers low mountain ranges dissected by rocky gullies. Bushwalking is the best way to get close to the nature of the park and a number of established walking tracks make it easy. For the more adventurous, a three-day walk has been developed. Notes and a map on this walk can be obtained from Parks Victoria. There are picnic grounds at Stony Creek and Anakie Gorge, with wood barbecues (you have to bring your own wood), tables, seats and toilets. Anakie Gorge has a gas barbecue.

Park vegetation includes some rare plants among the 619 species identified. Peregrine falcons, powerful owls and rainbow birds are just some of the 180 species you may see in the park.

Koalas, always a favourite with visitors, are abundant around Anakie Gorge. You also may see kangaroos, wallabies and possums.

Historically, the Brisbane Ranges were formed about a million years ago when a line of weakness, or fault, developed in the earth’s crust, uplifting the land lying to its west. Squatters arrived in the 1830s, concentrating their farming activities on the fertile land to the east and south along the Moorabool River. The gold rush began in 1851; gold was discovered in the Anakie hills and the town of Steiglitz was born. Gold Mining flourished periodically until the early 1900s.

Steiglitz today is virtually a ghost town and is within the Steiglitz Historic Park. The old courthouse is now a visitor centre containing fascinating memorabilia of the town’s heady days. It is open on weekends.

Parks Victoria manages this park.

The journey is worth it.


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