72 km (45 mi) SW of Melbourne
Geelong was named in 1827 by Governor Richard Burke, with the name derived from the local Wathaurong Aboriginal name for the region, Jillong, thought to mean "land" or "cliffs". The area was first surveyed in 1838, three weeks after Melbourne, and the Post Office was open by June 1840 (the second to open in the Port Phillip District). The first woolstore was erected in this period and it became the port for the wool industry of the Western District.During the gold rush Geelong experienced a brief boom as the main port to the rich goldfields of the Ballarat district. The city then diversified into manufacturing and during the 1860s it became one of the largest manufacturing centres in Australia with its wool mills, ropeworks, and paper mills.
It was proclaimed a city in 1910, with industrial growth from this time until the 1960s establishing the city as a manufacturing centre for the state, and saw the population grow to over 100,000 by the mid-1960s. Population increases over the last decade were due to growth in service industries, as the manufacturing sector has declined. Redevelopment of the inner city has occurred since the 1990s, as well as gentrification of inner suburbs and currently has a population growth rate higher than the national average.
It is known for being home to car manufacturer Ford Australia and also the Geelong Football Club, known as The Cats.
Early history and foundation
The area of Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula was originally occupied by the Wathaurong Indigenous Australian tribe.
The first non-Aboriginal person recorded as visiting the region was Lt. John Murray, who commanded the brig HMS Lady Nelson. After anchoring outside Port Phillip Heads (the narrow entrance to Port Phillip, onto which both Geelong and Melbourne now front) on 1 February 1802 he sent a small boat with six men to explore. Led by John Bowen they explored the immediate area, returning to the Lady Nelson on 4 February. On reporting favourable findings, the Lady Nelson entered Port Phillip on 14 February, and did not leave until 12 March. During this time, Murray explored the Geelong area and, whilst on the far side of the bay, claimed the entire area for Britain. He named the bay Port King, after Philip Gidley King, then Governor of New South Wales. Governor King later renamed the bay Port Phillip after the first governor of New South Wales, Arthur Phillip. Arriving not long after Murray was Matthew Flinders, who entered Port Phillip on 27 April 1802. He charted the entire bay, including the Geelong area, believing he was the first to sight the huge expanse of water, but in a rush to reach Sydney before winter set in he left Port Phillip on 3 May.In January 1803, Surveyor-General Charles Grimes arrived at Port Phillip in the sloop Cumberland and mapped the area, including the future site of Geelong, but reported the area was unfavourable for settlement and returned to Sydney on 27 February. In October of the same year, the HMS Calcutta led by Lieutenant-Colonel David Collins arrived in the bay to establish the Sullivan Bay penal colony. Collins was dissatisfied with the area chosen, and sent a small party led by First Lieutenant J.H. Tuckey to investigate alternate sites. The party spent 22 October to 27 October on the north shore of Corio Bay, where the first Aboriginal death at the hands of a European in Victoria occurred.
The next European visit to the area was by the explorers Hamilton Hume and William Hovell. They reached the northern edge of Corio Bay - the area of Port Phillip that Geelong now fronts - on 16 December 1824, and it was at this time they reported that the Aborigines called the area Corayo, the bay being called Jillong. Hume and Hovell had been contracted to travel overland from Sydney to Port Phillip, and having achieved this they stayed the night and begun their return journey two days later on 18 December.
The convict William Buckley escaped from the Sullivan Bay settlement in 1803, and lived among the Wathaurong people for 32 years on the Bellarine Peninsula. In 1835, John Batman used Indented Head as his base camp, leaving behind several employees whilst he returned to Tasmania (then known as Van Diemen's Land) for more supplies and his family. In this same year, Buckley surrendered to the party led by John Helder Wedge and was later pardoned by Lieutenant-Governor Sir George Arthur, and subsequently given the position of interpreter to the natives.
In March 1826, three squatters, David Fisher, James Strachan and George Russell arrived on the Caledonia and settled the area. Geelong was first surveyed by Assistant Surveyor, W. H. Smythe three weeks after Melbourne, and was gazetted as a town on 10 October 1838.There was already a church, hotel, store and wool store, 82 houses, and the town population was 545. By 1841, the first wool had been sent to England and a regular steamer service was running between Geelong and Melbourne. Captain Foster Fyans was commissioned as the local Police Magistrate in 1837 and established himself on the Barwon River at the site of the area of present-day Fyansford. Fyans constructed a breakwater to improve the water supply to the city by preventing the salty lower reaches from mixing with fresh water and pooling water.
The Geelong Keys were discovered around 1845 by Governor Charles La Trobe on Corio Bay. They were embedded in the stone in such a way that he believed that they had been there for 100–150 years, possibly dropped by Portuguese explorers. In 1849, Fyans was nominated as the inaugural Mayor of the Geelong Town Council. An early settler of Geelong, Alexander Thomson, for which the area of Thomson in East Geelong is named, settled on the Barwon River, and was Mayor of Geelong on five occasions from 1850–1858.
In 2004 Avalon Airport was upgraded to accommodate interstate passenger travel, providing a base for the low-cost airline Jetstar to service the Melbourne and Geelong urban areas. Geelong is planned to expand towards the south coast, with 2,500 hectares of land to become a major suburban development for between 55,000 to 65,000 people, known as Armstrong Creek. In 2006, construction began on the Geelong Ring Road, designed to replace the Princes Highway through Geelong from Corio to Waurn Ponds. It opened in 2009.More than A$500 million worth of major construction was under way in 2007. Major projects include the $150 million Westfield Geelong expansion works, involving a flyover of Yarra Street, the city's first Big W store and an additional 70 new speciality stores; the $37 million Deakin Waterfront campus redevelopment and the $23 million Deakin Medical School; the $50 million Edgewater apartment development on the waterfront; a number of multi-million dollar office developments in the CBD; and a new $30 million aquatic centre in Waurn Ponds.
Major developments within Geelong are advocated by the region's formal alliance, G21 Geelong Region Alliance. The City of Greater Geelong and four other local municipalities form part of the alliance which identifies the Geelong region's priorities, advocate all levels of government for funding and implement the projects. G21 developed 'The Geelong Region Plan - a sustainable growth strategy' which was launched by Premier Brumby in 2007. It is the approved strategic plan for the Geelong region. In addition, major projects such as the Geelong Ring Road Connections and duplication of the Princes Highway West have obtained funding due to the combined efforts of the region's municipalities. As at November 2011, there are 13 Priority Projects for the Geelong region.
The Victorian Government announced the relocation of the Transport Accident Commission headquarters from Melbourne to Geelong in October 2006, which created 850 jobs and an annual economic benefit of over $59 million to the Geelong region. The construction of the $80 million Brougham Street headquarters was completed in late 2008. In November 2008 Ford Australia announced that its Australian designed I6 engine would be re-engineered to meet the latest emissions regulations and that consequently the engine manufacturing plant would be upgraded.
A change to the city skyline is occurring with a number of modern apartment buildings on the Waterfront and central business district planned or under construction. On 10 July 2008 approval was given for a $100 million twin tower apartment complex of 16 and 12 floors to be built on Mercer St in the city's Western edge. The towers will become the tallest buildings in the city, taking the title from the Mercure Hotel. Further highrise developments are planned as part of the City of Greater Geelong's Geelong Western Edge strategic plan. A $17 million 11-story apartment tower has also recently been proposed to be built next to the Deakin Waterfront Campus.
In 2012 a design competition for a "city icon" was run for the City of Geelong by Deakin University and Senia Lawyers. The recipient of the prize and winning design entry was JOH Architects and their design titled "The Sea Dragon".
Geelong is located on the shores of Corio Bay, a south-western inlet bay of Port Phillip. During clear weather, the Melbourne skyline is visible from areas of Geelong when viewed across Port Phillip. The Barwon River flows through the city to the south before entering Lake Connewarre and the Barwon River estuary at Barwon Heads before going into Bass Strait.
Geologically the oldest rocks in the area date to the Cambrian period 500 million years ago, with volcanic activity occurring in the Devonian period 350 million years ago. In prehistoric times water covered much of the lowlands that are now Geelong, with the Barwon River estuary located at Belmont Common, the course of the river being changed when Mount Moriac erupted and lava was sent eastwards towards Geelong.
To the east of the city are the Bellarine Hills and the undulating plains of the Bellarine Peninsula. To the west are the sandstone derived Barrabool Hills and basalt Mount Duneed, and the volcanic plains to the north of Geelong extend to the Brisbane Ranges and the You Yangs. Soils vary from sandy loam, basalt plains and river loam to rich volcanic soils, suitable for intensive farming, grazing, forestry and vineyard plantation.
Many materials used to construct buildings were quarried from Geelong, such as bluestone from the You Yangs and sandstone from the Brisbane Ranges. A small number of brown coal deposits exist in the Geelong region, most notably at Anglesea where it has been mined to fuel Alcoa's Anglesea Power Station since 1969.Limestone has also been quarried for cement production at Fyansford since 1888, and Waurn Ponds since 1964.
SportGeelong is home to the Geelong Football Club Australian Football League team, the second oldest AFL club and one of the oldest in the world. For many years it was the only VFL/AFL club to exist outside of the greater Melbourne metropolitan area. It continues to participate in the national competition, based at Kardinia Park stadium and Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, and also fields a reserves side in the Victorian Football League. The club won the 2007 grand final against Port Adelaide by 119 points, the biggest grand final winning margin in history and the first Geelong premiership victory for 44 years. The club also won the 2009 and 2011 AFL grand finals held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. There are also three independent football leagues running in the area, the Geelong Football League, the Geelong & District Football League, and the Bellarine Football League.
Geelong has a horse racing club, the Geelong Racing Club, which schedules around 22 race meetings a year including the Geelong Cup meeting in October. The Geelong Cup was first run in 1872,and is considered one of the most reliable guides to the result of the Melbourne Cup. It also has a picnic horse racing club, Geelong St Patricks Racing Club, which holds its one race meeting a year in February.
Geelong Harness Racing Club conducts regular meetings at its racetrack at Corio, and the Geelong Greyhound Racing Club holds regular meetings.
The Geelong Baseball Centre in Waurn Ponds is home of the Geelong Baycats. The Baycats are the only provincial team in Baseball Victoria's Division One competition and were the 2005/2006 State Champions. The Geelong Baseball Centre has hosted a number of National Championship, the 2002 Women's World Championships and was home to the Chiba Lotte Marines for spring training in 2005 and 2006.The Arena stadium in North Geelong is the home of the Geelong Supercats basketball team, and was also used during the 2006 Commonwealth Games for basketball matches.
The Eastern Beach foreshore and nearby Eastern Gardens regularly host internationally televised triathlons, and annual sports car and racing car events such as the Geelong Speed Trials.
Corio Bay is also host to many sailing and yachting events. Geelong also has many golf courses, sporting and recreation ovals and playing fields, as well as facilities for water skiing, rowing, fishing, hiking, and greyhound and harness racing. Geelong Athletics holds athletic competitions during both the summer and winter months including high profile events such as Victorian and sometimes national and international track and field meets.