A very badly designed city at the westernmost end of Port Phillip Bay
. In order to access the Bellarine Peninsula
, the Surf Coast
or the Great Ocean Road
and its many charms, or even the harsh loveliness of the flatness of the Western Lava Plains
with its many pimple
-like scoria cones. In order to access these from Melbourne
, you have to go through Geelong.
Not that it is a bad place in itself. Local councilors find that if you wish to be either elected or stay in office, you own a Ford. The reason: Big Ford Factory in North Geelong. Geelong, per se, is not the problem. It's North Geelong. Ugly, and it's just one big gridlock.
You start to notice the symptoms around Lara and Avalon Airport. The cars seem a little close together than they were previously. Relax. It's not your eyes. Just bad infrastructure. Of course, if it was the Friday of a long weekend, then you would notice this about Werribee or Laverton, Kororoit Creek Road or even the interchange of the Princes Freeway and the Western Ring Road
Relax. this is a bit tongue in cheek. Traffic is not that bad. Geelong is not that bad. Unless you have to drive through it.
Geelong as a city dates back to 1838, when it was declared to be a 'town', with a population of 545. Since then it has grown.
Geelong is a port city. It spreads around the western end of Port Phillip Bay. As a port, this is an ideal set-up. However, this leads to some town planning problems as the town is largely forced into a linear north south strip between Corio Bay and the Barwon and Moorabool Rivers. This makes travelling through the city to go elsewhere frustrating for drivers, as there are no alternative routes around the city.
Geographically, Geelong is close to Melbourne. If we assume that Port Phillip Bay is a duck's head (which is what it looks like on a map), and that duck is facing west. In this case, Geelong sits at the tip of the duck's beak. Melbourne starts at the duck's eye and spreads all the way along the back of its neck.
Geelong is georgraphically designated as being within the megacity limits of Melbourne, although the Melbourne 2030 plan has fortunately curtailed any possibility for rampant suburban sprawl between the two cities.
Older parts of Geelong are quite pleasant, although modernity has not been kind to the city. Tourism has become a double edged sword for the place. It is the gateway to a lot of really nice places, but this makes for many traffic problems
The Geelong region allegedly has a population of approximately 250,000. I'm not sure if this is just Geelong, or Geelong and all the people living within a set range of Geelong.