Want fine dining, a vibrant city culture and hip laneway coffee houses? Or maybe you’d prefer somewhere on the waterfront, where the kids can ride a classic carousel while you eat fish and chips on the promenade? Then again, maybe you want a small acreage, where you can run a few cows and enjoy the sweet country air. No need to choose — Geelong offers all this and more.
When Anthony Stevens stepped into the Elders Geelong office as the new Real Estate Manager, he knew he had big shoes to fill. “I watched one of Elders’ greats do business in that area for 20 years,” he says. When Geelong sadly lost their rural expert, Elders knew that it was important to make sure the replacement was up to the task. Enter Anthony.
Anthony, of course, has a long and beloved history of his own. The former AFL Kangaroos star was inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame in 2017. In the same year, he commenced his career as a rural real estate specialist with Elders.
When the position in Geelong opened up in February 2020, he knew it was the right fit for him.
“I’m a country boy, “ Anthony says. “I wanted to be able to work out of a major city but still enjoy that rural lifestyle. Geelong is perfect for that. I can run a few cows on an acreage, but also head into the city and work from a major office. And because it’s only an hour to Melbourne, I can get back there regularly to see friends and family.”
His years working in Melbourne saw him build up strong relationships with buyers and sellers, including multi-generational farming families.
Anthony brings his expertise to bear on helping people find the perfect buyer for their farming property. “The Geelong area is just perfect for all kinds of farming because we have great rainfall and rich soils,” he explains. “Whether you want an orchard, vineyards, a dairy operation or to keep some sheep, there’s a property out there for you.”
At only an hour from Melbourne, Geelong also appeals to people looking for a weekender. “A lot of our buyers want a rural property, but the land isn’t their primary income. They live here on the weekends and head back into the city during the week. A lot of people want properties here for the holiday lifestyle, too. It’s close to Sorrento, Lorne, all those great spots down the Mornington Peninsula as well as being a gateway to the west.”
If holiday fun is the aim, you’ll be spoilt for choice here. Head up to Moorabool Valley for cool climate wines that date back to the 1840s. Try Clyde Park Vineyard, Lethbridge Wines and Moorabool Ridge Vineyard to get you started.
Surfers can do worse than head for the waves down at Raffs Beach or Thirteenth Beach in Barwon Heads, while the kids will love exploring the Point Lonsdale rock pools.
With so many farmers taking advantage of the rich soils, it’s no surprise that the Geelong region features so much great food. The Bellarine Taste Trail map will get you started on a journey of the senses, exploring farm gates, provedores, wineries and cafes.
Geelong itself, says Anthony, is a ‘mini-Melbourne’. From hip cafes and cellar doors along Little Malop Street to the famed Little Creatures Brewery in the converted wool mills, there’s no shortage of spots to entertain and delight. The Old Paper Mills are now a vibrant arts and culture spot, with trendy apartments in place of the old tech school.
The city is also home to some of Australia’s finest dining. Check out The Greek Customs House on the waterfront, or the famous Ingi, where the chef creates exquisite dishes from local produce.
With all this to offer, it’s no wonder Geelong was such an enticing prospect for Anthony. “I’m excited about the growth potential here,” he says. “I want to expand the Elders team so we can help more people discover the amazing lifestyle that Geelong offers, from coast to inland.”