Venues - Hidden Gems Part 2

Following on from my previous post on the hidden venue gems in and around the Greater Geelong region, this post uncovers a few more gold nuggets!

The first is Leach Wood Gardens in Newtown, Geelong. Even the locals don't know about this place! It is an intricate pattern of terraced walkways on the side of a hill sandwiched between West Fyans Street at the top and Balcombe Street at the bottom. There are gorgeous paths to follow, interesting flowers and foliage, and even a permanent arbour which is ceremony-perfect. And I saw heaps of photo opportunities with a timber bridge and a rugged rockface making a striking backdrop. If you're looking for an outdoor setting for your ceremony, this should definitely be on your list.

 Terraced gardens and ceremony-ready arbour!

Terraced gardens and ceremony-ready arbour!

My next gem is a period home in the bayside suburb of Rippleside, Avalon Guesthouse. This is strictly for a small garden wedding or perfect if the two of you just want to get away and have the 'elopement ceremony'. Sonja and her husband have done a beautiful job in creating a house that invokes relaxation and peace. There are two to three suitable ceremony spots in the back garden and the open plan living/dining/kitchen creates a perfect venue for a cocktail party celebration. I love this place - it accommodates 6 people and is walking distance to the local beach and parklands. Oh, and of course, it's the perfect spot to get ready for your wedding or to hold a hen's weekend.

 Looking from back deck on to courtyard and garden

Looking from back deck on to courtyard and garden

Further afield is Moorabool Ridge Winery in Lethbridge, situated in the magnificent Moorabool Valley. This is another DIY venue - you organise the spit roast, food trucks, whatever you want and the only condition is that you use their wines. They can also organise the catering if DIY isn't your bag but it's awesome to have venues that have that flexibility. You could get married on site or, up where the eagles soar, at Bunjil Lookout on the other side of the valley (10 mins by car).

 Entertaining area overlooks vineyard and Moorabool valley

Entertaining area overlooks vineyard and Moorabool valley

And, down on the Bellarine, you have Suma Park. Now, this might not be so hidden given it's Bellarine Hwy address, but the thing here is the venue provides different options for your ceremony and your reception; historic homestead or rustic barn, you choose! But, what I love, is that you can have the Queenscliff train take your guests down to the town for a few hours whilst you're off having a few photos taken. How cool is that!

The ceremony can be held outside under a magnificent old tree with Swan Bay and Queenscliff as the backdrop or moved indoors if the weather isn't playing nice. Lots of good options here.

Helen is the go-to girl here and is more than happy to show you around. Oh, and your guests can stay on-site so why not make it a weekend wedding and put the train to good use. You can even chill with DIY BBQ the next morning after using their indoor swimming pool.

 The Barn at Suma Park

The Barn at Suma Park

 The original homestead overlooks Swan Bay to Queenscliff

The original homestead overlooks Swan Bay to Queenscliff

Helen is the go-to girl here and is more than happy to show you around. Oh, and your guests can stay on-site so why not make it a weekend wedding and put the train to good use. You and your guests can even chill with a DIY BBQ the next morning after using their indoor swimming pool.