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2012 National Trust Heritage Festival

The National Trust Heritage Festival for 2012 kicks off on the 21st of April and runs until the 20th of May with some wonderful events and special openings taking place around the Geelong, Bellarine, Surf Coast and Great Ocean Road region.

national trust

This year the theme for the festival is “Innovation and Invention” and you will be very surprised just how innovative and inventive our region has been making claim to some pretty amazing things including a few of Australia’s most iconic products. The Ute, the Rotary Clothes Line and even Refrigeration. The worlds first Ute was designed and built as a world first here in Geelong by Ford Australia, Today the Ford Discovery Centre has a beautiful example of this magnificent vehicle. Geelong is also home to the Rotary Clothes Line which was patented by Gilbert Toyne in 1912 who was was born in the Golden Plains to the west of our city. James Harrison who has his name remembered around many parts of the city including the James Harrison Bridge over the Barwon invented the first mechanical ice plant which went on to spawn refrigeration.

Many of the events and openings are free while some have admission charges, and some require bookings. visit for full details and any alterations to the schedules.

national trust

Some of the things in the region to visit and see include:

The B-24 Liberator Memorial in Werribee
The B-24 was a heavy bomber built for the Second World War and flew up until the late 1960’s by several of the Allied air forces and navies. This magnificent aircraft which is Australia’s only surviving aircraft of this type is being restored by a dedicated team of enthusiasts and will be giving tours of the aircraft on the 12th of May.

Cape Otway Lightstation
Overlooking the southern point of our region at Cape Otway the light station is one of Australia’s most striking and most significant dating back to 1848. This structure is open every day throughout the festival from the 21st of April until the 21 of May from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

The Geelong Cement Works Museum
The old cement works are still one of the iconic structures to the west of our city in Herne Hill. The Cement Retirees Museum is one of Geelong’s hidden treasures and a must. There are 28 rooms of some of the most interesting collections of just about everything. Read More.

Old Courthouse Museum
Visit the in the heart of the beautiful Bellarine at Drysdale on the 22nd of April for a look at the centre’s wonderful collection of artefacts, historical items and documents tracing the history of the Bellarine Peninsula.

The Wintergarden
The Wintergarden in McKillop Street Geelong is hosting Stitching in Time an exhibition displaying some amazing embroidery both traditional and modern. The exhibition is open on Saturday the 21st and Sunday the 22nd from 10 to 4 PM.

Portarlington Mill
Portarlington’s historic mill is open on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the festival. This mill dates back to 1856 and has some very interesting artefacts both from the history of the mill and the township including some wonderful displays of the maritime activities that took place around Portarlington with steam ships and paddle boats being a regular sight on the town’s piers in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Read More.

The Ford Discovery Centre
Home to the world’s first ute and an amazing display of past, present and future Ford products including vehicles, interactive cutaways, including clay models, and even real manufacturing robots. the centre is a must for the whole family not just car enthusiasts read more.

Barwon Park
The Beautiful Barwon Park in Winchelsea which is renowned for being the place rabbits were set loose in Australia will have a very interesting exhibition on the 28h of April where you can bring along your treasures and have them valued by experts and hopefully learn a little about their origins, history and uses. The day will feature a festival like atmosphere with music, food and plenty of family fun.