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Geelong - Learning the Meaning of the Word “Bollard”



Geelong - Learning the Meaning of the Word “Bollard” View large version Geelong lies in the region of the Surf Coast, the Bellarine and the Otways, and one of its most impressive attractions is its Bollard Trail. While for many the significance of the word may lead to images of a wharf post covered in advertising posts, there is nothing further from the truth when you go exploring the famous Bollard Trail.

The Bollard Trail is unique in its own way as there are at least one hundred painted structures that tell about the history of Geelong, and about the life of the explorers that first came here in search of treasures and riches. The first, however, was Matthew Flinders, a man that came to Corio Bay at the dawn of the 19th century. Other important figures in Geelong are the former mayor, called Robert De Bruce Johnstone, and the man that founded Geelong Advertiser, a man called James Harrison. All of them are featured on these bollards, as well as other people, like a rifle band armed with their instruments and music.

Next to Transvaal Square, you will find an AFL football player. Back in the days, here you could find a paddock used by local players for their training. It was erected to be a place for artists who needed a spot to perform, but the main purpose got lost in time.

The starting point of the Bollard Trail is associated with the Barwon Heads. The bollard was designed by a local artist, Jan Mitchell, who was commissioned by the city council. The project went bigger than expected and, in 1995 it was already stretching on the waterfront. During the next four years, people worked on the Bollard Trail which was completed soon after.

The influence of the regretted artist, Jan Mitchell, is transparent throughout his work. The bollards are quite innovative, being made of pier pilings that were afterwards recycled and turned into works of art. It took the artist about one year to learn about the history of Geelong, only to get acquainted with the characters he was about to depict on the bollards. He really took his time to get into detail, like putting the right instruments in the hands of the rifle band or putting the correct badges on their uniforms. This is how this special way of celebrating Geelong’s history was born.

The scenic waterfront, with views of Corio Bay, contributes to the special look of the Bollard Trail. If you engage on this trip, be aware that seeing all the bollards will take about one hour. This is appreciated mostly as family fun, and you can truly relive the history of the place while strolling around. Make sure to take one of the Bollard Trail brochures on sale at the information kiosk.

You will surely enjoy the walk on the waterfront, and the areas covered in grass are great for a picnic, a spot where you can relax after seeing the entire Bollard Trail.



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