Less than an hour down the highway from Melbourne towards the surfing Mecca of Bells Beach, the good people of Geelong are wallowing in freedom.
While Melburnians shivered in their homes huddled by their radiators, Geelong residents have hit the main drag for a Furphy – they invented it you know – a feed and a kick of the footy down at the local park.
The sun was shining on Melbourne on Thursday, but few ventured outside to enjoy it.
While Melburnians shivered in their homes huddled by their radiators, Geelong residents (pictured) have hit the main drag for a Furphy
It’s business as usual in Geelong where friends still gather for an ice cold beer, poured fresh from a tap. In Melbourne, they are being forced to drink out of cans at home again
A happy resident of Geelong enjoys a nice glass a white by the bay on a sunny winter’s afternoon in her home town
Down the highway and into the heart of Melbourne, Bourke Street Mall was almost completely deserted on Thursday
Members of Melbourne’s fire brigade prepare to take food parcels to residents in a locked down public housing estate on Thursday
They’re not allowed to unless they intend on working up a sweat with a jog around the suburbs.
Down in Geelong, folk are trying not to think much about what is happening in Melbourne.
This is a town with proud heritage and a fierce rivalry with Melbourne.
It is the land of the AFL’s Geelong Cats, Gary Ablett, great old pubs and the gateway to the legendary Great Ocean Road and all its postcard beaches.
Geelong doesn’t even celebrate Melbourne Cup.
Two mates share a joke at a cafe in Geelong – where it’s business as usual while Melbournians suffer through lockdown
It’s always a nice time for a feed and a coffee in Geelong, where people are still allowed to behave like people in Melbourne cannot
In Melbourne, the only groups of people allowed to gather are cops. On Thursday they marched down the deserted streets of Melbourne
Melbourne’s Degraves Street, in the heart of the CBD, was a cold and lonely place to be on Thursday. Many businesses will not survive the latest lockdown
And they never cared for Melbourne’s Show Day public holiday either.
They party at the Geelong Cup and they have their own show – which sadly was cancelled amid the COVID chaos caused further up the highway.
People from Geelong don’t refer to Melbourne as ‘town’ – their town is Geelong.
Blow-ins from Melbourne usually annoy the good folk of Geelong.
The go there and get drunk. Cause trouble. Or infect them with coronavirus.
It’s hard to imagine the people of Geelong caring much that police have set up a road block stopping Melburnians from getting in.
Police stop people travelling from Melbourne on the approach to Geelong at Little River. It has caused massive traffic hassles for people returning to Geelong after working in the infected zones of Melbourne
In Geelong, older people don’t fear death when they pop down to the cafe for a cup of tea
The streets of Geelong bustled with activity on Thursday as people enjoyed a glorious winter’s day
They might be more annoyed that Daily Mail Australia was waved on through that road block without even being stopped.
The policeman manning the road block shook his head in embarrassment as he waved through several vehicles on Thursday afternoon.
Earlier, the road block had caused traffic chaos for the many Melburnians who travel to Geelong to work.
Later, the traffic from the road block near Little River banked back for kilometres all the way to Werribee.
It’s going to get old fast for the G-Town folk.
Across Port Phillip Bay on the Mornington Peninsula, which is separated only by the small opening to the bay, they remain locked up with the rest of Melbourne.
Despite being more than 70 kilometres away from Melbourne’s CBD, and on the other side of the city to the most severe COVID-19 outbreaks, the Mornington Peninsula has been included in Stage 3 lockdown.
Business owners there are fuming.
Just sitting by the bay wasting time. In Geelong this is still an acceptable practice
Teenagers gather at the local mall for a chinwag in Geelong. Teens in Melbourne are forced to trash talk their mates over the Xbox One
Couples gather for a flat white at a cafe in town. The town of Geelong that is. People who live in the city – Melbourne that is – can take their coffees and move on
People have no need or want to stay home in Geelong. They move freely here and enjoy a comfort not seen in Melbourne since Wednesday
They’re going broke while Geelong is in the land of milk and honey.
Owner of Green Olive at Red Hill, Greg O’Donoghue, told Melbourne radio’s 3AW on Thursday he did not understand how Geelong, which has two active cases, was not in lockdown, while the Mornington Peninsula, which has no active cases, was.
‘We’re probably further from a major outbreak than what Geelong is, and we’re completely shut down,’ he said.
‘It’s just ruined our economy again.
‘We want to make sure everyone’s safe, but the effort we went to to open again … weeks and weeks of work and now it’s all shut down within 24 hours.’
If Geelong cares – and they don’t – it is hardly planning to shut up shop in a sign of camaraderie with its ‘friends’ just across the bay.
Geelong is thriving.
On Thursday afternoon, teenagers enjoyed their school holidays like every kid in Melbourne wishes they could.
The mall was packed.
In Market Square Shopping Centre, people were sitting down at the food court to eat.
They shopped, ate and were merry.
Life in Melbourne is cold and harsh. People delivering supplies to locked down buildings wear plastic in Melbourne
Myer in Geelong enjoys happy go lucky shoppers in the prime of life
People who live in Geelong are still able to hit the gym. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says ‘we’re all in this together’. Geelong people don’t think so
In Melbourne, people are forbidden from sitting down for a meal inside a shopping centre food court. In Geelong, they can sit about and order as many sweet and sour pork dishes as they like
People attended the gym.
Along Corio Bay, which enjoys a picturesque view of the magnificent You Yangs mountain ridge, people congregated along the foreshore for a meal, a wine and good times.
Children frolicked with their parents in the park along the bay.
And when Geelong take on the Brisbane Lions tonight – in the free land of Sydney – they’ll probably bring home the bacon for their fans too.
It’s going to be a long six weeks in Melbourne.
In Geelong, it’ll just be six weeks.