The town was called Kensington before it was renamed Leopold in 1892, after Queen Victoria’s son, the Duke of Albany. It was established in 1852 after other small subdivisions had failed. Initially, buildings were of wattle and daub, or even canvas.
Later there were paling houses with wooden roof shingles. Proximity to Point Henry attracted settlers who had been to the goldfields and wanted to buy small farms. The first church services were held in different pioneers’ homes – according to denomination.
In 1885, Kensington was described as a good fruit-growing area with a population of 100 people living within a mile of the post office. Early postal activities were conducted from the first shops in the area and the famously named hotel – the Help Me Through The World Hotel – operated on the Portarlington Road, towards Curlewis.
Leopold remained a rural community until the 1960s, when industrial development at Moolap and Point Henry made Leopold an attractive place to live. Its population doubled between 1961 and 1971 and doubled again in the following decade.
Real estate & design
The spreading suburb of Leopold lies on both sides of the Bellarine Highway, with small shopping areas in each part.
Although Leopold is elevated, it has several waterholes and swamps around its perimeter. One has been made into the Gateway Sanctuary reserve, beside the Bellarine Highway on the Geelong side of the town
An $85 million redevelopment has repositioned the centre as the Bellarine’s newest and largest everyday shopping destination, transforming the centre’s offering to the community with the region’s first Bunnings and Kmart, a brand new Aldi and a refreshed Coles, plus over 50 specialty stores offering great food, fashion, fitness, giftware and services along with a casual dining precinct and communal town plaza.
Sports fitness & recreation
The Leopold Football Netball Club, nicknamed the Lions, is an Australian rules football and netball club based in Leopold, Victoria. The club teams currently compete in the regional Geelong Football Netball League. They play their home games at Leopold Memorial Park.
Boating is popular among residents since the town enjoys quick access to jetties along Corio Bay, a short drive to the north. Leopold also enjoys proximity to the dramatic beaches and bays around Queenscliff, Point Lonsdale and Ocean Grove.
Gateway Sanctuary is an aesthetically pleasing reserve with an extensive playground for the kids. The reserve has a strong environmental focus and is home to a vast array of wildlife within its plentiful open spaces. Gateway Sanctuary has a large rotunda, public toilets, picnic and BBQ facilities.
The distance between Leopold and Geelong is about 12kms with buses operating frequently.
Resturants & cafes
The Gateway Plaza offers plenty of food options including Hi Dumpling / Hi Sushi, Schnitz, Boss Burger, FU Chinese and Ollie’s Cafe.
Locals also enjoy Noble Foods located at 35 Ash Rd, Leopold. Take home meals, catering and home delivery available. Leopold Primary School is a Co-Education Primary School, serving years P-6.
Leopold Primary School is located at 1 Kensington Road and is a Co-Education Primary School, serving years P-6.