Walk along amazing paths
Step back to the 1850's and experience the excitement of the gold rush at Sovereign Hill. Try your luck panning for gold, admire the old time costumes and charming buildings. Be dazzled with the story of the Eureka Rebellion at the Southern Cross Sound & Light Show.
Continue on to the Gold Museum and discover the beauty and power of gold or extend the fantasy with a visit to Kryal Castle. This medieval village will entertain you with horseback jousting, archery and travels through the Dragon's Labyrinth.
Located on the historic site of the 1854 Eureka Stockade in Ballarat, the Eureka Centre explores the powerful story of Eureka as a significant part of the struggle for peoples' rights in Australia. Marvel at the digital experiences and witness the original Flag of the Southern Cross, amongst the many other historically significant sights on offer.
Explore the central highlands
Although Lake Wendouree is Ballarat's most photographed location, this natural beauty offers so much more than just picturesque views. Take a lap along the Steve Moneghetti track, let the kids run wild in the adventure playground or throw down a blanket and set yourself up for a relaxing picnic with the local swans. Enjoy a cold beverage from one of the various restaurants that are bordering the water, including Pipers, the Boat House and Lake View Hotel.
If the kids are still full of steam, take a short ride on the historic tram then head towards Victoria Park where you'll discover a mighty inclusive play space, full of fun equipment for all the youngsters.
Explore the countryside and emerge yourself in bushland, with a hike up Mount Buninyong or a family BBQ in the shade at Kirks Reservoir. Get close to nature at the Ballarat Wildlife Park. Catch a show or hand-feed our native friends, this interactive animal sanctuary will be an enjoyable day out for the whole family.
Eat & Drink
Local produce at it's best
Just a few minutes walk into town and you’ll find a large selection of cafes, pubs and restaurants where you can sample some of the region’s finest local produce. Whether you choose to dine in or takeaway, you'll be spoilt for choice.
If you're craving a wood fired pizza, you can't go past Carboni's Italian Kitchen where authenticity and quality combine. Looking for a place to keep the kids busy? Let them run free on the kid playground at the Red Lion Hotel. Hop Temple and the Hydrant Food Hall are the new hip kids on the block, where the Ballarat Yacht Club and the Boatshed offer a relaxing venue overlooking the lake.
Craving some takeaway to satisfy those taste buds? Then add an American style burger with fries from Bagel Junction to your order. Prefer some good 'ol fish & chips, then how about the local retro hangout, Apollo's Fish & Chips.
If an evening drink is calling your name, there’s a myriad of bars to sample some local brew. Walk on down to the Athletic Club brewery where you’ll be offered an eclectic range of beer styles and grub inspired by the mid west. Neighbouring is the Freight bar, it’s a local hot spot for a lazy arvo and dinner combination.
Prefer to plan ahead? Then kick back and browse through the in-house comprehesive dining guide and let your taste buds determine your destiny.
Festivals & Events
More than you imagined
Grab a taste of the country life and join in one of the towns many festivities. With hundreds of events held annually, there’s something sure to interest and entertain you all year round. We’ve highlighted some of Ballarat’s best.
Embrace the winter chill, at the annual Winterlude festival. Filling the months of June and July, you can catch the snow falling at Sovereign Hill, lace up your skates and roll around the town’s pop up ice-rink, experience live street music performers or warm up with some of the town’s yummiest winter grub.
Wonder in the moonlight and experience the amazing street illuminations, during the annual White Night Festival. Held every March, you’ll be swept up by the colourful projections onto the town’s iconic buildings and enjoy being a part of such an electric atmosphere.
Unravel the mystery and discover the history at Ballarat Heritage Weekend. Held every May, see the open buildings and experience the streets come to life with vintage car displays, horse and carriage rides and steam trains of yesteryear. Continue your love of all things vintage and trot on down to the Ballarat Antique fair, held every March. This is amongst Australias largest and long running exhibitions, featuring collectables from all around the world. Browse the enormous range of treasures, from the 1800's through to 1960’s and 70’s retro decor.
The festival list goes on with Ballarat Spring Festival, International Foto Biennale, Beat Rockabilly Festival, Writers Festival, Seniors Festival, Beer Festival and Begonia Festival. Not to forget all the other events such as the Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships, Summer Sundays, the Australia Day Fireworks and Royal South Street Competitions. Top this off with a variety of local produce markets, boutique shopping, galleries, theatres, eateries and exploring, you’ll never run out of ideas in this Victorian majestic town.