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 with entertain you with horseback jousting, archery and travels through the Dragon's Labyrinth.
Explore the powerful story of the Eureka Stockade at M.A.D.E - The Museum of Australian Democracy. 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, lets 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 various restaurants that are boarding 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 and 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
Stumble out of bed, walk 150m down the street to get your coffee fix from the Lavita emporium. Add to your order a freshly baked scone or fill up on an early brunch, there’s something on offer for every appetite.
Just a few minutes walk into town and you’ll find a large selection of cafes, pubs and resturants to sample some of the region’s local produce. Take it easy and stroll around the corner to Table 28, where the parma is sure to be a hit or order to takaway and enjoy the dining privacy of the house courtyard.
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 the Freight bar, it’s a local hot spot a lazy arvo and dinner combination.
Prefer to plan ahead? Then kick back and browse through the in-house comprehesive dining guide as you 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 18th century through to 60’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.