Experience what life in Ballarat was like in the first ten years after the discovery of gold, Sovereign Hill is a living museum that recreates Ballarat in the 1850s and tells the story of the miners who came here from all over the world to seek their fortune. Don’t miss the nightly multi-sensory sound and light show AURA, a 4D cinema experience that combines state-of-the-art projections and historical sets to tell the Eureka story.
Explore the cultural impact of the gold rush and the stories of the men and women who risked their lives in the fight for miners’ rights. Located at the historic site of the 1854 Eureka Stockade, the Eureka Centre is home to one of Australia’s most iconic cultural objects – the Eureka Flag (The Flag of the Southern Cross). The centre is surrounded by the very scenic Eureka Stockade Memorial Gardens.
A legendary land of adventure, with knights, dragons, wizards, kings, queens, princesses, fairies and so much more. Once you cross the drawbridge, a kingdom of myth, magic and fantasy will enthrall you. Journey through the chambers of the Dragons Labyrinth, which reveals the legend of Kryal; experience the drama of a medieval joust, as knights and their warhorses battle it out on the main arena; get lost in our maze; be enchanted by pantomimes; or learn the ancient art of archery.
Victoria’s no.1 interactive wildlife experience where you can hand feed the free-roaming kangaroos, see the world’s smallest penguins, marvel at the cheeky meerkats, pat a koala, cuddle a wombat, see Crunch the 5 metre super croc, the southern cassowaries, giant tortoises, the reptile house and the newest arrivals, the two Sumatran tigers. Daily tours and a schedule of animal and conservation presentations will immerse you into the animal world.
Australia’s oldest regional gallery with a remarkably comprehensive collection of Australian art. The heritage-listed Gallery building, one of the oldest purpose-built art galleries in the country, has evolved to accommodate the expanding collection and now includes a range of spaces from grand and elegant 19th century rooms to stunning contemporary additions.
One of Australia’s most significant cool climate gardens, the Ballarat Botanical Gardens feature a remarkable collection of mature trees and marble statues set among colourful bedding displays. The gardens cover 40 hectares and are divided into four distinct zones. The central part of the gardens features the traditional, ‘gardenesque’ style, while open parklands on either side are known as the North and South Gardens and the area alongside Lake Wendouree as the Lake foreshore precinct.
Once famous as the venue for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics rowing events, Lake Wendouree is now celebrated for its more relaxing activities. Join countless joggers and run the six kilometre circuit around this popular lake. Take in the scenery and abundant birdlife and watch vintage trams rattle along nearby streets. The route south (anticlockwise) from the kiosk at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens passes the Olympics course, the historic Ballarat Sailing Club (one of Victoria’s oldest) and many popular cafes and bars.
The Eureka Trail follows the route taken by police and soldiers from the Police Camp (the site of the former Post Office) in the early hours of the 3rd December 1854 to quell the uprising of miners. Angered by what they believed to be an excessive mining licence fee, an oppressive authority, and other perceived injustices, the ill-equipped and untrained miners had dug in behind a hastily built and flimsy stockade under the now famous standard of the ‘Southern Cross’.
Cycle or walk alongside the Yarrowee River between the Gong Gong Reservoir Park and the hamlet of Magpie. Pass by forests and wetlands, paddocks and native plantings and into the city streets of Ballarat. The Yarrowee River Trail forms part of the Goldfields Track and links several bushland reserves with other areas of ecological significance. The trail is divided into two sections – the northern and southern sections – each starting from Ballarat Railway Station. To ride the whole trail in one go, stay on Peel Street as you come through the CBD.
The Goldfields Track takes you through sensational lands once so rich in gold deposits they made Melbourne the wealthiest city in the world. Beginning from the heights of Mt Buninyong just south of Ballarat, the Goldfields Track takes bushwalkers and mountain bikers north through the historic towns of Ballarat, Creswick, Daylesford and Castlemaine, before finishing in Bendigo. The trail has wonderful sections of singletrack that cuts through a diverse landscape of bush, granite boulders and scenic farmland.
The Black Hill Reserve includes the Black Hill lookout, offering sweeping views of Ballarat and the surrounding district to the south. The reserve has also become a focal point of downhill mountain bike riding in Ballarat. Six cross country trails, four downhill trails, two pump tracks, skills area and advanced jump park are open for use.
Cycle, walk or horse ride through Goldfields country and discover what was once an important transport link between the historic gold mining towns of Ballarat and Skipton. The trail reveals sights and structures from Victoria’s gold mining and rail histories and breathtaking farmlands and bushlands alive with native birds and wildflowers. Learn about the history of the area along the way as you pass the former Chinese settlement site at Nintingbool, numerous railway remains and timber trestle bridges. The largest and most impressive of these, Nimmons Bridge, is best viewed from the track below the bridge and across the creek. The trail can be found on the western side of Ballarat where it crosses the Avenue of Honour. It is suitable for the whole family.
Experience the eclectic charm of Ballarat’s Bridge Mall heritage precinct. There is something for everyone ranging from unique specialty stores, exclusive boutiques, the big brand stores you know and love and there are even some vintage stores if you are up for a rummage. Located in central Ballarat, with plenty of parking, why not experience regional living for yourself.
Stockland Wendouree has serviced the local community for more than 40 years and is located just 6kms from Ballarat CBD. A diverse range of shops include Woolworths, Coles, Kmart and over 100 specialty stores including extensive fashion for everyone, a casual dining precinct, extensive food options and services including massage, nails, beauty clinics, hairdressers, optometrist, post office and a bank.
One of the first farmers markets in the area, this market showcases boutique regional produce depending on the season, but typically includes fresh produce, coffee, hot food, bakery products, wine, vegetarian foods, cheese, mushrooms, dry goods, olive oil, health bars, seed crackers and more with regular cooking demonstrations and stalls featuring local community groups. Located on the scenic surrounds of Lake Wendouree for over a decade.
Located in the heart of Ballarat, Central Square is home to MYER and Target plus more than 40 specialty stores across three levels. Services include Australia Post, NewsXpress, Bank of Melbourne, Flight Centre and Mister Minit. A food court with a great range of dining options and fashion favourites include Cotton On Kids, Rivers, Lowes, Witchery, Portmans, Noni B, MIMCO and Peter Alexander.
Experience a foodie’s paradise in the very heart of the city with exceptional farm-fresh produce, unique hand-crafted speciality products and inspired artisan delights. Stock up your pantry, take a promenade, partake of a tasty bite or relax with a coffee. Enjoy an ample array of free entertainment with local musical talent and children’s activities, such as a petting zoo and jumping castle.
For over 39 years the Ballarat Market has grown enormously and now boasts over 200 quality stalls and thousands of visitors every Sunday. Whether it’s arts & craft, fresh produce, plants, clothing, homewares, tools, electrical goods, clothing, home-made or pre-loved goods you will discover it for sale. For the bargain hunter, skillful shopper or someone looking for a social morning out; everyone is welcome to enjoy the Ballarat market experience.