All About Ballarat

What to do in Ballarat

What to do in Ballarat

  After settling into your luxury apartment, it’s time to start exploring Ballarat. Are you interested in exploring on foot, or visiting an art gallery? Perhaps spending family time at a slower pace with the kids is more your thing, or going for a long bike ride. This beautiful, historic city has so many things to do. Explore the many historic monuments, art galleries and museums, or take it slow enjoying the vibrant cafe and restaurant culture. The Botanical Gardens and Lake Wendouree are a must to visit. There are also a selection of lovely walking and cycling tracks through the region for those who enjoy the outdoors. The Ballarat Regional Tourism office is located in the Town Hall (225 Sturt St, Ballarat) or Visit Ballarat to find out more.  Here are a few of our favourite activities to enjoy during your visit to Ballarat.

Must See

Eureka Stockade & Australian Museum Of Democracy

(102 Stawell Street South, Ballarat Open Daily 10:00am – 5:00pm)

The Museum of Australian Democracy or M.A.D.E is located on the site of the Eureka Stockade. The museum educates visitors on the compelling story of ordinary men and women, past and present, who have fought for the democratic freedoms we enjoy today. Using innovative digital immersion, the museum is a must visit for those interested in the roots of democratic government in Australia. The Eureka Stockade is the place where a battle was fought between gold miners and the colonial force of Australia on the 3rd of December, 1854. It is widely regarded as the starting point of democracy in Australia.

Ex Prisoner Of War Memorial

(1A Carlton Street, Lake Wendouree 24 Hours Every Day)

Local sculpture Peter Blizzard has created a monument to the memory of more than 35,000 Australians held prisoner during the Boer War, First and Second World Wars and the Korean War.

Ballarat botanical gardens

Gardens

Botanical Gardens

(Wendouree Parade, Lake Wendouree, Open Daily 10:00am – 5:00pm)

In 1858 a decision was made to convert the Ballarat Police Horse Paddock into a Botanical Garden. Over 150 years later we have what is considered one of Australia’s most significant cool climate gardens. The Botanical Gardens has over 40 hectares of gardens, avenues and art. There are free tours in Autumn and Spring at 11am on Sundays. Guided tours can also be arranged.

The Avenue of Honour & Arch of Victory

(1701 – 1703 Strut Street to Burrumbeet Road)

The Avenue of Honour began in May 1917 when Mrs Tillie Thomson began implementing the idea that trees should be planted in honour of the brave servicemen and women from Ballarat who lost their lives in the First World War. The first planting took place on 3rd June 1917, comprising 1000 trees. A total of 3,771 trees now extend over a distance of 22 kilometres with the Arch of Victory being added as a grand entry point in 1920.

Art & Culture

Art Gallery of Ballarat

(40 Lydiard Street Nth, Ballarat, Open Daily 10:00am – 5:00pm)

Recognised as the best regional art gallery, the collection covers art from the colonial period to contemporary times. Entry is free but there is a surcharge for special exhibitions. Free tours are conducted Wednesday-Sunday at 2pm.

Post Office Gallery

(Stuart & Lydiard Street, Wed to Sat 12:00am – 5:00pm)

Just 2 minutes from the Art Gallery of Ballarat, the Post Office Gallery building is an architectural treasure of Italianate style and classified by Heritage Victoria. The Post Office Gallery features a changing programme of contemporary and historical exhibitions.

Tramway Museum

( Sat – Sun, Public Holiday, Victorian School Holiday 12:30am – 5:00pm)

Ride on a 100 year old tram around the botanical gardens. The trams powered Ballarat’s public transport until 1971! Adults $4, children $2 all-day ticket $8. The ride lasts for approximately 20 minutes or 1.3 km.

History

Ballarat Old Cemetery

(MacArthur Street, Ballarat)

A monument to the diggers who lost their lives in the Eureka uprising was erected here in 1856 and in 1879 the Victorian government erected a second monument to the memory of the officers and soldier who died as a result of the uprising. The restored 1920s gatehouse houses a wealth of historical information related to the early days of Ballarat.

Webster Street

The Webster St Heritage Precinct is home to Lake Wendouree Luxury Apartments on Webster and has a striking range of intact houses, hotels, corner shops, educational institutions and industrial buildings dating from early 1860’s to 1940’s.

Tours

Eureka Trails

( Lydiard Street – Eureka Stockade)

The Eureka Trails encompasses 3 different walking tours that follow the route taken by police and soldiers during the Battle of the Eureka Stockade on the 3rd December 1854. The battle represents the struggle of early miners for one man, one vote and the abolition of the hated Gold Licence. The trails take you past Ballarat’s Old General Cemetery where you will find a memorial to the more than 30 men who died in the battle, the site of the Stockade itself and many other points of interest pertinent to the rebellion. The walk takes about an hour (3.5km).

Dr Blake Murder Mysteries Walking Tours

(Mostly Around Lydiard Street)

Download a free copy, pop on your exploring shoes and head out to explore 1950’s Ballarat as seen in the hugely successful TV show, Dr Blake Murder Mysteries, aired in 2013.

Ballarat playgrounds

Children’s Playgrounds

Lake Wendouree Adventure Playground

(Windmill Drive, Lake Wendouree, Open Daily)

Evoking dreams of knights, castles, dragons and fairy tales.

Indigenous Playground

(Windmill Drive, Lake Wendouree, Open Daily)

Mosaic animals, wooden eagles, giant platypus and Storyboards telling traditional tales.

Eureka Playground

(Cnr Stawell Street South & Eureka Street, Ballarat Street, Open Daily)

A Eureka Stockade theme – wooden troops, climbing walls, marching drums, and tunnels.

Victoria All Inclusive Playspace

(Victoria Park, Winter Street, Ballarat, Open Daily)

Enjoy flying foxes, all-weather water play, swings, slides and a carousel.

Ballarat cycling

Cycling

Skipton Rails Trail

(Ballarat – Skipton)

This trail is 56km and runs between Ballarat and Skipton through native grasslands, past historical gold mining sites and over an impressive trestle bridge near Newtown.

Yarrowee River Trail

( Gong Gong Reservoir Park – Hamlet of Magpie)

This 16km long trail travels along the Yarrowee River from the Gong Gong Reservoir Park and the hamlet of Magpie. It passes forests, wetlands, paddocks and native plantings and finishes in Ballarat.

Lake Wendouree

(Windmill Drive)

Lake Wendouree itself is situated just a few minutes walk from your apartment. The lake hosted the rowing and canoeing during the 1956 Olympics. There is a 6km path around the lake which is suitable for bikes, pushchairs or walking.

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