Strike historic Ballarat from your bucket list with an active, fun-filled week peppered with grandeur, anarchy and intrigue.
- Check out accommodation close to Ballarat and throughout Victoria’s Goldfields Region.
You’ll find evidence of its former alluvial riches in the towering architecture, taking it in at your own pace on a self-guided tour. In headier days, miners marched under the blue-and-white Southern Cross flag asserting their rights on Ballarat’s streets, through blood, sweet and tears.
The strike action in 1853, known as Eureka Stockade, instigated parliamentary charges in the State of Victoria that provided a political mechanism for the eight hour work day.
At the Eureka Centre, ground zero, you can view the flag’s remains and admire the Eureka Stockade Gardens. For another cultural perspective, admire colonial and contemporary works the Ballarat Art Gallery, one of the state’s oldest dating back to 1884.
ACTIVE IN BALLARAT
Looking to stretch the legs? Cool off with a swim at the large, heated Eureka Swimming Pool. The kids will love scooting down the massive water slide with its own plunge pool.
Or, if you prefer, walk the Lake Wendouree perimeter adjacent to the Ballarat Botanical Gardens. Here, take five on the garden’s expansive lawns then check out the Robert Clark Conservatory and Sensory Garden.
Like Lake Wendouree, Lake Esmond is lovely fishing hole close to town, perfect for little kids.
On two wheels? You’ll find plenty of bike trails throughout Ballarat, including the magnificent Goldfields Track mountain bike trail that weaves through forest.
For a quieter pace, ditch the bike and greet meerkats, and dingoes and koalas at Ballarat Wildlife Park.
As the home of miner’s rights, Ballarat had its fair share of gold and you’ll discover much of that prospecting past at Sovereign Hill.
See how miners lived out on the fields, feel the throbbing gold extraction processes and done a hard-hat underground views.
There’s gold panning, bullion pours, and pre-Federation streetscape, where you’ll find blacksmith and candlemakers hard at work.
The kids will just love the bowling alley, lolly making displays and traditional crafts.
Check out the Ballarat Gold Museum for more and if the gold fever hits, try your luck prospecting at the Creswick Regional Park, 20km north of Ballarat.
As a major regional centre, Ballarat is home to many events including the Cycling Australia Road National Championships, Ballarat Heritage Weekend and the Ballarat Begonia Festival.