Things to Do in Ballarat

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Attracting over 2.4 million visitors every year, the city of Ballarat has a lot of amazing things to offer, giving visitors a one-of-a-kind experience. From having close animal encounters and history lessons to panning for gold at the historic Sovereign Hill, options to indulge in are numerous. All the attractions that we’re going to mention are award-winning ones that offer a distinct visitor experience.

This, being Victoria’s largest inland city, is just a 90-minute drive from Melbourne’s CBD. Being derived from two words that sum up as’ resting place’, the options are endless for friends and family to come and get relaxed. Also known as a historical town, it carries several options when it comes to options based on rolling hills, lakes, gardens, and trails as well.

Whether you are heading over to this city for a day trip, a weekend, or looking for a longer stay, you’ll feel its rich history in every moment in all cases. So without further ado, let’s dive straight into the number of things one can do in Ballarat.

1. Relish Some History at the Sovereign Hill

Sovereign Hill

Begin your journey with one of the most visited places in Ballarat, i.e., Sovereign Hill, to get a kind of real-life experience of the 1850s Gold Rush that took place. Don’t take it as a history lesson that you will normally get at your school, as this lively museum demonstrates the history and story of Ballarat as a gold rush boomtown.

Experts over there allow visitors to play the role of a gold rush character using their photography studio based on the 1850s. Active since 1970, this place is telling the story of the greatest gold rush that the world has ever seen till now. Making the whole scenario more realistic, a range of horses and carts are combined with theatres, schools, factories, shops, and hotels.

If you have some extra time for some extra fun, do check out their mine tram, which operates on three stations and takes visitors on a tour of the whole mine. This will, for sure, be a great experience for everyone visiting. If you’re a foodie, don’t forget to try your hands on their iconic raspberry drops, which are especially handcrafted and are loved by many.

Name Sovereign Hill
Address Bradshaw St, Golden Point VIC 3350, Australia
Directions Google Maps
Distance From Ballarat 2.7 km
Opening Hours Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 10 am–5 pm
Wednesday: 10 am–5 pm
Thursday: 10 am–5 pm
Friday: 10 am–5 pm
Saturday: 10 am–5 pm
Sunday: 10 am–5 pm
Phone Number +61353371199

2. Learn more about Australian history at the Eureka Centre

The Eureka Centre

For those who are truly exhilarated to know more about Australian history, you need to pay a visit to the Eureka Centre. It’s located in the Eureka Stockade Memorial Park, which is a National Heritage-listed place and is also home to the Eureka flag that emblematizes the site of the 1854 Eureka Stockade, which is contemplated to be the birthplace of Australian democracy, as per many.

This place also hosts a range of brilliant collections of informative displays and historical artefacts. The whole place has been made more enchanting using a range of art installations and digital technology, which also makes it more futuristic for all. It’s not only great for entertainment, but one can also learn a lot more about the men and women who fought collectively to secure the rights of minors.

After spending your day here, you’ll learn a lot about the development that took place with time here that turned traditional Australia into a modern democratic nation. Other additional facilities at this place include a fantastic barbeque, picnic facilities, sweeping green lawns, and a musical playground. You can also catch some breathtaking views of the scenic lake present here and stroll across its walking track.

Name Eureka Centre
Address 102 Stawell St S, Ballarat Central VIC 3350, Australia
Directions Google Maps
Distance From Ballarat 4.4 km
Opening Hours Monday: 10 am–5 pm
Tuesday: 10 am–5 pm
Wednesday: 10 am–5 pm
Thursday: 10 am–5 pm
Friday: 10 am–5 pm
Saturday: 10 am–5 pm
Sunday: 10 am–5 pm
Phone Number +61353330333

3. Capture some wildlife at Ballarat Wildlife Park

Ballarat Wildlife Park

Get tantalised at the Ballarat Wildlife Park as you get close to a whole range of animals that are indigenous to Australia. Located among the fascinating gum trees in the suburbs of Ballarat, not just native animals, but you will witness the presence of various exotic creatures here as well.

Once founded by Greg Parker in February 1985, this place is now a family-owned park. A lot of efforts are made to make this place a relaxing, friendly, and educational one where people can come and get close to various animals. It also allows them to know and understand the importance of animal conservation.

For those looking to carve out a memory for life, take part in an ‘animal experience’ where you’ll earn an opportunity to get clicked with an animal. For those coming with kids, make sure to immerse yourself in the activity of feeding kangaroos with your hands. While taking a walk around this beautiful park, you can see and notice a wide variety of animals that are native to the area.

Name Ballarat Wildlife Park
Address 250 Fussell St, Ballarat East VIC 3350 (No entry on, Richards St), Ballarat East VIC 3350, Australia
Directions Google Maps
Distance From Ballarat 5.0 km
Opening Hours Monday: 9 am–5 pm
Tuesday: 9 am–5 pm
Wednesday: 9 am–5 pm
Thursday: 9 am–5 pm
Friday: 9 am–5 pm
Saturday: 9 am–5 pm
Sunday: 9 am–5 pm
Phone Number +61353335933

4. Have Some Fun at the Kryal Castle

Kryal Castle

For those who want to get some laid-back vibes in a sprawling environment, head over to Kryal Castle, which is Australia’s only mediaeval theme park. Come and take part in activities such as sword fighting, wizardry, jousting, archery, and much more. Not just for kids or young people, this place is truly worth visiting for all.

Don’t forget to capture some great moments with your loved ones by dressing up as a knight or choosing from the other 15th-century costumes available. Bring the child in you to its senses as you roam around in tunnels, lavish castles, and various old-time shops filled with various activities.

Craftsmen have carved out a tremendous piece of artistry that resulted in a replica castle where people’s imaginations beam high. Let the wizard in you get free and indulge in a world full of magic and myths. So, take your time and see what this adventure park has in store for everyone.

Name Kryal Castle
Address 121 Forbes Rd, Leigh Creek VIC 3352, Australia
Directions Google Maps
Distance From Ballarat 12.5 km
Opening Hours Monday: Closed
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday: Closed
Friday: Closed
Saturday: 10 am–4 pm
Sunday: 10 am–4 pm
Phone Number +61353348500

5. Explore the Ballarat Tramway Museum

Ballarat Tramway Museum

Get back in time as you witness one of the best arts, that too, in motor form at the Ballarat Tramway Museum. See how well these 100-year-old trams were built that once served as Ballarat’s public transport until 1971. For sure, you will enjoy this exceptional ride on Australia’s most authentic working tramway, going through the beautiful Ballarat Botanical Gardens.

This museum itself has a large collection of tramcars on display, along with a lot of other exhibits and activities as well. For those looking to investigate this place a lot more, take advantage of the guided ride on the electric trams that have been restored, bringing its functioning back to life.

Just recently, an open display hall was built over there where one can go and learn more about the trams of Ballarat and its people as well. This display works very well to show some immersive historic films, photographs, and tramway memorabilia as well.

Name Ballarat Tramway Museum
Address 100 Gillies St N, Lake Wendouree VIC 3350, Australia
Directions Google Maps
Distance From Ballarat 3.7 km
Opening Hours Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 10 am–3 pm
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday: Closed
Friday: Closed
Saturday: 11 am–4 pm
Sunday: 11 am–4 pm
Phone Number +61353341580

6. Spend Some time at the Lake Wendouree

Lake Wendouree

Make the most of your time out when the sun is shining, showing its true bright colours, by strolling across Lake Wendouree. It has been more than 150 years since it was first made a public destination. Making it more accessible is its location, as it’s situated in central Ballarat itself. Not just on water, but you find a lot of off-the-water recreational activities and attractions as well.

This picturesque water wonderland was once a swamp that turned out to be a renowned recreational hub that people now take pleasure in going to. Along the lake, you get facilities such as cycling trails, running and walking tracks, playgrounds, picnics, and BBQ facilities. For those seeking some adventure, take part in activities such as sailing, rowing, and fishing.

You can always hire a paddle boat on this lake, but make sure you don’t have any companions who are under the age of 13. Plus, a lot of events are also scheduled at different intervals of time throughout the year that are worth paying a visit to. After spending a couple of hours here, head over to the Boatshed, a well-known restaurant offering scrumptious food along with enchanting views of the Wendouree Lake’s foreshore.

Name Lake Wendouree
Address VIC 3350, Australia
Directions Google Maps
Distance From Ballarat 2.3 km
Opening Hours Monday: 8:30 am–5 pm
Tuesday: 8:30 am–5 pm
Wednesday: 8:30 am–5 pm
Thursday: 8:30 am–5 pm
Friday: 8:30 am–5 pm
Saturday: 8:30 am–5 pm
Sunday: 8:30 am–5 pm
Phone Number 5320 5500

7. Get refreshed at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens

Ballarat Botanical Gardens

Now is the time to get refreshed and enjoy your packed picnic lunch at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens. This beautiful garden covers an area of 40 hectares and has a lot of notable features that leave the visitor stunned. Being Victoria’s oldest inland botanic gardens, it has effortlessly combined marble statues in the shade of mature trees along with colourful flower beds.

This place is also native to the Robert Clark Conservatory, which is a locus for the Ballarat Begonia Festival held in March of every year. This is the very festival that attracts more than 60,000 people over the Labour Day weekend in March. This garden has an invaluable heritage and is a popular location for both visitors and residents alike.

Once established in 1858, this place now attracts thousands of visitors each year to witness some of the most sensational events taking place, such as live music events. Accordingly, make sure to spend some quality time at this wonderful place for recreation and relaxation.

Name Ballarat Botanical Gardens
Address Gillies St N, N Ballarat VIC 3355, Australia
Directions Google Maps
Distance From Ballarat 4.2 km
Opening Hours Monday: 7:30 am–9 pm
Tuesday: 7:30 am–9 pm
Wednesday: 7:30 am–9 pm
Thursday: 7:30 am–9 pm
Friday: 7:30 am–9 pm
Saturday: 7:30 am–9 pm
Sunday: 7:30 am–9 pm
Phone Number +61353205135

8. Pay a visit to the Art Gallery of Ballarat

Art Gallery of Ballarat

If you are someone who truly loves art from the heart, do check out the Art Gallery of Ballarat. It’s the oldest regional art gallery in Australia. This place is not just a regional art gallery but rather a grand heritage building that was opened in 1884. All the art collections it features depict Australian art history from the earliest of the colonial period to the present day.

You can also take the free guided tour at 11 a.m., strolling through all the artworks present here that feature some of the best ceramics, Australian impressionists, metalworks, Indigenous art, Australian paintings, and much more. Some special interest-ticketed shows are also there, which one can take advantage of to learn more about all the art kinds this place has.

For some collectibles, you can always visit the gift shop that sells some art books and related products made by local artisans. People with disabilities can also visit this enchanting place with ease. Not just locals but art lovers from all over the globe come over to this beautiful art gallery to feast their eyes, as it has a collection of more than one hundred and fifty thousand paintings and other pieces of art.

Name Art Gallery of Ballarat
Address 40 Lydiard St N, Ballarat Central VIC 3350, Australia
Directions Google Maps
Distance From Ballarat Around 1 km
Opening Hours Monday: 10 am–5 pm
Tuesday: 10 am–5 pm
Wednesday: 10 am–5 pm
Thursday: 10 am–5 pm
Friday: 10 am–5 pm
Saturday: 10 am–5 pm
Sunday: 10 am–5 pm
Phone Number +61353205858

Final considerations

On your journey of exploring Ballarat, be ready to be amazed by the number of immersive experiences that you’ll get. Energy will pulse through each of your nerves as you roam across the roads, going to meet a new version of yourself. Don’t stop by just knowing about the history of the greatest gold rush, and be enthusiastic to cuddle with animals with your kids at the Ballarat Wildlife Park as you end your journey by admiring the colonial masterpieces of the Art Gallery of Ballarat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Visit the top attractions in Ballarat, which include Sovereign Hill, Ballarat Wildlife Park, the Art Gallery of Ballarat, the Ballarat Botanical Gardens, the Ballarat Tramway Museum, and much more.

Ballarat is well known for the number of award-winning attractions it hosts that offer a distinct experience to all visitors.

Being a city filled with charms and wonders that consist of various attractions, a three-day Ballarat break seems fine to get a guaranteed time here.

The city of Ballarat earned the nickname “The Golden City” this very year, and it’s home to this region’s priciest street, Wendouree Pde, which carries a median house value of $2.3 million.

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