02 May 2018, Posted by Tony Sheer
Are you planning a getaway to the beautiful rural Victorian city of Ballarat sometime in the near future? At only an hour and a half’s drive from Melbourne, this is the perfect destination for an overnight escape or even a longer stay. When planning your holiday, we’re sure that you’re interested in working some of Ballarat’s top attractions and experiences into your plans…
- Arch of Victory
Known for being one of the most imposing war memorials in Australia (outside of capital cities), the Arch of Victory marks the beginning of the 22km long Avenue of Honour. This is a moving, living memorial consisting of nearly 4000 trees to commemorate the fallen from Ballarat who fought in World War I. The first trees were planted back in 1917.
- Art Gallery of Ballarat
One of the best and oldest regional galleries in Australia, it was first established back in 1854 during the gold rush (the building itself dates back to 1890). The gallery has a sizeable permanent collection but is also host to temporary exhibitions throughout the year; be sure to check the website to see what’s on offer when you plan to visit.
- Lake Wendouree
The venue for the rowing competition at the 1956 Olympics, the lake is known for being one of Ballarat’s best natural assets. It is lined with historic boathouses and some of the city’s most prestigious homes; feel free to walk, cycle or drive your way around it. On the western shore you’ll also find the Ballarat Botanical Gardens.
- Lydiard Street
Often regarded by experts as being among the best preserved Victorian streetscapes outside of England, by taking a walk down popular Lydiard Street you will be able to see some of Ballarat’s most impressive heritage architecture. It’s where you will find the old Colonists Club, Her Majesty’s Theatre, Craig’s Royal Hotel, and the Art Gallery of Ballarat.
- Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (M.A.D.E.)
This interactive museum has been built on the site of the miner’s uprising back in 1854, which has long been considered to represent the birth of democracy in Australia. The state-of-the-art museum is the current home of the Eureka Flag, and there is plenty of exhibits on offer to interest adults and children alike.
- Sovereign Hill
Regarded as one of the best outdoor folkloric museums in the world, Sovereign Hill is an accurate recreation of Ballarat during the 1850s gold rush. Each evening, the museum is host to ‘Blood on the Southern Cross’ – a multimillion dollar sound and light spectacular that tells the story of the Eureka Rebellion in December 1854.
- Sturt Street
One of the grandest main thoroughfares in regional Victoria, Sturt Street is spread across 6 lanes and is awash with statue-studded gardens down its centre (including one of Queen Victoria, overlooking the Town Hall). Check out the historic bandstand, which was erected by local musicians to commemorate their colleagues on the RMS Titanic.
No matter how long you’re planning to stay, incorporating any number of the above attractions and experiences into your itinerary is sure to make your Ballarat getaway an enjoyable one. Whether you’re travelling with your significant other, friends or with the whole family in tow, rest assured that there is something for everyone and plenty of memories to be made.