Nestled among the foothills of the Great Dividing Range lies Ballarat- one of the largest Victorian-era boomtowns in Australia. Ballarat emerged from the gold rush of the 1850s, and today, is a vibrant city just an hour and a half drive from Melbourne. A casual stroll around Ballarat’s leafy streets, reveals a cluster of historical attractions.
Choice Hotels offers a range of comfortable accommodation options in Ballarat including the Comfort Inn Main Lead, which is perfectly positioned for those seeking family accommodation. Or Comfort Inn Sovereign Hill, which is the only Ballarat hotel onsite at Sovereign Hill historical tourist park.
Comfort Inn & Suites City Views is ideal for the corporate traveller, and is positioned within Ballarat’s Central Business District. As a Corporate traveler, you may also like to stay at Quality Inn & Suites The Menzies, situated on historic Bakery Hill. For a real taste of history, stay in the Quality Inn Heritage on Lydiard, which was formerly the Bank of NSW in the height of the gold rush period! Or the Quality Inn The George, which is situated in the town’s most historical streetscapes.
A trip to Ballarat must begin at Sovereign Hill which is like stepping out of a time machine. It perfectly recreates a Goldfields town with its collection of industrial buildings and shops. The bakeries and candy shops give you a sweet bite from the past. You’ll be instantly transported to a bygone era! At Sovereign Hill, you can also take an underground mine tour and have the opportunity to pan for gold. And why not marvel at the gold display at the Gold Museum located opposite Sovereign Hill! Entry to the museum is included in the entry to Sovereign Hill.
The Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka is a fascinating Ballarat attraction. The museum uses interactive and visual displays to recapture a defining Australian democratic event-The Eureka Stockade.
Away from gold-related attractions lies Kryal Castle Adventure Park, which is sure to grab the attention of all ages. This replica castle is home to a mythical world of knights, wizards, dragons, fairies, goblins, and more! At Kryal Castle, you’ll be captivated by jousting shows, enjoy pony or carriage rides, and weave your way through a maze.
Ballarat Wildlife Park will delight the kids with its wide assortment of native animals, including cute koalas, wombats and a five metre crocodile. There’s also opportunities for up-close encounters with many of the animals. Lake Wendouree is in the heart of Ballarat and offers myriad activities. This is a tranquil spot, ideal for a barbecue, picnic or gentle stroll. On weekends and public holidays, you can take a relaxing tram ride around the lake’s surrounds.
Gold Rush Golf will appeal no matter the weather. With both indoor and outdoor 18-hole mini-golf courses, this facility is sure to entertain. It also features a games room and café where you can chill out. A wet and cold day won’t dampen the mood at Laserforce, either. This indoor game of skill is well suited to all ages…even big kids at heart.
Ballarat has something for everyone!