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Ballarat - Cities, Towns and Localities
Ballarat is steeped in history, with majestic architecture of historic buildings and statues that line the main street giving the gold city a genuine rich colonial feel unrivalled elsewhere in Australia.

Once you’ve explored Ballarat’s past and present, there’s a whole region to discover, as the city lies close to the Great Ocean Road and to the heart of some of Victoria’s finest attractions, the spectacular Grampians, wineries of the Pyrenees and historic mining towns abound.

Ballarat is also host to a number of festivals during the year including the Ballarat Heritage Festival, Buninyong Gold King Festival, Ballarat Cup Carnival, Ballarat Begonia Festival and many more.

Following are some of the attractions to be enjoyed.

Ballarat Attractions

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Ballarat Wildlife Park
• Cnr York & Fussell Sts, BALLARAT EAST VIC 3350 Ph: 03 5333 5933 • Email
The interactive wildlife experience of a lifetime! Koalas, wombats, salt and freshwater crocodiles, Tasmanian devils, goannas, giant tortoises, wedge-tailed eagles, snakes, wallabies, free-range kangaroos, emus and more. The park is a comfortable drive from Melbourne by car or coach and just 5 minutes from Sovereign Hill.
Ballarat Botanical Gardens • Ph: 03 5320 7444 • Email Cover an area of 40 hectares divided into 3 distinct zones. The central Botanical Gardens preserve the ‘gardenesque’ style of the Victorian pleasure garden. On either side are open parkland buffers known as the North and South Gardens.
Ballarat Chinese Heritage Trail
• Freecall: 1800 446 633 (Contact Ballarat Visitor Information Centre)
The Ballarat Chinese Heritage Trail has been put together to provide visitors to Ballarat with an understanding of sites that are rich in information on the Chinese in Ballarat in the 19th century. They encompass some original sites, such as the cemeteries, and contemporary sites such as Sovereign Hill (in particular the Chinese Village and Joss House).
Ballarat Fine Art Gallery
• Ph: 03 5320 5858 • Email
Home of the original Eureka Flag, Australia’s largest and oldest regional art gallery housing major works throughout the year.
Ballarat Gold Trail
• Bradshaw St, Sovereign Hill, BALLARAT VIC 3350
• Ph: 03 5337 1107 • Fax: 03 5332 9052 • Email The Ballarat Gold Trail explores Ballarat’s goldfields heritage through a driving tour in and around Ballarat. It takes you to 16 of the major sites associated with Ballarat’s mining history and provides a marvellous orientation to the city, incorporating two of the best panoramic views of Ballarat.

Signs scattered along the Gold Trail offer visitors detaisl about the life of teh miners, the characters, culture and events that helped shape Ballarat’s goldmining industry.

The complete two-hour tour includes sites relatively untouched since the 1850’s as well as totally reconstructed sites like Sovereign Hill. Take the time to discover for yourself some of Ballarat’s rich, golden history.

The Ballarat Gold Trail brochure is available from the Ballarat Visitor Information Centre. The trail includes:
  1. Centenary of Gold Discovery
    (at Visitor Information Centre, 39 Sturt St)
  2. Welcome Nugget
    (cnr Ballarat Leagues Club, 52 Humffray St, Nth Ballarat)
  3. Black Hill Sign
    (down dirt track to end of road, Black Hill Reserve)
  4. Eureka Lead & Miners’ Cottages
    (opposite Eureka Centre, Eureka  St)
  5. The Chinese Village and Gold Monument
    (opposite Llanberris Reserve)
  6. Old Theatre Site
    (near Red Lion Hotel, 223 Main Rd)
  7. Poverty Point
    (off Main Rd)
  8. Gold Museum
    (Bradshaw St, Sovereign Hill)
  1. Sovereign Hill Lookout
    (Golden Point, Sovereign Hill)
  2. Ballarat Goldfields
    (current operation, Mount Pleasant)
  3. Desoza Park
    (Warrenheip St, Buninyong)
  4. Hiscock’s Sign
    (opposite Cemetery, Learmonth St)
  5. Magpie
    (near bridge on Magpie Rd)
  6. South Star Mine
    (cnr Albert and Vickers St)
  7. Band of Hope and Albion Consoles Mine
    (1 Darling Street)
  8. Victoria Park

Ballarat Observatory
• Cnr Magpie and Cobden Sts, MOUNT PLEASANT VIC 3350
• Ph: 03 5332 7526 (Evening) • Mobile: 0419 103 213 (Daytime) • Email
• Fri-Sat - 7 pm - 9 pm (later if fine, add 1 hour for summer time)
The observatory was established in 1886 by James Oddie with the help of Captain Henry Evans Baker, who make most of the telescopes on site. After Oddie’s death it was looked after by the School of Mines, then the City of Ballarat East, before the amalgamation with the current City of Ballarat.

The Ballarat Astronomical Society was formed in 1959 and have been the caretakers ever since.

In 1989, the Observatory gained National Trust classification which include the buildings, telescopes with one of the special features being the “Stained Glass Windows” created between 1914 to 1929. The observatory has 16 stained glass windows in total, an excellent collection of cosmic, religious and scientific symbolism which portrayed some contemporary understanding of astronomy.
  • Ballarat ObservatoryThe Jelbart Dome - house the 125 mm (5 inch) brass Jelbart Refractor telescope made in 1916 in England and brought to Australia and donated to the Observatory by the Jelbart Brothers in 1918.
  • Oddie Telescope - 200 mm (8 inch) Newtonian reflector. Built by Captain Henry Evans Baker c1880.
  • Baker Telescope - 650 mm (26 inch) reflector. Built by Captain Henry Evans Baker, commissioned 1886.
  • Celestron Telescope - 350 mm (14 inch) Schmidt Cassegrain.
  • Federation Telescope - 406 mm (16 1/4 inch) Adcock F16, Cassegrain/Springfield. Designed and built by Barry Adcock in 2001. This telescope has disability access.
  • Thommo Telescope  - 250 mm (10 inch) Reflector telescope.
  • Thompson Memorial - 200 mm (12 inch) Reflector telescope.

AstroTour - virtual tours of the universe. BAS is proud to announce the Virtual REality/3D theatre is now at the Ballarat Observatory. This is similar to IMAX but on a smaller scale. The movies (ranging from 30 to 50 mins) are made at the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputering, Swinburne University of Technology and cover various topics. Tours of the observatory and viewing if fine, day or night. Talks can cover specific topics for school groups, a requested by teachers and arranged for community groups.

Warm clothing is advised, even in summer for evening viewing.


Ballarat Tramway Museum
• Ph: +61 3 5334 1580 • Email
Australia's most authentic Tramway Museum. Trams run on Saturdays, Sundays, public and school holidays between 12.30 pm and 5 pm throughout the year. Charter trips can also be arranged.

Enjoy a ride on one of the 80 year old trams which provided Ballarat's main form of passenger service until 1971. The vintage tram ride covers 1.3km of original line through the beautiful Botanical Gardens by the western side of tranquil Lake Wendouree.

The Museum is one of a couple of purely volunteer group in the world operating tramcars in a public road and over a section of original track. At the depot there is a museum display of photographs and tramway memorabilia for visitors. The tramcar fleet and workshops area can also be inspected.
The rolling stock includes Ballarat Horse Tram No. 1 and ten tramcars which initially ran in Melbourne between 1913 and 1951, plus two acquired directly from Melbourne by the Museum in 1975.
Chocolate Mill
• 5451 Midland Hwy, MOUNT FRANKLIN VIC 3461 • Ph: 03 5476 4208
• Opens Tue-Sun — 10 am - 5 pm  and public holidays
Had-made with Belgian chocolate. Come taste the difference... Our goal is to provide you with world class hand-made chocolates made from a unique combination of all natural, premium quality ingredients, with no artificial preservatives. These, together with Callebaut, Belgium’s finest couverture, make our chocolates sinfully delicious... We have over 70 different selections of freshly hand-made chocolates and are continuously creating new sensations to tempt you.
The Eureka Centre
• Cnr Eureka & Rodier Sts, BALLARAT VIC 3350
• Ph: 03 5320 5858 • Fax: 03 5331 6361 • Email • Open daily except Christmas Day
The Eureka Centre in Ballarat stands on the site of one of the most significant events in Australian history, the “Eureka Rebellion”. In December 1854, Ballarat’s miners took up arms against a corrupt and unjust goldfields administration. After years of oppression, the bloody battle that followed led to the birth of true democracy in Australia.

The Eureka Centre — explore five exhibition galleries, reflect in the Contemplation Space, see ‘Voices from Eureka’ in the Theatrette, consider you verdict in the Hall of Debate, browse in the Eureka Gift Shop and relax in our coffee kiosk.

Eureka Stockade Gardens — visit the 1880s monument, explore the 2004 Eureka Circle, play at the Eureka Adventure Playground, picnic with the family, take time to relax and reflect at this sacred site.
Gold Museum
• Bradshaw St, Sovereign Hill, BALLARAT VIC 3350
• Ph: 03 5337 1107 • Fax: 03 5332 9052 • Email
The museum takes you on an extraordinary journey, beginning with a gold coin struck in 330-380 BCE for Phillip of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great and ending in Ballarat, a goldrush town that became a grand Victorian city in just 20 years.

“Land of the Wathaurung” is a multimedia display that tells the story of the Wathaurung people, the traditional owners of the land in the region.

“Ballarat: Inspired by Gold” is a magnificent exhibition telling the city’s story through the eyes of artists including Eugène von Guérard, S T Gill and François Cogné and the panoramic photography of William Bardwell and others Numerous artefacts from the diggings and quartz mines support extracts from diaries, letters and government reports which give eye-witness accounts of the Gold Rush that changed the face of Victoria.

The Jessica and Paul Simon Gold Pavilion boast one of Australia’s finest collections of gold coins. Most were given by passionate collectors, Paul and Jessica Simon, who believed the world’s history could be told in its coins.

If you buy a Ballarat Eureka Pass, you will get two days of unlimited entry to explore Sovereign Hill and the Gold Museum at your own leisure, along with admission to The Eureka Centre and Ballarat Fine Art Gallery.
Her Majesty’s Theatre
Email One of Australia’s finest historic theatre’s. The centre of performing arts in Ballarat since 1875.
Kirrit Barreet
• 407 Main Rd, BALLARAT VIC 3350 • Ph: 035332 2755 • Fax: 03 5332 2855 • Email
A place of creation — Kirrit Barreet (meaning place of creation) is an art and cultural centre that exhibits high quality local and regional contemporary and traditional Aboriginal art and craft. The centre was established by the Ballarat Aboriginal community as a way to preserve cultural identity and educate non-Indigenous people about both Koorie culture and the local Wathaurong tribe.

Kirrit Barreet is also an education centre. Visitors to the Aboriginal owned and operated centre can enjoy educational tours, cultural talks, an art gallery, profiling Victorian Aboriginal artists and a retail shop stocking a wide variety of predominantly Aboriginal Victorian arts and crafts, including an extensive bookshop and educational resources. Activities such as didgeridoo playing, boomerang painting and throwing are available. We also have an indigenous plant garden and feature garden.
Kryal Castle
• R.S.D. E332, BALLARAT VIC 3352
• Ph: 03 5334 7388 • Fax: 03 5334 7422 • Ph: 0413 599 391 (Wedding enquiries) • Email
Situated on the picturesque slopes of Mount Warrenheip, just 8 kilometres east of Ballarat on the Western Highway. Come and enjoy the experience of life in the Medieval Days. Attractions include daily live medieval re-enactments, magic shows, archery, a bluestone maze, and live birds of prey (on weekends and holidays). There is also a fine collection of arms and armour, a torture chamber, dungeons, a comical graveyard, an exposition of the “Magna Carta” and jousting in season. Kryal Castle is also an ideal venue for your next conference or wedding - with the tavern offering the setting for a superb night - with Royal Accommodation available for function guests or casual travellers. The castle building itself is a vast complex of gothic towers, turrets, parapets and battlements, complete with moat and drawbridge.
The Mining Exchange
• Ph: 03 5333 4242 • Email Victoria’s largest range of natural gold nuggets found in local goldfields, plus a huge range of gold products for sale.
Sovereign Hill
• Sovereign Hill, BALLARAT VIC 3350 • Ph: 03 5337 1100 • Fax: 03 5331 1528 • Email
Image going back over a century to Victoria’s Gold Rush days, to relive the history and excitement of the era. Sovereign Hill is a recreated goldfield township set across over 60 acres on a site linked with the richest alluvial gold rush in the world. Sovereign Hill faithfully depicts Ballarat’s first 10 years after the discovery of gold in 1851.

Australian history is brought to life with the streets bustling with people dressed in costume of the period. The Diggings are alive with miners panning for real gold, and you can even take a ride through the streets in a horse-drawn carriage. There shops, hotels, schools, a theatre, crafts, steam-driven machinery and working plant, all of which were know to have existed in Ballarat during the 1850s.

You can try your luck at panning for gold on the Red Hill Gully Diggings. See and experience the lifestyle of the early gold diggers in their tents and mud-and-bark huts. Learn about the influence of the Chinese at Golden Point on the Ballarat goldfields. You will see horses everything from hauling carriages and carts to providing horse power to work the early mining machinery on the Diggings.

In the Main Street, as well as people in period costume, you will also see business typical of the era. There is the United States Hotel with its Victoria Theatre, and the Charlie Napier Hotel, representing two of Ballarat’s more famous hotels. Treat yourself at the Spencer’s Confectionary Shop and the Hope Bakery. Enjoy the special aroma of the Grocers or the Apothecaries’ Hall and admire the stock of elegant items in the Drapery. You can exhilarate with riding in the Five-In-Hand Concord Coach and then have your photograph taken in the Red Hill Photographic Rooms.

You can also watch Carriage Builders and Wheelwrights at work. There is also a Furniture Manufactory, a working Jeweller’s, Tinsmiths, Metal Spinners, Blacksmiths, Potter, a Candlemaker’s and Confectionery Factory.

In the quartz mine precinct you can re-discover the steam age. It begins in the Boiler House where two Cornish Boilers produce steam for the quartz crushing Battery. the Beam Pump and the Mine Blacksmith’s Shop. The mine building stands beside the mullock heap of the New Normanby Mine. There is a guided tour below ground where you will see some of the original workings of that mine, a number of dioramas depicting the working life of miners in the quartz era and the traditional digging methods used in the late nineteenth century.

If that is not enough you can also see our sound and light show under the stars and maybe stay overnight in our accommodation.

 

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