Discover the sights and delights of Ballarat, located approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes drive from Melbourne via the Western Freeway. Featuring historic landmarks, extensive cycle paths to locally produced food and wine, Ballarat was suitably named runner-up Best Town in Australia in the 2011 AT Readers’ Choice Awards.
WHERE TO STAY
There are a wealth of accommodation options in Ballrat, including stays in fully-restored 19th century buildings, quaint B&Bs, boutique hotels, motels and premier holiday parks.
WHAT TO DO
There’s plenty of family fun to be had in Ballarat, such as hand-feeding kangaroos at the Ballarat Wildlife and Reptile Park.
Visitors can also step back in time and experience Australia’s exciting goldrush days at nearby Sovereign Hill, and participate in numerous activities like panning for gold.
For adults, there’s plenty of local art galleries and museums, as well as stylish bars and restaurants, many of which serve local food and wine.
There’s also many historic villages to explore nearby, including Creswick, Daylesford and Castelmaine.
But the best way to see the town is on bike, with many local cycle paths such as the Ballarat to Skipton Rail Trail, Ballarat Heritage Ride and the Yarrowee River Trail.
Ballarat is situated just over an hour’s drive from Melbourne via the Western Freeway (M8).
Visitors arriving by air into Melbourne (Tullamarine) can continue on to Ballarat by taking the Ballarat Airport Shuttle Bus, which runs a number of daily services. Bookings are recommended.
V/Line runs a number of trains daily to Ballarat from Melbourne’s Southern Cross (formerly Spencer Street) Station.
All trains stop at Ballarat’s main station in the heart of town, with selected services continuing on to Wendouree station, offering convenient access to Ballarat Botanical Gardens and Lake Wendouree.
Once in the city, bus services run from Sturt Street, Ballarat’s main thoroughfare, to most local attractions. Taxi services are also available.