AT’s guide to the best cheap accommodation for summer and Christmas holidays


Why do we rate it?
Ballarat has a glittering past.

Where is it?
117km north-west of Melbourne, Ballarat is a 1hr 30min drive on the Western Freeway.

Where to stay
Go for something with a little character – Alexandra House is a heritage-listed property built in 1908. The amenities are all this century but step back in time in the restored billiard room. At Sovereign Hill, heritage double rooms offer a slice of the luxurious gold-rush lifestyle, while the Canadian barracks and dormitories are more akin to the original goldminers’ rooms.

How much is it?
Units at Alexandra House start at $110 a night for two, a queen suite is $150 and king is $170. Sovereign Hill doubles cost $175, Canadian barracks cost $145, dormitories start at $68.

As we went to print, Alexandra House and Sovereign Hill still had availability for Christmas and January.

What to do
Alexandra House is 2km from the CBD – a pleasant walk along beautiful streets lined with heritage houses. Their Victorian and Edwardian architecture is worth admiring before visiting the original Eureka flag at the Art Gallery of Ballarat. Step back into Ballarat’s goldmining past at Sovereign Hill. Try gold panning or take the Red Hill Mine underground tour.

Alexandra House //
187 Scott Pde.
(03) 5338 7007;

Sovereign Hill //
39-41 Magpie St.
(03) 5337 1100.

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