Ballarat Bucket List: 10 Best Places to Visit in Ballarat, Australia
The city of Ballarat is famous for its Victorian Architecture, and its deep history dates back from the gold rush days. Other than its historical buildings, there are many best things to do in Ballarat (Australia), from medieval castle experience to bird watching. If you are planning to visit the historic city of Ballarat, check out our list of the 10 best things to do in Ballarat (Australia).
Go back in time when you visit the richest alluvial gold rush site in the world, the Sovereign Hill. It is a 25-hectare site that was transformed into an outdoor museum featuring European history in Ballarat. Today, Sovereign Hill consists of over 60 replica historic buildings and costumed actors portraying the Victorian Goldrush.
Another must-see to explore the history and architecture is Ballarat Town. The town is filled with historical buildings dating back from the gold rush time, such as the Her Majesty’s Theatre, which is considered one of Australia’s oldest longstanding theatres. Other tourist sites are also near the town, like the Lake Wendouree, Botanical Gardens, and Art Gallery of Ballarat.
Originally founded in 2013, the Eureka Centre is Australia’s democracy and historical landmark. The museum’s former name is the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (M.A.D.E) and was created to showcase democracy. It features an informative exhibit of the Eureka Rebellion and the original Eureka Flag used by rebels.
Situated at the heart of Ballarat, Lake Wendouree is where the locals hung for over 150 years. Dating back from the gold rush days, the artificially created lake has been a well-known recreational lake for the community since the 1860s. Several events have also been hosted in Lake Wendouree, such as canoeing and rowing back in the 1956 Olympic Games and a go-to place for boating.
Ballarat Wildlife Park
If you are visiting Ballarat with family, especially with kids, head to the Ballarat Wildlife Park. The 35-acre interactive wildlife park opened its doors to the public in 1987 and currently houses over 400 species of animals. Some of their residents include meerkats, Koala, crocodiles, wombats, and Tasmanian devils.
Ballarat Botanical Gardens
Situated on the western shore of Lake Wendouree, the beautiful landscape and well maintained Ballarat Botanical Gardens is the perfect place to get away from the city. The garden features vibrant blooming flowers, a vast modern conservatory, statuary pavilion, and statue collections.
If you are into a medieval times experience, bring your families and friends along at the Kryal Castle, offering loads of fun activities. Built by Keith Ryall in 1972, the replica of the medieval castle opened to the public in 1974, featuring castle towers, armory, stocks, moat, drawbridge, and a maze.
Fine Art Gallery of Ballarat
For travelers who are into art, don’t miss the chance to visit the oldest and largest regional art gallery in Australia, the Art Gallery of Ballarat. Formerly named the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery and founded in 1884, the gallery features traditional to contemporary pieces reminiscent of the gold rush and other diverse collections of artworks.
Ballarat Tramway Museum
A tram ride at Ballarat Tramway Museum is an excellent way to experience Ballarat’s history and is perfect for family trips. The exciting museum offers an informative tour of the facility and features a tram ride traveling back and forth Lake Wendouree.
Ballarat Bird World
Apart from the Ballarat Wildlife Park, another must-visit with kids or anyone into bird watching is the Ballarat Bird World. The facility is a 1200 square meters free-flight walk-in aviary, housing Australian parrots and different bird species and life-size triceratops animatronic dinosaurs.
- Pride, Hastings, (2019), 11 Top-Rated Attractions in Ballarat, Bendigo & the Macedon Ranges, PlanetWare
- 15 Best Things to Do in Ballarat (Australia), The Crazy Tourist
- Top 11 Things to Do in Ballarat (+ How to Get There), Miss Tourist
Our Top Hotel Picks for Ballarat
- Craig’s Royal Hotel – Located on historic Lydiard Street in the heart of beautiful Ballarat, Craig’s Royal Hotel is a destination in itself. A 4-minute walk from the Art Gallery of Ballarat a 9-minute walk from Sturt Street Gardens.
- Ballarat Premier Apartment – A 2-minute walk from Sturt Street Gardens, a 10-minute walk from the Art Gallery of Ballarat, and 3 km from Sovereign Hill open-air museum. Luxury accommodation in the heart of Ballarat. Victoria listed heritage building renovated with modern amenities and breathtaking decor.
- The Provincial Hotel – In an ornate Victorian building with twin turrets and arched balconies, this polished hotel is a 1-minute walk from Ballarat train station, 2.9 km from the Sovereign Hill open-air museum, and 4.2 km from Ballarat Wildlife Park.
Searching for the best hotels, resorts, tour packages, and affordable flights in Ballarat and nearby cities? Check out our list of affordable Ballarat hotels and resorts via Agoda and Booking.
Ballarat Travel and Tour Packages
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Also read: How To Apply For An Australian Tourist Visa For Filipinos.