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things to do in Ballarat

Top 10 Unusually Fun Things to Do in Ballarat

Harnessing a rich heritage from the famous Gold Rush history, Ballarat is one of Australia’s most historically significant cities. Its vibrant culture and iconic buildings make up the best things to do in Ballarat, attracting people. Hence, becoming a hot spot for tourists.

City Center of Ballarat things to do in Ballarat
City Center of Ballarat

Also known as Earth’s richest goldfield, Ballarat played a substantial role in Victoria’s Gold Rush of 1851. Thousands of peasants and laborers traveled miles to Ballarat to make a living. Furthermore, it is also where the key event of the Eureka Stockade occurred. The prospectors had revolted against the government forces to abolish mining licenses. Thankfully, the rebellions won the battle, and Ballarat is still a famous gold mining place, attracting thousands annually.

Besides Ballarat’s historical significance, dining in its world-famous country restaurants is one of the top things to do in Ballarat. Deliciously, one can dine in these fabulous places to feast on delectable artisan foods. In addition, Ballarat houses an impressive number of art galleries and museums that will keep you engaged in wanting to learn more. One cannot ignore the gorgeous Lal Lal Falls, which is also one of the best places to click in Ballarat.  

Things to Do in Ballarat

The list of fun things to do in Ballarat is enormous. If you visit the place without planning your trip, you will likely remain in a dilemma. A dilemma of choosing what to do and what not! Hence, the perfect solution for this problem is to create a list of fun things to do in Ballarat to avoid similar situations. 

Besides Ballarat, Australia has numerous places you must visit at least once in your life. To know more about these life-changing places, click here.

One can make their list using our list of top 10 fun things to do in Ballarat this weekend. We have done the research for you and present the activities you will love and enjoy. Finally, without wasting more time, let’s look at the fun things to do in Ballarat!

Things to Do in Ballarat (1-5)

1. Understand the Gold Rush History & Heritage of Ballarat

Besides being Victoria’s commercial center, Ballarat is also home to the state’s great heritage and culture. Buildings found in the city center are the best ways to reminisce about the Gold Rush days of Victoria.

Lydiard Street fun things to do in Ballarat
Lydiard Street

Lydiard Street is the best way to kick-start your heritage tour of Ballarat. However, before starting your heritage walk, grab a brochure and map from the visitor center. These things contain all the historic and necessary details about the places you are about to visit.

Besides being Victoria's commercial center, Ballarat is also home to the state's great heritage and culture. Lydiard Street, Sturt Street, and Camp Street are where you will find most of the historical buildings of Ballarat.

The first thing you will stumble upon on Lydiard Street is Her Majesty’s Theatre, one of Australia’s oldest theatres. Other notable attractions include Craig’s Royal Hotel, the Former Mining Exchange, and the Art Gallery of Ballarat

Her Majesty's Theatre things to do in Ballarat
Her Majesty’s Theatre

Sturt Street and Camp Street are also worth exploring due to the iconic stock route and architectural styles. Furthermore, the Eureka Center enlightens visitors about the iconic Eureka Stockade. Finally, Sovereign Hill is where your heritage tour should end. Visiting the monument is one of the best things to do in Ballarat today, as it will teach you a lot about Australia’s history!

  • Address: Lydraid Street, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
  • Best time to visit: Any time of the day
  • Fun things to do: Go on a heritage tour to some of the most historical places in Ballarat, such as Her Majesty’s Theatre, Sovereign Hill, and the Art Gallery of Ballarat
  • Entrance Fee: Some structures may cost you
  • Hotels Nearby: The Provincial Hotel

2. Relax in Ballarat Botanic Gardens

Wandering through the gorgeous ambiance of the Botanic Gardens is one of our favorite things to do in Ballarat. Located on Lake Wendouree, Botanic Gardens is the perfect blend of well-manicured trees and marble statues. 

Ballarat Botanic Gardens things to do in Ballarat
Ballarat Botanic Gardens

Established around 150 years ago, Ballarat Botanic Gardens have been one of the city’s top attractions for decades. As a result, thousands of tourists worldwide come here to relax and relish the beauty. The main highlights of the Botanic Gardens include Prime Ministers’ Avenue and the Robert Clark Conservatory. 

Firstly, Prime Ministers’ Avenue is for people who want to walk down the historical lane of Australia. About 28 bronze portraits of the Australian Prime Ministers are there to commemorate their work for the nation. Secondly, the Robert Clark Conservatory showcases beautiful & kaleidoscopic flowers. These feature fuschias, hydrangeas, cineraria, primula, pelargoniums, and many more. 

Ballarat Botanic Gardens got established around 150 years ago. Since then, it has been at the top of various lists of things to do in Ballarat for decades.

Visiting Botanic Gardens is one of the best free things to do in Ballarat, especially during winter because of the Begonia Festival. Other things to do in Ballarat Botanic Gardens include seeing the floral clock, admiring the scenic views of Lake Wendouree, relaxing in the sensory garden, and many more.

  • Address: Gillies St N, N Ballarat VIC, Australia 
  • Official websiteClick here
  • Best time to visit: Between 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Fun things to do: Attend Begonia Festival, Visit the Robert Clark Conservatory, relax in the sensory garden, and many more
  • Entrance Fee: Free
  • Hotels Nearby: Lake Inn Ballarat

3. Admire the Beautiful Art Gallery of Ballarat

A true art lover would never miss the Art Gallery of Ballarat. Being Australia’s oldest regional gallery, visiting it is one of the best things to do here. Established in 1884, the gallery boasts an iconic collection of art that represents the country’s heritage in its purest form. 

Art Gallery of Ballarat things to do in Ballarat
Art Gallery of Ballarat

Unsurprisingly, most work in the gallery is from Australian artists, with some International work here and there. Since the entry fee is nil, you can enjoy the lavish 19th-century halls and rooms with contemporary architectural works. For shopping, the Art Gallery of Ballarat offers a gift shop with products ranging from art books and local crafters.

The Art Gallery of Ballarat is Australia's largest and oldest regional gallery!
  • Address: 40 Lydiard St N, Ballarat Central VIC, Australia
  • Official websiteClick here
  • Best time to visit: Between 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM 
  • Fun things to do: Visit the Art Gallery of Ballarat to see the ancient and contemporary art forms of Australia
  • Entrance Fee: Free
  • Hotels Nearby: The Provincial Hotel

4. Visit the Historic Sovereign Hill

As aforementioned, the best way to end your heritage tour of Ballarat is through Sovereign Hill. Sovereign hill is the city’s only live museum, telling tales about the life of Ballarat in the 1850s. To begin with, this outdoor museum got built on the actual gold-mining site used during that time.

Sovereign Hill things to do in ballarat
Sovereign Hill

Right now, Sovereign Hill has become an iconic place due to the variety of things to do in Ballarat it offers. Costumed characters, theatres, horses, goldfields, factories, underground mines, shops, and whatnot! Sovereign Hills has everything you need for a perfect itinerary.

Finally, Aura is a recently launched and enjoyable experience for tourists. This show showcases the Australian history of gold from its origins and takes you on a historical journey to the current day. Hence, if you desire to learn new things, visiting Sovereign Hill is one of the best things to do in Ballarat this weekend.

  • Address: Bradshaw St, Golden Point VIC, Australia
  • Official websiteClick here
  • Best time to visit: Between 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Mondays are closed 
  • Fun things to do: Experience a wonderful theatre experience of Aura and understand the Australian history at Sovereign Hill
  • Entrance Fee: $49 for adults and $29 for children
  • Hotels Nearby: Sovereign Hill Hotel

5. Ballarat Wildlife Park is for Animal Lovers

The number of historical attractions of Ballarat may overwhelm you. Hence, to make you feel relieved from history, there exists the Ballarat Wildlife Park. Wildlife parks have always been famous family places to spend time, and the Ballarat Wildlife Park is no exception.

Ballarat Wildlife Park best things to do in Ballarat
Ballarat Wildlife Park

From Kangaroos and penguins to the Tasmanian devils, one can find their favorite animals here. If cuddling koalas have been your lifelong dream, !you can fulfill it in Ballarat Wildlife Park. Trust us! You will love these best things to do in Ballarat. Except for the exotic wildlife of Australia, you can also spot Sumatran tigers, meerkats, and other beautiful species of the world. 

If cuddling koalas have been your lifelong dream, !you can fulfill it in Ballarat Wildlife Park.
  • Address: Ballarat East VIC 3350, Australia
  • Official websiteClick here
  • Best time to visit: Between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM
  • Fun things to do: Cuddle a koala and meet kangaroos, penguins, emus, Tasmanian Devils, etc
  • Entrance Fee: $36 for adults and $19.50 for children
  • Hotels Nearby: Kryal Castle 

Things to Do in Ballarat (6-10)

6. Take Artisan Masterclasses

Ballarat’s art forms are world-renowned, causing tourists to learn how to get the city’s stunning craftsmanship. The best way to learn the art form is through attending a workshop with local crafters. 

Artisan Masterclasses New skills in Ballarat things to do in Ballarat
Learn New Skills in Ballarat

Our first choice will be the Makers Studio, offering workshops to make jewelry. Likewise, the Parker Knives are famous because of their knifemaking masterclasses with Adam Parker. If you head 15 minutes south of the city center, you will enter the gorgeous Buninyong town. Here, Paul Ryle takes the masterclasses, teaching visitors woodcraft skills.

Opting for a masterclass would help you learn new skills and meet new people. Therefore, if you desire unusual things to do in Ballarat, you must add learning craftsmanship to your list. 

7. Taste the Delectable Wines of Ballarat

What’s the point of visiting an Australian city and not tasting its delectable wine? Fortunately, Ballarat has a flourishing wine region specializing in chardonnay, riesling, pinot noir, and other wines.

Eastern Peake Vineyard things to do in Ballarat
Eastern Peake Vineyard

The most popular vineyard in Ballarat is the Eastern Peake Vineyard. Located at Coghills Creek, the vineyard has won numerous awards, including Gourmet Traveller’s Australian Young Winemaker 2018. Due to this, many tourists have come to taste the delicious wines and even buy some!

Alternatively, if you cannot visit the vineyard, Ballarat has various wine bars. We highly suggest adding this activity to your list of fun things to do in Ballarat this weekend!

  • Address: 67 Pickfords Rd, Coghills Creek VIC 3364, Australia
  • Official websiteClick here
  • Best time to visit: Between 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Sundays to Tuesdays are closed
  • Fun things to do: Taste the most delicious wines in Australia
  • Hotels Nearby: Bell Tower Inn

8. Become Photogenic in Lal Lal Falls

Etymologically, Lal Lal Falls means the ‘dashing of waters.’ Staying true to its meaning, Lal Lal Falls is the best place to become photogenic in Ballarat. If you visit the falls after a heavy downpour, you will encounter majestic views that will melt your heart. 

Lal Lal Falls things to do in Ballarat
Lal Lal Falls

Thankfully, the walking trails connect the extremes of Lal Lal Falls, making it easily accessible. Finally, visiting the blast furnace of the falls is one of the unusual and free things to do in Ballarat. This 19th-century relic showcases the industrial movement of the area.

Quick Tip: Most visitors visit Lal Lal Falls when they go on road trips from Ballarat. 
  • Address: Von Guerard View Track, Lal Lal VIC, Australia
  • Official websiteClick here
  • Best time to visit: After heavy rains
  • Fun things to do: Click photos with the majestic Lal Lal Falls and admire the beauty
  • Entrance Fee: Free
  • Hotels Nearby: Wallace Hotel

9. Take Your Date to Lake Wendouree

If there’s anything more romantic in Ballarat than Lal Lal Falls, it has to be Lake Wendouree. Since it offers picturesque scenery, spending time in the lake is one of the best things to do in Ballarat during sunsets, especially with your loved one. 

Lake Wendouree things to do in Ballarat
Lake Wendouree

Due to the establishment of the Botanic Gardens, Lake Wendouree has seen a significant spike in tourists. Consequently, the lake got transformed into a tourist hub with numerous recreational activities. Spending time here during sunsets with your date is one of the most romantic things to do in Ballarat.

Our favorite thing to do here is to relax at the Yacht Club while admiring the exquisite views of Lake Wendouree. If you desire to cruise on the water, ensure that you board the Golden City Paddle Steamer. Lasting 45 minutes, the cruise is best to understand the lake’s history.

Quick Note: The Golden City Paddle Steamer cruise is operational only on Sundays between November and May. Try to plan your date accordingly.
  • Address: Ballarat VIC, Australia
  • Official websiteClick here
  • Best time to visit: Sunsets 
  • Fun things to do: Spend time with your loved ones, relax at the Yacht Club, and board the Golden City Paddle Steamer
  • Entrance Fee: Free
  • Hotels Nearby: Lake Inn Ballarat

10. Drive to the Tuki Trout Farm

If you love fishing, Tuki Trout Farm is where you ought to be. Located at the top of a hill, get ready to have a unique experience in the countryside of Ballarat. 

Tuki Trout Farm things to do in Ballarat
Tuki Trout Farm

The ponds of Tuki Trout Farm fill themselves with loads of rainbow trout, ensuring you will get a catch. Hence, once you catch one, you can have it cooked in the restaurant and feast on it. The most famous dish among tourists is the freshly-baked rainbow trout served with locally made bread, potatoes, peppercorn, and others. 

Surprisingly, tourists can also find lodging options in the form of Tuki Retreat. This gorgeous property will take care of everything you may need during your stay.

  • Address: 60 Stoney Rises Rd, Smeaton VIC, Australia
  • Official websiteClick here
  • Best time to visit: When you are in Ballarat
  • Fun things to do: Catch the rainbow trout and have it cooked in the nearby restaurant
  • Hotels Nearby: Tuki Retreat

FAQs

  1. <strong>1. When should I visit Ballarat?</strong>

    This four-season destination may puzzle you to decide when to visit Ballarat. However, if you ask us, autumn is the prime time to visit this gorgeous place due to how kaleidoscopic it becomes. The vibrant colors will calm your heart as you complete your list of things to do in Ballarat.

  2. <strong>2. <strong>How many days are enough to stay in Ballarat?</strong></strong>

    Since Ballarat is a relatively small city, a 3-day itinerary is enough to explore it. You can extend this period to 4 days if you mostly rely on public transport. Finally, even a 1-day trip is enough if you desire to get a taste of the city by visiting the heritage centers.

  3. <strong>3. Is Ballarat worth my time?</strong>

    As mentioned, Ballarat is world-renowned for its unusual things to do and historic buildings. If you love understanding a place’s culture and history, Ballarat is definitely worth your time. Besides its history, Ballarat also has unique natural attractions such as the Lal Lal Falls and Lake Wendouree.

  4. <strong>4. How to experience the nightlife of Ballarat?</strong>

    Since Ballarat has gorgeous nightlife, experiencing it is one of the best things to do in Ballarat. You can do so by catching a sunset at Lake Wendouree, listening to live music, eating outdoors, and many more.

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