Ballarat

Ballarat
Ballarat is one of Victoria’s must-see destinations. The grand old buildings, the broad boulevards and golden statues provide an exciting contrast to the modern, bustling atmosphere of this city. The city owes its history to the pioneers who flocked to the area in the 1850s in the hope of making it rich. The wealth created by the gold rush is present everywhere as a result. Be sure to head to Sovereign Hill, a living museum representing the discovery of gold in 1851. 
Admission price
Set on a former goldmining site, the compound has more than 60 buildings, while more than 200 people volunteer to dress in period costume. While you're in Ballarat, be sure to check out M.A.D.E - the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka. M.A.D.E explores many concepts: what it means to be an effective, engaged Australian; how we can create a more inclusive and connected society in a digital era; how we can thrive as a nation through harnessing our creativity and energy; and, what we can offer to a globalised world. You can find out more at the M.A.D.E website. Or you can get up close with the friendly kangaroos at the Ballarat Wildlife Park, take a long walk around the shores of Lake Wendouree, or enjoy the lights of Lydiard Street by night. When dark descends, you can take in some of the great pubs and restaurants in the precinct and enjoy the warm hospitality of the locals.

Getting there

Train line
Ballarat
Closest station/stop

Ballarat is just over an hour by train from Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station. V/Line also offers bus services linking Ballarat with other towns around Victoria. Your V/Line ticket is valid for travel on the Ballarat town buses at no extra cost. Tip: Travelling on V/Line during off-peak times is more convenient and cheaper!

 

Local Transport

Ballarat Station is just a few minutes walk from Ballarat’s city centre, or it is very easy to catch a bus or a taxi into Ballarat from the station.

Local buses depart Ballarat Station regularly.

Route 8 takes you to the Wildlife Park.
Route 9 takes you to Sovereign Hill and the Wildlife Park.
Route 16 takes you to the Botanic Gardens, Lake Wendouree and the Tramways Museum.

Check the PTV website for bus timetables.

 

Itineraries

Try this weekend itinerary:

Saturday

Catch the Gold Rush Special from Southern Cross Station, with transfers direct to Sovereign Hill. You might consider staying at the Sovereign Hill lodge for convenience.

Check out the sweet-making display at 11.30am, the Street Theatre at midday, the Gold Pour at 1pm, the Red Coat soldiers at 1.30pm, the Chinese Goldfields tour at 2.30pm and the candle-making exhibition at 3pm. See the most recent visitors’ guide on arrival for times and information.

Book into the Blood on the Southern Cross tour at night, which operates seven nights a week, but times change due to light conditions.

Sunday

Take a trip to the Ballarat Wildlife Park on the number 8 or 9 bus. Stop by the Art Gallery of Ballarat .Wander around Lake Wendouree and the park precinct, and take a stroll in town along Lydiard Street.