8 Things You Didn’t Know About Ballarat, VIC!

Looking for a quirky weekend escape from the Melbourne daily grind? At 90-minutes away, Ballarat in Victoria is your answer.

Here are 8 things you (probably) didn’t know about Ballarat…

You can…

Ride the highest operating railway in Victoria

Step back in time and discover Victoria: sprawling farmland, small gold rush counties, green forests, ancient volcanos. Better yet, on Sundays, you can embark from an 1882 heritage-listed station and ride Daylesford Spa Country Railway’s historic train. All aboard!

 

You can…

Stop and smell the lavender

Rows upon rows of lavender await visitors at Yuulong Lavender Estate, plus a café and gift shop for all your lavender needs. The main fields flower mid-November to late January – and you’ll definitely be forgiven for thinking you’re in the French provincial countryside!

Lavender

You can…

See a prototype of a swing-wing fighter, the AA107

OK, so I won’t pretend that I know the exact specs of an AA107; but, for you aviation enthusiasts, I hear it’s quite a sight! Visit the Ballarat Aviation Museum to discover more aircraft from the 1920s to today.

 

You can…

Cheer for your favourite knight at a jousting tourney

Kryal Castle is calling all aspiring lords and ladies, knights and wizards, to step into a medieval adventure. The jousting re-enactments are a must-do, and other attractions include the castle dungeons, a maze, plus – if you time it right – murder mystery evenings and medieval feasts.

Medieval festivities!

Medieval festivities!

You can…

Ogle the Destiny Nugget

Discovered in Ballarat just two years ago, the Destiny gold nugget is worth $500,000 and is on display in Sovereign Hill’s Gold Museum. An open air living museum, Sovereign Hill is a 25-acre Gold Rush town complete with shops, theatre, schools and underground mines. Fancy your chances of discovering hidden treasure? The second largest nugget in the entire world (weighing 68.27kg and worth $3 million) was discovered in Ballarat. Grab your shovel!

 

You can…

Gaze at the stars in Australia’s First Municipal Observatory

In addition to a 3D theatre offering an AstroTour of our Solar System, Ballarat Municipal Observatory & Museum uses modern and historic telescopes to showcase our universe. Attend one of regular events: total lunar eclipses, cosmos lecture series, and the Ballarat International Foto Biennale.

solar system

You can…

Lose yourself in 1.4km botanical maze

Tangled Maze puts your navigation skills to the test, with 2m high botanical walls full of flowering plants, dead ends, and 2 lookout towers offering 360 degree views of the Central Highlands.

 

You can…

Amble through one of Australia’s most significant cool climate gardens

40 Hectares of grounds await you at Ballarat Botanical Gardens – from Victorian pleasure garden, open parkland, the site of the 1956 Rowing Olympics at Lake Wendouree, fernery and conservatory. Sound like a lot? Ballarat Tramway Museum operates an authentic vintage tram as your choice of transport through the gardens!

Ballarat Botanical Gardens

Ballarat Botanical Gardens

Looking for somewhere to stay and recharge after gallivanting about Ballarat? Charming WorldMark Resort Ballarat is a historically listed building set in sprawling grounds -

WorldMark Resort Ballarat

WorldMark Resort Ballarat

 

Have you visited Ballarat? Add your must-see tips in a comment below!

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