Lake Wendouree

Hotels in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

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Ballarat is located on the Yarrowee River and just over 100km from the state capital, Melbourne.  The once quaint sheep farming town became one of the most important in all of Victoria during the gold rush days.  In the mid 1800s, news spread about just how easy it was to extract gold from these parts and the yields remained consistent for many years.  Today, Ballarat is known as an important cultural and historic tourist destination.  As a result of the thriving tourism industry, the hospitality industry has also gone from strength to strength.  Ballarat hotels, rental apartments and other types of accommodation vary in price as they do star rating.  A search online for where to stay in Ballarat will mean that visitors can take their pick according to personal preference, needs and budget.

Fun for everyone in Ballarat

No matter your personal interests, there are plenty of different sights and attractions to enjoy in Ballarat.  As with any holiday destination, planning your trip will help you stick to your budget.  By knowing what kinds of sights (and expenses) await, you can avoid overspending.  Create a full plan including sightseeing, meals and shopping so that you know what kind of accommodation you can afford. 

A top attraction for history enthusiasts and anyone interested in the local culture, is the local art gallery.  This art gallery became the very first provincial art gallery back in 1884 and showcases fabulous works in an equally beautiful setting.  The gallery has its own café and gift shop which are both worth frequenting.

For a hands on encounter with the local history, make your way to the Sovereign Hill outdoor museum.  Here you will be able to get a real feel for life at the beginning of the gold rush.  The busy streets are filled with ladies and gentlemen in authentic costumes and they can’t help but show off their wonderful wealth.  You can even pan for real gold and, yes, you get to keep what you find.

Take at least half a day to explore and enjoy the tranquillity and beauty that awaits within the Ballarat Botanical Gardens.  The garden is fairly small but visitors can also enjoy the tram museum and a relaxing walk around Lake Wendouree.  This artificial lake and the wildlife that calls this place home is ideal for a relaxing day out.  If you have a bicycle, you can cycle your way around.  If not, a relaxing walk is just as lovely. On a warm day, there’s nothing better than the somewhat cooler air that comes off the water.

The Arch of Victory is Ballarat’s way of giving their heroes of World War I the recognition and honour they deserve.  The arch is found at the entrance of the city and is a definite must see.

Other top activities in Ballarat

With so many fun things to do in this city, it’s no wonder that tourists spend very little time in their hotel rooms.  By booking the best hotel deal you can find, you can spend your money elsewhere.  The Amazing Mill Markets Ballarat is just such a place and they sell everything from vintage clothes, memorabilia and art to antiques, books and other collectables.  Even if you don’t make any purchases, you most definitely will enjoy taking a look around.

The nightlife in the area is fairly quiet apart from a few restaurants, bars and similar establishments.  A fantastic alternative to the local bar is a trip to Her Majesty’s Theatre.  Check the local listings to find a show that they whole family will enjoy and take the time to appreciate the authentic old style theatre experience and ambiance. 

Like any other tourist destination, Ballarat has its fair share of tour guides and operators.  You can explore the city on your own or sign up for a tour or two while you are here.  Some tours focus on the history and architecture while others are more specialised and there are even evening tours.