BallaratAustralia

Image for Ballarat showing night scenes and heritage architecture

Visit Ballarat

Home to the famous Eureka Stockade, this historic gold rush city has fascinating museums, fresh local produce, wildlife parks and a tribute to Australian democracy.

Visit Ballarat to experience the story of Victoria’s historic goldfields and see where the famous Eureka Stockade miners’ revolt took place. The city’s history as a gold rush town is woven into its architecture, museums, parks and public monuments. Go to Lake Wendouree, Victoria Park and nearby wildlife parks to see some of Australia’s fascinating native animals.

Explore historic downtown Ballarat and take a stroll down the wide streets. See lavish buildings from the mid-19th century gold rush era, complete with cast-iron lace verandas and ornate façades. Highlights include the Ballarat Railway Station, the Ballarat Centenary Hotel and Her Majesty’s Theatre.

The open-air museum at Sovereign Hill recreates a historic gold mining village. You can speak with informative tour guides in period dress and pan for gold. Admission to Sovereign Hill includes entry to the Gold Museum and the sound-and-light show, Blood on the Southern Cross. Learn about the Eureka Stockade and its historical significance at the Museum of Australian Democracy, located on the site where the miners’ rally against licence fees took place in 1854.

Some of Australia’s finest artwork, from colonial to contemporary, is on display at the Art Gallery of Ballarat. For a trip back to medieval times, head to Kryal Castle, a theme park and resort.

At Ballarat Wildlife Park, hand feed kangaroos or see native waterfowl come in to roost at Lake Wendouree. Stroll or cycle along the lake’s trails or visit the sprawling Botanical Gardens.

Take advantage of Ballarat’s great dining scene, with casual cafés, upscale restaurants and a string of local wineries and breweries. Sample regional produce in local restaurants or purchase direct from the city’s fresh produce markets.

Ballarat is accessible by regional train or shuttle bus from Melbourne International Airport at Tullamarine. Melbourne city is a 1.5-hour drive from Ballarat. Visit during one of the city’s exciting festivals, such as the Ballarat Cabaret Festival or the SpringFest Market Weekend.

Top hotels in Ballarat

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre
Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre
4 out of 5
AU$128
per night
Jan 27 - Jan 28

Situated in the historical district, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Gold Museum and Sovereign Hill. Lake Esmond Botanical Garden and Lake Esmond ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (1,535 reviews)

"Easy to get to and we had previously stayed here. Close to a hotel venue and was easy walking to city centre."…"

Reviewed on 11 Jan. 2020

Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre
Ballarat Colonial Motor Inn & Apartments
Ballarat Colonial Motor Inn & Apartments
3 out of 5
9379 Western Highway, Ballarat, Warrenheip, VIC
AU$104
per night
Feb 24 - Feb 25

Situated in Warrenheip, this apartment building is within 6 miles (10 km) of Eureka Aquatic Center, Sovereign Hill and Eureka Hall. Ballarat Wildlife Park and ...

3.9/5Very Good! (860 reviews)

"bathroom was abit average rest OK ......."…"

Reviewed on 18 Jan. 2020

Ballarat Colonial Motor Inn & Apartments
Sovereign Hill Hotel
Sovereign Hill Hotel
3.5 out of 5
AU$130
per night
Jan 27 - Jan 28

Situated in Golden Point, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Gold Museum and Sovereign Hill. Lake Esmond and Lake Esmond Botanical Garden are also within ...

4.3/5Excellent! (408 reviews)

"Great to have direct entry to Sovereign Hill. Comfortable rooms & bathroom well appointed. Only negative was no microwave to heat anything, which meant travelling every night for dinner, as Dining room did not do night meals & no cafe/restaurant available within walking distance (we had 2 nights ..."…"

Reviewed on 10 Jan. 2020

Sovereign Hill Hotel

Popular things to do in Ballarat

Sovereign Hill
Image for Sovereign Hill

Sovereign Hill

4.5/5(180 reviews)

Strike gold at this open-air museum, which tells the story of Ballarat’s first decade as a gold rush town with recreated buildings, goldmine tours and workshops.

Art Gallery of Ballarat
Image for Art Gallery of Ballarat

Art Gallery of Ballarat

4.5/5(63 reviews)

Follow the history of Australian art from colonial to contemporary when you peruse the collection of Australia’s biggest and oldest regional art gallery.

Gold Museum
Image for Gold Museum

Gold Museum

4.5/5(18 reviews)

Find out about the treasured metal that enticed thousands of prospectors to find their fortune in the gold rush of the mid 19th century at this intriguing museum.

Top activities in Ballarat

Sovereign Hill & Ballarat Tour from Melbourne
Image for Sovereign Hill & Ballarat Tour from Melbourne

Sovereign Hill & Ballarat Tour from Melbourne

AU$166

Travel back in time at Sovereign Hill and share in the experiences of the locals at an original gold-mining town of the 1850s. Discover historical sites and beautiful Victorian architecture in Ballarat and even try your luck panning for gold.

Sovereign Hill Gold Rush Town Tour from Melbourne
Image for Sovereign Hill Gold Rush Town Tour from Melbourne

Sovereign Hill Gold Rush Town Tour from Melbourne

AU$175

Diggers pan in the creek, women in Victorian dress stroll down Main Street, and equipment clangs in an underground mine shaft—the spirit of the Gold Rush is alive and well at Sovereign Hill. Step back in time in historic Ballarat, soaking up the drama and excitement of the 1850s gold frenzy.

Private Ballarat & Sovereign Hill Tour
Image for Private Ballarat & Sovereign Hill Tour

Private Ballarat & Sovereign Hill Tour

AU$370

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the excitement of Ballarat’s gold rush days at Sovereign Hill! Set on a former gold mining site, this award winning outdoor museum recreates in fascinating detail the hustle and bustle of life in the 1850s.

Reviews of Ballarat

4.3

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
92
5 - Excellent 40.17467248908297%
4 - Good
118
4 - Good 51.52838427947598%
3 - Okay
18
3 - Okay 7.860262008733624%
2 - Disappointing
1
2 - Disappointing 0.4366812227074236%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jan 16, 2020

An excellent choice of cafes and restaurants.The Goldfields Music Festival was our main reason for the visit.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jan 5, 2020

Family

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Dec 15, 2019

The nightclubs and pubs patrons are noisy drunks spilling out on the streets.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Dec 12, 2019

Good parking, plenty of little cafes and hotels to eat.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Dec 8, 2019

Loved all the Christmas decorations in the towm.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Nov 23, 2019

Lovely old town with great dining options for breakfast and dinner.

Other places like Ballarat

Toowoomba
Image for Toowoomba
Toowoomba
Taree
Image for Taree
Taree
Wagga Wagga
Image for Wagga Wagga
Wagga Wagga
Ulladulla
Image for Ulladulla
Ulladulla