Take a Sunday Drive... to Historic Ballarat

  • Family

Ballarat is such a fantastic spot for a Sunday trip - there's so much to see and do and plenty of it can be seen from the comfort of your own car! Well at least it is for me, the chill in Ballarat is REAL.

One of the most important (if not the most important) Gold Rush-era townships, Ballarat has a long and fascinating history. The well-preserved buildings and memorabilia from that era, and even prior to that when the land was home to the Wathaurong people. 

It has all the small-town charm mixed with city comforts and can honestly feel like the best of both worlds.

How to Get There

You are one hour and 15 minutes away from a fabulous Sunday stroll through the streets of pretty Ballarat, straight up the Western Freeway.

Ballarat is 110km from Melbourne, and the journey takes you through some of the prettiest countryside in Victoria, with green undulating hills and magnificent trees and homesteads along the way. 

Image Credit: Visit Ballarat Facebook

What to See in Ballarat

You are super spoiled for choice for visually interesting things in Ballarat - there's no shortage of things to visit for a look-see!

Why not try:

  • Lake Wendouree is a popular family spot to either see, walk around, or perhaps stop off at the cafes along the banks and the playground on the western side of the lake.
  • While you're there, wander through the 160-year-old Botanical Gardens filled with 40 hectares of Victorian-era gardening splendour, including statues, plants, grasses, shrubs, reflection pool, memorials, and a modern conservatory.
  • Check out the collections at the Art Gallery of Ballarat, Australia's oldest regional gallery
  • See the amazing bridges along the Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail
  • Marvel at the seasons changing the incredible foliage along the Sturt Street Gardens
  • Head 20km west of Ballarat to see Lake Burrumbeet
  • Go south to find a 719m tall extinct Volcano and wander through the scenic reserve of Mt Buninyong
  • Near the Federation University of Australia in Mt Helen you'll find the magnificent Tree of Knowledge, well worth a squiz!
Image Credit: Visit Ballarat Facebook

What to Do in Ballarat

  • We can't talk about what families can do in Ballarat without mentioning Sovereign Hill - famous and rightfully so! Excellent family historical fun.
  • Get up close and personal with native animals (including fearsome reptiles!) at the Ballarat Wildlife Park
  • Head back to the Middle Ages with the very fun Kryal Castle medieval theme park
  • See Ballarat's Gold Rush history at the Gold Museum
  • Find out more about the Eureka Rebellion and what it meant for the Australian people at the Museum of Australian Democracy
  • For your transport fiends, check out the Tram Museum or the Aviation Museum
  • Take a day tour around the region with the Ballarat and Sovereign Hill Day Tour
Image Credit: Visit Ballarat Facebook

Where to Eat in Ballarat

  • There's relaxed, family-friendly pub-style dining at the Lake View Hotel
  • Grab a slice at Forge Pizzeria
  • Head out to Buninyong (while you're volcano visiting, perhaps!) for delicious French-inspired fare at Pig and Goose
  • 1850s glamour at Craig's Royal Hotel
  • Get native with Saltbush Kitchen
  • Get supplies at Ballarat Provedore
  • Harry Limes
  • Ballarat Curry House
  • Brown Grain
  • Cafe Lekker

Where do you like to visit when you go to Ballarat?

Main image credit: Visit Ballarat Facebook