Ballarat Botanical Gardens
If you are looking for a quick escape from city life, head over to the Ballarat Botanical Gardens. The 164-year-old gardens are located only a few kilometres from Ballarat’s CBD and stretch alongside the western shore of Lake Wendouree. A popular attraction at the gardens is the Robert Clark Conservatory which features plants to match every season. You can soak up some Australian history by strolling down Prime Ministers Avenue, where 28 bronze portraits of Australian Prime Ministers are displayed. Entry into the Ballarat Botanical Gardens is also free!
Art Gallery of Ballarat, Ballarat Central
Ballarat is home to Australia’s oldest regional art gallery: the Art Gallery of Ballarat! This gallery is home to a huge variety of Australian art, ranging from colonial to contemporary, so there’s something for everyone. The Art Gallery of Ballarat is also located in the heart of the city, so you can easily go from exploring the artworks to grabbing some coffee and checking out local shops. If you’re looking for a unique gift for a friend, the gallery’s shop is full of products made by local artists and craftspeople, along with art books, souvenirs, gifts, and toys. And a bonus: entry is free.
Lal Lal Falls
Ballarat might not have a beach, but that doesn’t matter when you’re so close to other gorgeous waterscapes, like Lal Lal Falls. Choose between an easy 200-metre walk to look at the water rushing down the gorge from a viewing platform, or take the longer route along the Von Guerard View Track to enjoy a long-distance view. After experiencing the waterfall, you can have a picnic or barbeque close to the viewing platform. Lal Lal Falls is only a 20-minute drive away from Ballarat and is close to two other waterfalls – Moorabool Falls and Granite Falls.
Ballarat is the third-largest city in Victoria, so it’s no surprise the city centre is full of delicious food, great shopping, and a bunch of fun events to keep you entertained. Central Square Ballarat is a shopping centre with more than forty stores, from Target if you’re on a budget, to Myer if you’re prepared to splurge. You’ll never be bored as the city makes an enormous effort to put on a wide range of events. For example, the annual Ballarat Begonia Festival celebrates the region’s famous flowers every March through farmers’ markets, live music, food events, and illuminated gardens. From art installations to a variety of workshops, Ballarat’s CBD always has something to keep you entertained!
Located in the middle of Ballarat, Lake Wendouree is the perfect place to work out, eat, or just relax. Cycling trails and the six-kilometre-long Steve Moneghetti running and walking track make it easy to keep active in the city. Also, fun fact: the lake’s 2000 metre rowing course hosted the 1956 Melbourne Olympics’ rowing events! You can channel your inner Olympian by rowing, or you can fish or sail to unwind. Whether you only have 10 spare minutes or a whole afternoon, take the time to visit Lake Wendouree – you won’t regret it!
Ballarat Farmers Market, Lake Wendouree
As if there aren’t enough reasons to visit Lake Wendouree, Ballarat Farmers Market seals the deal! The market is open every second Saturday, all year round (apart from public holidays). Stalls feature a wide range of products, some of which are unique to Ballarat. Fresh produce is offered by local farmers, and you can browse stalls selling food, arts and crafts, plants, gifts, homewares, beauty and health. Whether you want a portrait of your dog, or a new tea blend, you should check out Ballarat Farmers Market!