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10 Awesome Reasons to Live in Ballarat

This article is sponsored by City of Ballarat

Ballarat is one of Victoria’s golden cities (and Australia’s 3rd largest inland city!), known for its history and cultureIt’s an excellent choice for international students who want a mix of nature, a relaxed lifestyle, and the chance to immerse themselves in historical surroundings. 

We think the list could be endless, but keep reading to discover our top 10 awesome reasons to live in Ballarat!

1. Home to excellent study options

Ballarat is home to world-class education providers such as Federation University and the Australian Catholic University’s (ACU) Ballarat campus. These universities offer a diverse range of courses across disciplines like business, information technology, nursing, and education, catering to various interests and aspirations. The quality of education provided at these institutions is highly regarded, and their graduates are well-prepared to succeed in their respective fields. The innovative teaching methods, state-of-the-art facilities, and supportive academic environment create an ideal setting for students to thrive academically and personally.

What’s more, students who choose to study in regional areas like Ballarat benefit from the Australian Government’s incentive of an additional two years of post-study work rights.

2. Opportunities to launch your career

Ballarat is an excellent place to kickstart a successful career. The city boasts a diverse range of industries, including healthcare, education, manufacturing, and visitor services. As a significant economic hub, Ballarat has attracted substantial investment from local, state, and federal governments, leading to growth in sports, technology, hospitality, and tourism sectors. This economic development, combined with the city’s community-oriented lifestyle, creates a dynamic and supportive environment for international students and professionals to live, study, work, and enjoy their leisure time. 

Victoria also offers state-nominated visas to graduates and professionals with qualifications in occupations listed on the Department of Home Affairs skilled occupation list.

To discover more about Victoria’s skilled migration program consult an immigration expert.

3. More Affordable

Ballarat is noted for its reasonable cost of living, which is excellent news for students on a budget. For example, a premium room (with a private bathroom!) at university-managed accommodation in Ballarat can cost as little as $198 per week. Or, for your very own apartment near campus, if you’d like to share a house with friends, you can find a range of private rental options, from inner-city apartments to larger homes with gardens. Renting in Ballarat can be up to 21 per cent cheaper than in Melbourne!

Living in Ballarat will generally mean a lower cost of living than in bigger cities. So, you get to save money and have more cash in your pocket to spend on things you love.

4. Rich history

If you wander the streets of Ballarat, you’ll see that it’s steeped in history. An incredible example of this is all of the art deco-style buildings found along Sturt and Lydiard Street.

If you’d like to learn about the city’s past, you can try a self-guided heritage walk or join a Ballarat Heritage Tour. Some other historic places to visit are the Arch of Victory, the Eureka Centre of Ballarat, Kryal Castle, or the Ballarat Botanical Gardens.

5. Access to Melbourne

If you’re interested in making your way into the city of Melbourne from Ballarat, it’s an easy journey thanks to a well-connected public transport system. Ballarat is a 1.5-hour train ride to the Melbourne CBD and around the same if you travel by car. There are also bus services operating between Ballarat and Melbourne, and the journey time is just under two hours.

If you’d like to venture to other regional areas of Victoria (and we strongly recommend you do), Ballarat’s public transport system can connect you to places like Ararat, Bacchus Marsh, and Daylesford.

6. Year-round attractions

It’s fair to say there’s always something happening in Ballarat! From the Ballarat Winter Festival and Ballarat Heritage Festival to Summer Sundays, you can enjoy many arts, cultural, food, wine, and sports experiences and events.

The Ballarat Begonia Festival is one of the city’s biggest festivals. Taking place annually in March, it showcases the region’s rare collection of begonias — a colourful flower. Make sure you have your camera ready!

Ballarat’s Sovereign Hill is one of Victoria’s most fascinating open-air museums. It is renowned as one of the top tourist attractions to experience in Australia. Sovereign Hill brings to life the ‘gold rush era’ of Australia from the 1850s. The whole experience is like taking a step back in time. 

7. A close-knit, multicultural community

Ballarat, a vibrant multicultural haven where international students are warmly welcomed. Famed for its rich history of diverse traditions, Ballarat fosters an inclusive atmosphere, ensuring everyone feels a sense of belonging. The city’s Intercultural Plan for 2022-2026 highlights its dedication to creating a unified, culturally-aware community that values respect and accessibility.

A close-knit community of 100,000 people, Ballarat offers a supportive environment, perfect for international students. As you explore, you’ll find various cultural events, festivals, and cuisines showcasing the city’s diverse traditions. Known for their friendliness, Ballarat’s residents make it easier for students to adapt to a new language and culture without feeling isolated.

8. Get close to wildlife

Ballarat is perfectly positioned for those who like to get in touch with nature. Around 1.5 hours from the famous Grampians National Park, you’ll be greeted with a range of options like hiking trails and waterfalls –  natural beauty galore!

If you’d like to meet local fauna, it’s well worth a trip to  Ballarat Wildlife Park for up-close encounters with some of Australia’s furry favourites.

9. Buzzing food scene

If you’re a passionate foodie or simply love to try new cuisines, you’ll be impressed by the array of dining options in Ballarat.

Whether you’d like modern Australian cuisine or fresh flavoursome Asian dishes, here are some options to put on your must-try list: Meigas,  Moon and Mountain, Ragazzone and Okami Japanese Restaurant.

10. Embrace an active lifestyle

If you’re someone who loves spending time in the great outdoors, then Ballarat is the perfect destination for you. With its beautiful scenery and stunning landscapes, Ballarat offers a unique lifestyle that is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. For those who enjoy biking, there are plenty of tracks for road and race cycling, mountain biking, and cyclocross. And if walking is more your thing, you can hike the picturesque Woowookarung Regional Park or take a relaxing stroll around the breathtaking Lake Wendouree. Get ready to breathe in the fresh air and immerse yourself in the beauty of Ballarat’s natural surroundings