It’s amazing you can live in a town, wander regularly around the lake but still miss this little Gem. The tramway museum located alongside Ballarat’s Botanical gardens.
The tram depot at the Southern End of the Lake is home to a fascinating museum full of research collections, photographs, interactive displays, and trams. The museum is free to enter and manned by volunteers, however if you appreciate all the hard work and time they put into it their is a place to put a gold coin donation.
Whilst looking around the museum it is very interactive. You can get on and off most of the trams and take a photo in the drivers seat. As it is manned by volunteers it’s hours are a little sporadic as their focus is to have the Trams running along the lake first.
Our favorite tram to see was the Horse Tram No. 1 which was built back in 1887, and restored over a five year period between 1987 – 1992.
In the main tram you will be surprised to see the amount of detail, and information you can find. It has a great area for younger children to play with a trainset to give you time to read all about the history of the trams. A cute little shop full of tram and transport related memorabilia.
Take a ride in history
If you want an even more excitement, In the school holidays and on the weekends the historic trams run along a 1.3km section of rail alongside Lake Wendouree, each afternoon. These authentic Ballarat trams were Ballarat’s main public transport up until the 70’s and some are over 100 years old.
A visit to Ballarat would not be complete without a visit to “The Lake” Lake Wendouree.
Who would have thought that this gorgeous lake a tourist draw card of Ballarat that has over 3,860 ML of water was dry from 2004 until 2010, especially now with the Lake overflowing flooding 90% of the boat sheds dotted around.
Lake Wendouree is a large shallow lake located in Ballarat, it is an artificial lake that was made when the Yuille swamp was dammed back in the 1850s for use as the water supply during the Gold rush.
The name Wendouree (which is also the name of the neighbouring suburb comes from the WS Yuille the initial surveyor of the swamp. When he arrived at the swamp he found a local indigenous women there. Interested about the local name he asked her and she replied “WENDAAREE” and with that the name was recorded, incidentally what she was trying to tell him was to “Go away”.
So the Lake name means “Lake go away”
Now is a great time to go for a walk around the lake with 6k of great walking / jogging / riding track. There are 4 great cafe’s / restaurants dotted around, a kiosk and on the weekends an ice -cream tram.
There is also a historic vintage electric tramway that operates around the botanical gardens side of the lake.
Paddle steamers, Rowing, Canoeing and fishing also make up a large reason that it is a big tourist drawcard in Ballarat.
Something magical happened in Ballarat on Friday. It snowed in Ballarat. It fell, whilst not enough to settle on the ground, it was enough for children young and old to get caught up in the magic of it.
All around Ballarat children ran around outside to feel the snow hit their face. For a moment the cold, sub zero temperature didn’t matter anymore, all that mattered was that soft white snow was falling.
Children (and some crazy adults) braved the cold, to experience the joy, the magic of snow.
Their is something beautiful, even magical about seeing individual snow flakes fall to the ground.