Ballarat Farmers Market

Ballarat Farmers Market

Every 2nd and 4th Saturday, Wendouree Parade comes alive with Ballarat Farmer’s market. The market stalls are located between Windmill Drive and Pipers by the Lake near Lake Wendouree. The Farmers market is opposite Ballarat’s botanical gardens.

A great opportunity for you to do your shopping fresh from the farmers and makers.

We took a visit down to the farmers market, and enjoyed a great selection of fresh bread, fresh fruit, dried fruit.

Each week their is a different amount of stalls about 50 on peak days, the produce is varied from fresh jams, teas, vegan friendly snacks, organic fruit and vegetables, mushrooms, fresh lamb, spices, herbs, nuts, dried fruit, cheeses.

The Ballarat Farmers market also has a great selection of food trucks, for coffee, indian food, brownies and other snacks, sausage sizzle and even an amazing Burger truck.

It’s well worth a visit especially on a beautiful Spring Ballarat Day.

Farmers Market Ballarat

Farmers Market Ballarat

Farmers Market Ballarat

Farmers Market Ballarat

Farmers Market Ballarat

Farmers Market Ballarat

Becoming a tourist.

Becoming a tourist

Oh the places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

I love being a tourist, traveling, exploring new places, taking photos, making memories.
When I am on holidays I morph into the paparazzi. Anyone around me takes one look and can tell I am a tourist, my Nikon SLR around my neck, my backpack on my back full off all the things I need to make the most of the experience. I have even been known to bring out the tripod trying to catch that perfect sunset, or sunrise.

When I am not traveling, I am preparing for my next trip, and that feeling of wanderlust can feel make the long winters at home feel even colder, the work days longer and the mundane tasks of life feel like a world away from where I want to be.

Can you relate? Do you live with the constant desire to see more, do more, experience more?

But do you know there is a solution? Become a tourist in your own backyard. Take a Journey!

tourist in ballarat

The definition of journey is

noun – an act of travelling from one place to another.

verb – travel somewhere.

Taking a journey doesn’t mean you have to travel long distance, you just have to travel from one place to another.

Whether it’s ten minutes from home or ten hours you can still make memories, and experience life, become a tourist in your own backyard.

You don’t realize how beautiful the place you live is until you look at it, with fresh eyes. With eyes that are not busy rushing from here to there. You will learn new things about where you live, and some things might surprise you?

No more sitting around you house bored, no more wasting money at the shops buying stuff because your bored. Instead you will be seeing new things, doing new things and experiencing new things.

Point Lonsdale to Queenscliff Walking trail.

Escape the hustle and bustle of the City with a visit to Point Lonsdale. Point Lonsdale is a beautiful sea side town just over 100kms from Melbourne. 


Point Lonsdale is one of the Headlands (along with Point Nepean) that frame the Rip or the heads, the only entrance for shipping coming into the port of Melbourne. It is a beautiful place to visit, to stop and have a coffee, for the kids to play at the large playground, and a magical place to walk. 


Point Lonsdale / Queenscliff now has an amazing walking trail along the beach that shows off the best of the Bellarine Peninsula’s Beaches.


The trail is called ‘the quality of life trail’ it is a walking, jogging, and cycling trail that connects Queenscliff to Point Lonsdale, (or the locals may argue connects Point Lonsdale to Queenscliff.


The local decided that they wanted encourage locals and tourists alike to enjoy the area, whilst getting fit and healthy and the 5.5km long, largely flat trail was the outcome. The trail is great for people of any fitness level, whether prams, cyclists, joggers or people wanting a more leisurely stroll. The trail is 5.5kms one way or 11kms return.

Every 500 metres there is markers to let you know the distance, there are entrances back up to the road, or down to the beach.


On my recent walk as I journeyed along snug in my beanie, gloves and warm coat, I watched in awe the amazing men and women climbing into the icy water with nothing more than bathers and a swimming cap to keep them warm. There were many other people braving the cold water on surf and body boards. 


If you are lucky you may see some freighters going through the heads, or depending on the time of year you may see Humpbacks and Southern Right whales. 

Fairy Park – Anakie

Fairy Park – Anakie

Just one hour west of Melbourne and only 60 kms out of Ballarat is the magical Fairy Park in Anakie. A must see destination for those with young children.

The magical Fairy Park opened it’s doors back in 1959, most of the displays were made by hand by Peter Mayer, a German immigrant who purchased the land and opened Fairy Park, his family still runs the Park even now almost 60 years later.

Built on Mount Anakie, the 22 hand crafted scenes from various fairy tales snake their way around and up the hill, with a magical Summit view form Elephant rock at the top.

To enter and pay you drive up the driveway and pay at a ticket box half way up the long driveway.

Adults are $16 and children 3 years and older are $8.

There are 2 or 3 different places that sell food and beverages however they are only open on weekends, and their times vary. Fairy Park’s website has a calendar that lets you know when they are open. However if they are closed their are some vending machines around the place.

It is the perfect place to bring a picnic with seats found all over the place not just in the main Picnic areas.

It has three main sections, Fairytale Land, Camelot playground and Elephant Rock picnic grounds and (Electric BBQ’s).

Fairy Park - Anakie
Fairy Park – Anakie

Fairytale Land

Fairytale Land is an enchanting place where your child can see over 22 amazing displays of some well known, and some more obscure fairy tales, myths and legends.

Your children will be enchanted by the Frog Prince, Cinderella, Snow White, sleeping beauty, rumpelstilzshen, Goldilocks and many more.

Camelot Playground

Camelot playground is a favourite with children of all ages, their is so much to do there all based on the medieval theme.

 

Eclectic Tastes – Ballarat

Located in the famous Goldfields town of Ballarat is the ” Eclectic Tastes Café and Pantry ”

This gorgeous cafe is the perfect place to stop for breakfast or lunch when you are exploring this beautiful goldfields town.

As the name suggests the decor is a real eclectic mix, the tables lined with paper so children and adults alike can draw whilst they wait for their food and drinks to arrive.

Each time we go the food does not disappoint with great fresh food, and freshly squeezed juices, combined with great service.

It’s easy to get a carpark as its a bit out of town,  only a stone’s through from Lake Wendouree.

eclectic Taste

eclectic Taste

eclectic Taste

eclectic Taste

 

Scienceworks – Nitty Gritty Super City

Nitty Gritty Super City

A visit to Science works would not be complete without a trip to Nitty Gritty Super City. Located upstairs this area is designed specifically for children from age 3-8 (although my 9 and 11 year old loved playing with their younger siblings their as well)

There are lots of interactive areas for the children to enjoy.

This exhibit is hands on, the children will be building, pushing, pulling, spinning. There are great carer’s notes near each of the exhibits for you to help guide your child’s activities. Or just let them explore!

Build it

Is a great construction zone which teaches children about pullies, helps them learn about angles whilst building a bridge. Team work as they work together to rebuild a wall. There is a digger to use. A wall to learn about using the right tool for the job.

Build it

Recyclatron

The recyclatron is a great area to teach children how important it is to recycle. How we can turn useful things, like cans, bottles and paper, aren’t wasted, but are saved to be made into new things.

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Cafe

The cafe not only teaches children to work together some children are waiters, some chefs, some patrons of the cafe. It teaches children where our food comes from. What comes from plants and what comes from animals.

Cafe

Music bowl

The music bowl teaches children how musical instruments are made from many different materials, from bamboo, steel, wood, brass. It teaches children how different materials make different sounds. Teaches children about vibrations. Also the different shapes mirrors located around the music bowl are a great way to teach children how the curves in the mirror affect the way you see your reflection.

Music Bowl
Music Bowl

Get around

This is another great area to teach your children about turn taking. The children can sit on a penny farthing, have a turn loading Cargo on a boat. Hoist a flag, use a steering wheel.

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Get around
Get around

Creatures

Children will love learning about tracks that the creatures leave behind as they move around the creatures exhibit. They can learn about microscopes, here animal noises.

 

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Weather

Children learn about the weather in the interactive weather station. They can make their own weather report and learn all about how weather is measured.

Weather
Weather

Interactive Map of Melbourne

One of my children’s favourite part of Nitty gritty Super city was the large interactive Map of Melbourne The children were able to touch the buttons on the side and watch various lego landmarks around Melbourne light up.

Interactive Melbourne Map
Interactive Melbourne Map

 

Scienceworks – Think Ahead

Scienceworks – Think ahead

A visit to science works is not complete without a look at the Think ahead exhibit. This exhibit is available year round and allows children (and adults) to look at objects from the past, the present and what may be available in the future.

These interactive displays are a great way for you to learn about the environment, how cities work. Children can learn about electricity, about the body, how transport has changed over the last 200 years and how it may change in the future.

This exhibit is aimed at older primary school, with a great display about Star Wars.

The exhibition has some main themes that all interconnect, within the past, the present and the future. Themes such as communication and sound, health and medicine, food, systems/environments (Ie how a city works), transport, space, money, daily life, cities – as well as the ‘future’

Think ahead
Star wars – C3PO

Think ahead at Scienceworks.

Scienceworks – Learning through play.

Scienceworks.

Scienceworks, A revolutionary world class science museum, that opened in 1992 is the perfect place to help foster your children’s love of science, In a great fun hands on way.

During the recent school holidays we decided to spend a day at science works in Spotswood Melbourne. This museum Overlooks the Westgate bridge, and is also home to the planetarium and a lightning room, and the grand old Pumping station.

There is plenty to see at no additional cost at Scienceworks, however the lighting room and planetarium do have additional costs.

Scienceworks is free for all children under 16 years old, and only $14 for Adults. The planetarium and lightning room are either $6 for one, or both for $10.

Scienceworks also has a variety of different exhibits that change.

Test Lab

At the moment until 21st May it is also home to the Test Lab, a great hands on experience perfect for older children to try and make various things. There is a small preschool area, and a larger area for older children. Where they can work together, parallel, or on their own to problem solve and create.

Neon Nature

Another great exhibit this month is Neon Nature. Which is a neon canopy that changes and evolves every day inspired by nature’s rules and patterns, created and grown by the children. This runs until the 17th April. In Neon nature the kids used simple neon coloured straws to experiment with the shapes found in plants, trees and everywhere in nature. The children will learn about bifurcation, the name of the branching pattern that is found in nature, they will learn how it is not only found in plants, but also in the human body, river systems.

Main exhibits

Year round there are some main exhibits, Sportsworks, Think ahead and the Nitty Gritty super city.

Think ahead is all about the past, the present and the future. Sportsworks is all about how your body moves and the The nitty gritty super city is a mini-metropolis which allows the children of all ages to be the builders, musicians, cafe owners, sailors, with things to push pull and investigate.

 

 

Linking up with Weekend Wanderlust

 

Ballarat Tramway Museum

Ballarat Tramway museum.

A Hidden treasure of Ballarat

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.

 

Ballarat Tramway museum
A hidden treasure.
Ballarat Tramway museum
Get in the drivers seat.
Ballarat Tramway museum
History of the Tram and the Commonwealth Games.
Ballarat Tramway museum
Climb into the Tram to find many interactive displays
Ballarat Tramway museum
Get in the drivers seat
Ballarat Tramway museum
Little ones will love playing with a train-set
Ballarat Tramway museum
Purchase Souvenirs at their little shop

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.

 

Towerhill Nature reserve

Journey into a Volcanic Crater at Towerhill

Just out of Port Fairy on your way back to Warrnambool is the magical, picturesque Towerhill. There is something magical about driving down the road into the crater of a dormant volcano. Driving past ash deposits, large hills, and vibrant flora and fauna.

Back in 1892 it became Victoria’s first National Park, and later in 1961 was declared a state Game reserve.

This nature reserve is a must have stop on your trip down the great ocean Road. It teems with wildlife from Koalas, Emus, Kangaroos and other waterbirds, just watch out for the Emu’s if you decide to pack a lunch as we learnt first hand that they love to steal your lunch. Our children watched in shock as an emu made a beeline for our table and decided that our Lunch would make a tasty treat. The ensuring panic as four children made a very hasty exit with the remaining untouched food would have been very comical to all those watching.

Inside this crater is now the Nature reserve. Complete with a visitor centre run by the run by Worn Gundidj Aboriginal Cooperative. The visitor centre was commissioned back in 1962 to be designed by Robin Boyd. Finishing 7 years later in 1969. Robin Boyd simple circular structure made from Stone with a sloping roof is reminisce of the Towerhill’s volcanic island hilltops that surround it.

Walks around the reserve.

Explore some of the amazing walks around the reserve. Parks Victoria have some great links to walks in the reserve. There are some self guided walks, as well as guided interactive walks led by experienced guides, both during the day and night. The nighttime walk opens your eye up to the huge range of nocturnal animals in the reserve.

If you manage to head into the Visitors centre you will see it features a great range of cultural displays and local aboriginal art. Whilst the reserve has access at all times, the visitor centre is open from 10am – 4pm daily.