The Sporting Globe Ballarat

When the Sporting Globe Ballarat was initially slated to open in Ballarat the local media was excited. The newspapers around Ballarat told us that it was going to be one of the largest sport orientated bars in Australia. With a capacity of 450 people, it doesn’t disappoint. Located on the corner of Mair and Lydiard Street (previously Jackson’s and Co) it opened in August 2016, and since then there is always a steady stream of people enjoying the food and ambience for lunch, dinner and drinks.

There is no mistaking its focus with screens located everywhere playing a variety of sports, and 13 individual booths all with their own touchscreen TV’s that can show from 1 to 4 different channels at once. Perfect for watching multiple games of AFL, Basketball, NRL, Cricket, Golf, UFC or whatever sport takes your fancy.

But downstairs is only a portion of The Sporting Globe, upstairs is a function room and heritage balcony perfect for a party or work function, and the third level is a cocktail bar. Every Sunday from 3 – 8 pm the cocktail bar comes alive with Live music, drink specials a perfect way to finish the weekend.

Now when it comes to food in a Sports bar there are a few items on the menu that I would think as standard. Ribs, Wings and Steak and The Sporting Globe doesn’t disappoint, we ordered both the Pork and Beef ribs and they were delicious.

The Sporting Globe Ballarat

They were sticky covered in heaps of sauce. You can choose from Hickory smoked BBQ, Buffalo and Honey Soy.  Served with a side of Apple Slaw and thick cut battered chips, the day we ate them they were delicious.

In need of refreshment then you can choose from 8 beers on tap, 9 Beers in the Bottle, 3 Craft beers. Or if Ciders, Spirits or cocktails are your drink of choice there are plenty to choose from.

There is also a huge range of Non- Alcoholic drinks and Mocktails on offer, the Pineberry Mocktail a favourite of ours.

The Sporting Globe Ballarat

The sporting globe is so much more than a sports bar, during the day it is also a popular spot for lunch with families after they have finished at the movies only a couple of doors down. They have a great selection of kids meal and on Mondays and Tuesday’s kids eat free with a purchase of any main meal. Kids can choose from a Kid’s Parma, Brownlow burger, Calamari or nuggets. These are served with either shoestring fries and sauce or broccoli.

The Sporting Globe Ballarat

The Sporting Globe Ballarat The Sporting Globe Ballarat The Sporting Globe Ballarat The Sporting Globe BallaratThe Sporting Globe Ballarat

Each day they have a different special, called the 7-day Lineup. Our favourite is Fridays when you get 2 desserts for the price of one.

On their website, it has their full menu, opening hours and a way to book a table. If you are wanting to head in on a Friday or Saturday night it is well worth booking ahead as it gets very busy especially when sports events are on.


sporting globe 7 day line up

The Sporting Globe Ballarat The Sporting Globe Ballarat

So if you are in Ballarat the Sporting Globe is well worth a visit.

To see some of the other amazing restaurants and attractions in Ballarat check out our Ballarat destination guide

If you are interested in other great places to eat we have a great variety including Character dining at Disney.


Have you been to the Sporting Globe before?

What are the essentials for you in a Sports bar, the food, ambience, the sports on offer? Tell us in the comments.

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MADE Ballarat – The Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka.

Be Inspired at MADE Ballarat.

MADE Ballarat. Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka.


Uncover the history of Australian Democracy at the site of the 1854 Eureka Stockade in Ballarat‘s Interactive MADE Museum.

Home to the original Eureka Flag, a flag rich in tradition with an amazing legacy and story.

MADE Ballarat helps you explore how the Eureka Stockade has had an important role in shaping democracy in Australia, but the museum is more than that.

The museum is engaging for Children and Adults alike, and It allows you to explore the concept of Democracy. It tells the stories of the men and women all around the world that fought for freedoms we take for granted today. People like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jnr, Mary Fisher. As well as more local stories commemorating the men and women who fought for democratic freedom at the Eureka Stockade.

MADE Ballarat has a great colouring in station for the children where they can design their own flag and attach it to the wall for all to see. It has a range of static displays as well as interactive digital displays.

My favourite display showcased a variety of famous speeches and I have included a few snippets in my video below.

But the most iconic display is “the flag on the southern cross” on loan from the Art Gallery of Ballarat. When you sit in the darkened room looking over the flag you are blown away by the magnitude of its size, and all that it stands for.

The Flag on the Southern Cross is 4m long X 2.6m high


Locals – Free (Need ID with local postcode)

Adults $12

Concession $8

Children (Under 5) – Free

6-15 $8

15-18 (students) $8 (But must show student card.

Family Pass Min 1A, 2C but max 5 Persons $35

Hours of Operation

10 am – 5 pm (Daily)

Excluding Christmas Day and Boxing Day.


Open – Monday – Friday 10am – 3:30pm, Weekends 9:30am – 4pm

Made Cafe stock a great variety of Cafe foods. It is a lovely space with large windows and artwork adorning the room. The perfect place to grab a coffee after wandering through the Museum. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or a quick snack. When we went we were really impressed by the friendly staff who served us. Our food and drinks arrived quickly.

They offered free activity packs for the children which allowed us to relax whilst the children had a great time colouring in, doing dot to dot and other puzzles.

MADE Ballarat Giftshop

A visit to a museum wouldn’t be complete without a browse through a gift shop and MADE Ballarat doesn’t disappoint. With a huge range of things to chose from.

Have you been to MADE Ballarat before?

What are some of your favourite museums? We also love Scienceworks and try and take our kids every year.

Tell us in the comments below.


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Melbourne’s Myer Christmas Windows.

Each year we journey into Melbourne to Bourke Street to see Melbourne’s Myer Christmas Windows.

Myer Christmas Windows

Telling a different story each year, they are an Australian Christmas tradition, that sees over 1 million visitors each year, running since 1956 when the Myer’s merchandiser Fred Asmussen created a lovely window celebrating Santa and the Olympics. In celebration of the 1956 Olympics.

Perfect to go visit, but not so great to photograph as the light of the sun reflects off the glass as you try to take photos. Meaning they are best visited in person.

This year the story is “The Completely and utterly Perfect Christmas” by H C Floren. It is the story of an Elf, and his journey to find the perfect Christmas.

The book was made for the Myer windows and is available for purchase from inside Myer, as well as a stuffed toy elf. Great marketing from Myer.

The book is lovely teaching children to appreciate what they have even if it is not perfect.

There is normally a line to see the Windows but it is well worth lining up, the crowds move through quickly, as the windows are well spaced out and have a small amount of writing allowing reasonably quick movement from one window to the other.

Myer Christmas Windows opening hours

7.30am to 1 am daily.


Bourke Street Mall

Melbourne really comes alive at Christmas with so many more amazing things to see and do.

Federation square has an amazing 16 metre high Christmas tree, that lights up from 9 pm each evening. Also in Federation Square is the enchanting six-metre high bauble that glitters during the day and twinkles at night.

Whilst you are in the city make sure you head over to Crown Casino to see the Atrium’s great music and light show. Also over at Crown is the fantastic Christmas ArtVo exhibition an interactive 3D art installation.

Make the most of Melbourne’s free tram zone.

This runs within the borders of Spring Street, Flinders Street and La Trobe Street. Also, the tram routes that run along Victoria Street, William Street and Elizabeth Street surrounding Victoria Market are included as well as the Docklands area.

What are some of your Family traditions each year? Do you head into Melbourne? Tell us below in the comments?

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Crown Casino – Christmas ArtVo Exhibition

Christmas comes alive at Crown Casino this year with an amazing Christmas ArtVo Exhibition.

But what is ArtVo?

ArtVo is an amazing way to experience art, it’s an immersive 3D art exhibition where you can really immerse yourself in art. Unlike normal art galleries that you need to stand and watch from a distance. ArtVo is a totally new interactive exhibit that allows you to be in the artwork.

The main ArtVo gallery is located in Harbour Town and was created by 14 artists in just 60 days. There are over 100 3D reality artworks themed in 11 different zones.

  • Jungle Safari
  • Aquatic Adventure
  • Australiana
  • World Tour
  • Fantasia
  • Enchanted Garden
  • Dimensional Dreams
  • Pharaohs treasures
  • Aussie Pride
  • Imagine
  • Classic Crescent

You just have to search the #artvo on Instagram and you will see the amazing art installation. It is well worth a visit, For adults and Children alike.

ArtVo Opening hours

Friday – Saturday 10am – 11:30pm

Sunday – Thursday 10am – 6pm

Ticket Prices

Adult $28

Children (5-15 Yrs) $18

Student / Senior $25

Family packages

A- 1 Adult & 2 Children – $55

B- 2 Adult & 1 Children – $65

C- 2 Adults & 2 Children – $78 (each additional children $15)

How can you Experience ArtVo for free?

Over the Christmas period, Crown Casino has partnered with ArtVo to bring Christmas alive with some fantastic Christmas inspired artwork, located in Crown.

There are 8 Christmas inspired works available over on Level 1 starting near the Village cinemas, heading towards the lifts near the food court.

This is a great way to experience ArtVo paintings to see how much fun they are. After you experience them you will want to head into the Gallery to see the whole exhibit.

Children and adults alike were enjoying photographing themselves in the pictures.


Crown really is a great place to come this Christmas, with the great ArtVo exhibit, the atrium decorated in bright lights, with an amazing musical display every thirty minutes. Also, only a quick twenty minute walk away from the famous Myer windows.


What are some of your favourite things to do in Melbourne this Christmas? Scienceworks? Myer windows? Great Ocean Road?

Let us know below in the comments?


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Cape Otway Lighthouse – The beacon of hope

The Fog was heavy as we stood at the top of Cape Otway Lighthouse, but as it cleared we were meet with a majestic view of Victoria’s glorious coast.

We were on our last day of a glorious weekend along the Great Ocean Road we spent previous days walking Sheoak Falls and Swallow Cave. Spending the morning roaming the grounds of Mainland Australia’s oldest surviving lighthouse seemed to be the fitting end.

We were concerned about how much we would be able to see from the top of the lighthouse that sits 90m above the clear blue waters of Bass Strait. But Cape Otway light station did not disappoint. As the fog cleared, the smell of the salt water infused the air, we knew we had made the right choice.

Cape Otway Lighthouse is affectionately called the “Beacon of Hope” and when you begin to understand how many hundreds of lives were lost along this stretch of ocean, that is known as “Shipwreck Coast”. You can understand why.

Cape Otway Lighthouse

Built in 1848, it stood as a beacon for all those 19th-century migrants who had spent months travelling by sea from places like Europe, Asia, North America. It stood tall on the point where the Southern Ocean crashes into the Bass Strait. Whilst it still stands tall, it was decommissioned back in 1994, and replaced by a low solar powered light, situated right in front of the lighthouse. However, the history of the lighthouse lives on.

Eight vessels were still lost whilst the Lighthouse was operational, The Marie(1851), the Sacramento(1853), Schomberg (1855), The Loch Ard (1878), the Joseph H. Scammell (May 1891), Fiji (September 1891) and the Casino in 1932. The first American vessel sunk during World War II, the A class “SS City of Rayville” SS was also sunk off the Cape by a German mine in 1940. However, many more would have run into trouble without the bright Light guiding them safely through.

The Cape Otway light station was the longest running continuous light on Australia’s mainland, but it was also so much more. It was the location of the telegraph station that ran between Tasmania and Victoria in 1859. (Unfortunately only for 6 months as the underground submarine cable only lasted that long). Then became the Lloyds signal station, allowing people in Melbourne to be made aware of all the vessels passing by.

It was the location of the top-secret World War II radar bunker, and I found the history of it fascinating. I never realised how many mines were laid just off the coast of Melbourne, Mines that would sink Allied ships. I never realised 268 lives were lost when a hospital ship the AHS Centaur was hit by a torpedo on May 14, 1943.

I learnt about the Yokosuka E147 float plane,  a plane assembled on the deck of the Japanese 1-25 submarine, that surfaced just off the coast of Cape Wickham lighthouse. This float plane would be launched from the submarine in February of 1942 and fly over Cape Otway lighthouse, Point Lonsdale lighthouse, Portarlington, Laverton RAAF base, Melbourne, Dromana, Cape Schank Lighthouse and land back in the Bass Strait to be collected by the Japanese submarine. This all happened a few months before the radar station was operational.

It is also home to some fascinating history of our indigenous culture.

It is also the perfect location to visit between May and October when 25 different species of whales, migrate past the lighthouse shadow.

We walked the grounds looking at the dinosaur museum, with the hundred other tourists but the grounds are big enough that you still felt like you had room to explore, room to move around.

We sat at the quaint little cafe eating our Devonshire tea as we watched the fog roll past the lighthouse, then watched it clear just to roll through again.

We marvelled on how lucky we where to see a Koala clamber across the road on our way to the lighthouse.

We decided that the Cape Otway lighthouse was definitely somewhere we would come back to, the next time we wandered down the Great Ocean Road.


Important Information about the Cape Otway Lightstation

The Cape Otway Lightstation encompasses the Cape Otway Lighthouse, the Keepers Quarters and Workshop, the 1859 Telegraph Station,
Aboriginal Talking Hut, WWII Radar Bunker, Whale Interpretation Site and Lightkeeper’s Cafe and Souvenir Shop.

General Admission prices

Child: $7.50 / Adult $19.50 / Family: (2 Adults 4 children) $49.50 / Concession: $17.50

Pre-school Children: FREE

Hours of Operation

9am – 5pm (entry closes 4:30pm)


Extended hours – 26th December – 14th Jan

9am – 6pm (entry closes 5:30pm)

Talks included

Daily History Talks at 11.00am, 2.00pm and 4.00pm
Daily Bush Tucker Talks at 12noon and 3.00pm


Have you been to the Cape Otway lighthouse? Where are some of your favourites places to visit on the Great Ocean Road?



Also, make sure you check out some of the other great locations along the Great Ocean Road

Sheoak Falls and Swallow Caves

Timelapse video of the Great Ocean Road.

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Sheoak Falls and Swallow Cave -Lorne

Just fifteen minutes out of Lorne on your way to Apollo Bay, along the magnificent Great Ocean Road is a great walk within the Otway National Park.

There are five walks available from the Sheoak Falls carpark.

  1. Sheoak Falls (600m – Oneway)
  2. Swallow Cave – via Sheoak Falls (about 1km – Oneway) if you go to the base of Sheoak Falls, about 800m without Sheoak Falls
  3. Sheoak Picnic Area, via Sheoak Falls, Swallow Cave, Castle Rock (7kms – Oneway)
  4. Cumberland River circuit, via Sheoak Falls, Swallow Cave, Castle Rock (11.5kms – return)
  5. Cumberland falls via the Cumberland River circuit, via Sheoak Falls, Swallow Cave, Castle Rock (13.5kms – return)

Sheoak Falls

The first walk to Sheoak Falls is about fifteen to twenty minutes along the path on a mostly uphill section. The path is a mixture of gradual inclines, very steep steps, shorter steps and long windy straight sections.

As you arrive close to the Falls you have a choice head down to the Right to the base of the Gorge to see the falls from the bottom, or head right up the stairs to see Swallow Cave first.

We headed down to the base of Sheoak falls and it was worth the view.
After watching the water cascading over the 15 m cascading Falls, we ventured up towards Swallow Cave, it is almost all uphill from there, and some of the steps are almost twice the height of normal steps, so keep in mind if you have small children or back issues.  But it is worth the walk.

There are two vantage point of the fall, the first lookout point allows you to see the falls, but the second part lets you really experience it.

After the first lookout, you continue your journey uphill until you get to a small river crossing (this should only be attempted if the water is not high, and covering the stones that you cross with). This is the perfect place to sit on the rocks and put your feet in the water after your climb.

But the best is still to come just 100m down the hill is the bottom lookout of Swallow Cave. From there you can see the little birds fly in and out of the caves. (Birds are normally there between spring and autumn.)

Have you been to the Great Ocean Road before? Have you seen the Beacon of Hope, Cape Otway Lighthouse? Walked the Sheoak Falls, Swallow Cave.

What are some of your favourite places to stop along the way?

Let us know in the comments below

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Lakeview Hotel Ballarat

The Lakeview hotel situated on the glorious Lake Wendouree in Ballarat is a great casual family-friendly restaurant in Ballarat. A great place to sit an relax after you finish your 6km walk around the Lake.

Lakeview Hotel Ballarat

We love heading there for breakfast as they make great fresh orange juice. The oranges are kept in the fridge so the juice comes out nice and cold.

Lakeview Hotel

The Lakeview hotel is very family friendly with a good variety of food on the children’s menu and have complimentary colouring in, which we have found a rare commodity in a lot of restaurants nowadays. Most places you have to buy an overpriced colouring-in pack that they finish before the meal comes out. The pictures are a great variety from superheroes, Disney characters, animals on plain white paper.

Lakeview Hotel

The wait staff are friendly and come round quickly after you arrive to make sure you order you can order your drinks even if you are still waiting on others in your party.

Lakeview hotel

It nice to sit and eat your breakfast or lunch watching everyone as the walk Lake Wendouree. Or to reward yourself after a nice walk with a nice cold drink.









To find out more about Ballarat

To see some more great Restaurants click here.


Where are some of your favourite places to eat out?



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Spirit of Tasmania, Day or Night sail?

So you have decided to visit the Apple Isle? You have decided when you want to go? You have made the decision Do I fly or Do I sail? If you have chosen the Spirit of Tasmania.

Now to make the next decision. Do I choose a day sail or a night sail? Who knew there were so many options.

We have done both and thought we would write a list of the pro’s and con’s of both. Ultimately it comes down to who is travelling with you, and where your priorities lie.

Spirit of Tasmania

Length of trip

Day –  9 hours

Night – 11 hours (Whilst it is longer you spend majority of it asleep)

Cost  (Depends on age of Children) 

Day sail is cheaper but……

Day – you can get away without a cabin, Especially if your children are older. However if you have preschool aged children (or younger) I would suggest getting a cabin anyway for day sleeps, space away from people.

Night – Realistically you need a cabin or a recliner (Recliners are not as comfortable and there is nowhere to store your belongings.)


Day – Have a great view of Melbourne as you are leaving port, some people have told of seeing dolphin pods on the way across.

Night – Great view of sunset as you travel, or pre-daylight savings great view of Melbourne lights, however once you pass through the Heads, not much to see until you arrive in Devonport

Keeping entertained.

Entertainment depends on the age of the travellers.

No general internet/phone service about thirty minutes after you leave port. However, you can purchase Satellite WiFi in lounge areas for $18. This WiFi is very patchy and you cannot use it for streaming services, ie videos, also not available for some games that require a fast internet connection.

Small playground – great for preschool age, however, will not keep them entertained for hours.

Day sails – face painting, circus performers, trivia, and disco bingo.

Small arcade – very busy and normally unless you get in early more time waiting than playing.

Cinema – extra cost Adults $10, pensioners $7.50 Kids $5

(Limited seats)

two kids movies (day sail) one kid’s movie (Night sail) aimed more at school age plus

Two Adult movies (day and night sail)

You can find out screening times here.

Gaming lounge – Open until midnight on night Sails

Reading room
Realistically there are benefits of both the day or night sail, and you need to look at who is travelling?

4 bed cabin spirit of tasmania

Cabin Spirit of Tasmania

Availability of day sails

Day sails are not always available. Through the winter months there are no day sails, and through spring and autumn, they are once (maybe twice a week). In summer day sails are 3-4 times a week. So if you have a set day you want to sail, you need to keep that in mind.

Head across to the Spirit of Tasmania site to check out their Sailing schedule

My thoughts

I hope this has helped you make an informed decision about taking a day or night sail on the Spirit of Tasmania

Previously when our youngest were toddlers we always headed across on a night sail, booked a four berth inside cabin (fits two portacots) and they slept almost the whole way. Now they are older there are no cabins that fit us all. So if we have the choice for our next trip we will probably head across on a day sail. We will still book a cabin so we have space to relax.


To find out more about the Spirit of Tasmania.

To find out more about Tasmania.



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Lal Lal Blast Furnace

Have you heard about the Lal Lal Blast furnace?

Did you know that it is just twenty minutes out of Ballarat? It is a site which has been classified to be preserved from the National Trust. Yet most people who live in Ballarat would not know its significance.

It is a site of such significance in our early industrial history yet was only operational for four years.

This site is the Lal Lal Blast furnace. The Furnace was built in 1880 by the Lal Lal Iron company. And operated until 1884. Located within the Lal Lal-Bungal Historic Area, just a short drive away from the Beautiful Lal Lal Falls.

There is a free campsite and picnic ground at the Blast furnace, that is provided by Parks Victoria and includes flushing toilets.

The 17-metre ruins of the Blast Furnace and ruins of the iron Mine are found on Iron Mine road at Lal Lal. Once you get to the carpark the signage is not very clear, and the path is a little overgrown but if you can find your way its well worth a walk to see the furnace. There are a great variety of signs explaining all about its history.

Nearby is a great view of the Bungal Dams spillway.

Have you visited Lal Lal Blast furnace before?

Check out some more great posts on places in the Ballarat region


Fairy Park Anakie
Fairy Park Anakie
Farmers Market Ballarat
Farmers Market Ballarat
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Lal Lal Falls

Lal Lal Falls

Lal Lal Falls

Just north of Lal Lal, a small town in the Moorabool Shire is the Scenic Lal Lal Falls.

Lal Lal was originally a sheep run. However back in the mid to late 1800’s became the spot of the Lal Lal iron Mining company. It was also the home of the Lal Lal Blast furnace. The Blast furnace still holds significance, as it is the only Blast furnace from the 19th century still standing in all the Southern Hemisphere.

Lal Lal Reserve is located on Lal Lal Falls road. But just twenty minutes out of Ballarat and it is the perfect spot for a Picnic or Barbeque.

Lal Lal reserve is a great little spot, with a couple of barbeques. There are plenty of tables, most are out in the elements. However, a few are under the shade of the rotunda. There are toilets, water fountains and bins available.

Young children will love the quaint little playground with a couple of swings, (one infant, one older style) and two other activities to play with.

As we sat eating our lunch we listened to the sound of the waterfall in the distance, almost calling us to go look. Our food was rushed, as the real reason we came here was not for the playground, the large grass areas, not for lunch. But to see the magnificent Lal Lal Falls. We couldn’t wait to see them as they cascaded off the top of the cliff into the waiting creek below. I have to admit I was a little disappointed to see that they have closed off the path down to the base of the Falls, however, a short 5-minute walk will get you to the viewing point, and it’s well worth a look.

Find out more

Check out some more great posts on places in the Ballarat region

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