Top Ten activities to do in Ballarat.

Top ten Must see attractions in Ballarat

Top ten activites to do in Ballarat
Are you looking for fun things to do in Ballarat? We have compiled our list of the Top Ten activities to do in Ballarat.

1- Sovereign Hill.

I would hazard to guess when people think of Ballarat the first thing that comes to mind is Sovereign Hill. Sovereign Hill is the iconic Ballarat Open-air museum which depicts the early days of the gold rush in Ballarat.

The 25-hectare site has over 60 historically recreated buildings, all staff (and volunteers) are costumed. There is gold panning, where you might be lucky to find real gold. This whole area is set up with tents and buildings recreating the early gold rush era. There are blacksmith stables, candle dipping, lolly shop, bowling, bakery, post office, grocer and so much more.

You can watch how the traditional tradesmen worked in the coachbuilding shed, or tin and blacksmith area.

One of the most popular places is the four schools on site, where local schools, dress in period costumes and get to attend classes as if they were a child of the 1800’s.

For a small fee, you can take a coach ride around Sovereign Hill. Adults – $5.50 Children – $4.00 Family (2A & 4C) – $17.00

The other great attraction within Sovereign Hill is the Mine tours. The red hill mine tour is free self-guided and tells the story of the iconic welcome nugget. The other tour is the Sovereign Quartz MIne (a 40 minute guided tour).This also has an additional charge.

Cost –

Adult – $55.50
Concession – $44.40
Child 5-15 – $25
Child under 5 – Free
Family (2A & 4C) – $140
Single Family (1A & 3C) – $100

Opening hours

10am – 5pm daily
(10am – 5:30pm with daylight savings)

Address –

39 Magpie Street, Ballarat VIC 3350

 Special mention.

  • When you book your ticket to sovereign Hill you also get access to the Gold Museum (Number 9 on our list)
  • Your ticket allows you to get two consecutive days for the price of one. (Just get your ticket validated at either the Gold Museum, Blood on the southern cross booking desk, Sovereign Hill Post office or the entrance ticket booth.
  • You can book a photo in beautiful Victorian costumes with the Red Hill Photographic rooms. (Located on site)
  • You can also buy a VIP Pass that includes a lot of extras.

2 – Botanical Gardens

Ballarat Botanical Gardens Ballarat Botanical GardensBallarat Botanical Gardens

Ballarat’s botanical gardens cover over 40 hectares and are located on the western side of Lake Wendouree. The Gardens are 160 years old and feature a lovely conservatory,  a large greenhouse, A War memorial. Located all around the main area of the Botanical gardens (Central area) is twelve white marble statues donated by Thomas Stoddard in 1884.

There is the famous Prime Minister Avenue, that locates all the Australian Prime Ministers (as of early 2018 up to Tony Abbott). These started when the first twelve were donated by Richard Crouch (He also left a large bequest to add further Bronze busts). These funds are all now used and the Ballarat City council lobbied the Federal government to pay for Tony Abbott’s statue.

Just across the road on Lake Wendouree is the restaurant “Pipers by the lake”. A great spot to eat lunch, after strolling along the paths of the botanical gardens. Pipers also have a little takeaway area where you can grab a coffee, ice cream or a cold bottle of water.

Cost –

Free

Opening hours

7:30 am – 9 pm (October through April)
7:30 am – 6 pm (May through September)

Conservatory open – 9am – 4:30pm

Address –

Wendouree Parade, Lake Wendouree

Special mention.

  • Begonia Festival runs in March each year over the Labour Day Long weekend
  • Every 2nd and 4th Saturday, Wendouree Parade just across from the Botanical gardens comes alive with Ballarat Farmer’s market.
  • There are some great large hollow trees that are great to take photos in.

Ballarat Botanical Gardens

3 – Wildlife Park

One of Ballarat’s other great attractions is the privately owned Wildlife park that is located only 5 minutes from the centre of Ballarat. Ballarat Wildlife Park is a great place to see some iconic Australian animals. The wildlife park has over 80 free roaming kangaroos. Just pick up some kangaroo feed and you can spend ages feeding them. Patting them and seeing them up close.

The Ballarat wildlife park has a great relaxed feel as you wander around the Park you can see a great variety of other Australian animals, Koalas, Emus, wombats, eagles, echidnas, Tasmanian devils, crocodiles, penguins and reptiles.

Ballarat Wildlife park

Grab a timetable at the front entrance so you can see some of the animal shows.

  • Snake
  • Wombats
  • Alligator
  • Crocodile
  • Eagle

Also, you can watch

  • Tasmanian Devil feed and
  • Spotted-Tail Quolls Feed.

Cost –

Adult – $35
Concession – $29
Child 5-15 – $19.50
Child under 5 – Free
Family (2A & 4C) – $95

Opening hours

9 am – 5 pm (Closed Christmas Day)

Address –

Cnr of York & Fussell Streets
Ballarat East, 3350
Victoria, Australia

Other points to mention.

  • Yearly Membership is available (Terms and Conditions apply)$170 Family Yearly Membership (2 adults and up to 4 children)
    $120 Sole Parent Yearly Membership
    $65 Individual Adult Yearly Membership
  • You get a 10% discount if you book your tickets online.
  • Animal experiences available
  • VIP tours available
  • They do Kid’s parties as well

4 – Kryal Castle

Kryal Castle - Top ten activities to do in Ballarat

Welcome to the Land of Medieval adventures. Kryal Castle is a medieval castle located only 8kms from Ballarat. The Castle was first opened in 1974 and features a moat, drawbridge, towers, stocks, maze and an armoury.

Closed for Renovation in 2012, and reopened a year later it now has four-star Castle suites so you can stay on site, function, wedding and conference facilities.

There is now sound and light attractions, medieval sport of jousting on display as well as a fun playground for the younger children.

Kryal Castle - Top ten activities to do in BallaratKryal Castle - Top ten activities to do in BallaratKryal Castle - Top ten activities to do in Ballarat

Cost –

(Gives you access to Castle grounds, All shows and attractions.)

Adult – $35
Concession – $28
Child 4-16 – $22
Child 3 and under – Free
Family (2A & 4C) – $99
Single Family (1A & 3C) – $79

Opening hours

10 am – 4 pm (Saturday and Sunday)

Also, open Public holidays and Victorian School holidays (except Christmas Day)

Address –

Kryal Castle
121 Forbes Rd,
Leigh Creek,  Victoria, Australia

Other points to mention.

  • Noble Pass Tickets available (Gives you access to Castle grounds, All shows and attractions, unlimited archery, Face painting and Craft (return pass for one day valid for 6 months) Noble Adult – $70, Concession – $55, Child 4-16 – $44, Family (2A & 4C) – $199, Single Family (1A & 3C) – $159
  • Yearly membership also available
  • Over 16, Book in for a Murder mystery night, including a 3-course meal and a glass of mead on arrival.
  • They also run Kids birthday parties.

5 – Lake Wendouree

Situated in the centre of Ballarat is the picturesque Lake Wendouree. This beautiful lake was not only home to the rowing in the 1956 Olympics but continues to be used for many recreational and competitive events.

The Lake has a circumference of 6kms and is home to the Steve Moneghetti walking and running track and every day come rain, hail or shine you will see people walking, running and cycling around. If you are lucky you might even see Steve running his namesake.

There are multiple playgrounds, toilets, BBQ facilities located all around. As well as a variety of cafes, hotels and restaurants. Pipers by the Lake, Boat Shed, Lakeview hotel, Ballarat Yacht Club and Racer’s Bar and Cafe. A perfect place to sit and grab a cold drink after walking the Lake.

Famously back in 2006 the Lake dried up and stayed dry until 2010-2011 when a mixture of stormwater, wetland works and better than expected rainfall saw it reach capacity once again.

Around Lake Wendouree, there are so many other great things that have also made our top ten list, the Botanical Gardens (No 2) and the Tramway museum (No 10)

 Lake wendouree

Cost –

Free

Opening hours

All hours

Address –

Wendouree Parade, Lake Wendouree

Special mention.

  • Springfest runs in November each year
  • Farmers Market runs Every 2nd and 4th Saturday on the western side of Lake Wendouree.

6 – Ballarat Art Gallery

The Ballarat Art Gallery is the oldest and Largest Regional Art Gallery and was established in 1884. It has a large collection of art permanently on display as well special exhibitions that tour the gallery. In 2016 it was the exclusive Victorian site of the Archibald Prize. The Archibald prize is undoubtedly the most well-known art award in Australia.

The Art Gallery also has a great Cafe and gift shop.

Cost –

Free

Opening hours

10 am – 5 pm

Address –

40 Lydiard Street North
Ballarat, 3350
Victoria, Australia

Other points to mention.

  • The Ballarat Art Gallery runs school holiday program
  • It’s a not for profit Company.

7 – Victoria Park – Playground (Livvi’s Place Playground)

Victoria Park playground

Victoria Park is home to the fantastic inclusive playground. Home to a water play area, multiple large play spaces that provide activities for all abilities. Large Sandpit, swings, areas to climb, balance, slides, rope ladders.

Beside one of the play spaces there a great collection of musical instruments, drums, xylophones, cymbals and bells.

In the centre of all the play spaces is a great large grass area, perfect to set up a picnic rug. Or if you prefer to grab one of the tables and cook yourself a meal on one of the BBQ’s

Near the entrance, there are also toilets, that include a nappy change bench.

Probably one of the reasons this playground is so popular is the whole area is fenced off with only one entry point, a large very heavy double set of doors.

Victoria Park playground

Cost –

Free

Address –

Oak Avenue, Victoria Park, Ballarat

 

8 –MADE Ballarat

MADE Ballarat. Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka.

Be inspired and uncover the history of Australian Democracy at the site of the 1854 Eureka Stockade. Now home to Ballarat‘s Interactive MADE Museum.  The Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka is a fantastic museum for children and adults alike. It tells the story of the Eureka Stockade and how that pivotal moment in history shaped democracy as we see it in Australia.

MADE is the home of the original Eureka flag (on loan from Ballarat Art Gallery)

But the MADE museum is more than that it also showcases other pivotal moments in our world history, from Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King junior. To learning about book censorship.

Home to a delightful cafe and gift shop it’s well worth a visit.

Cost –

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

Opening hours

10 am – 5 pm (Daily)
Excluding Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Address –

120 Stawell Street S
Ballarat Central VIC 3350

Other points to mention.

  • They also hosted Optus night under the stars – open-air cinema in December 2017
  • Located next door to Eureka playground and Eureka Aquatic Centre

9 – Gold Museum

Sitting on a mine, across the road from Sovereign Hill is the also not to be missed Gold Museum. Showcasing more than just gold it also continues on the story of the Gold mining times. The Gold Museum opened in 1978 and has been wowing locals and tourist for forty years.

Whilst you can discover the beauty of Gold through stunning displays and items for purchase. There is also so much more to see from costumes, textiles, items related to mining, the military there are over 150,000 items on display.

Cost –

Free with your Sovereign Hill ticket.

Adults $13.20
Concession $10.60
Children (Under 5) – Free
5-15 $7
Family Pass 2A 4C Persons $34.80

Opening hours

9:30 am – 5:30 pm (Daily)
(Last entry 5:20)
Excluding Christmas Day

Address –

Bradshaw Street
Ballarat VIC 3350

Ballarat Gold Museum Ballarat Gold museum, Top ten Activities to do in Ballarat

10 – Ballarat Tramway Museum

 

The tram depot at the Southern End of the Lake is home to the Ballarat Tramway Museum.
The Tram Museum is full of collections, photographs, interactive displays. The museum is free to enter and manned by volunteers.

The Tramway museum runs through school holidays and most weekends and is the home to over twenty trams (not all on display). Some of the trams are over 100 years old and it’s a great opportunity to get your photo in the front seat of the tram. Wander through the displays and learn some of Ballarat’s rich history.

Cost –

Free (But donations are welcomed)

Opening hours

Some days in the School holidays and most weekends (depends on the volunteers)

Address –

100 GIllies street North
Ballarat, 3350
Victoria, Australia

 

Ballarat Tramway museum

Ballarat Tramway museum

Ballarat Tramway museum

 

Have you travelled to Ballarat? What would be your Top ten Must see attractions in Ballarat?

Are there any other places that would make your Top Ten activities list?

Tell us in the comments below.

 

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Are you looking for fun things to do in Ballarat? We have compiled our list of the Top Ten activities to do in Ballarat.
Are you looking for fun things to do in Ballarat? We have compiled our list of the Top Ten activities to do in Ballarat.
Are you looking for fun things to do in Ballarat? We have compiled our list of the Top Ten activities to do in Ballarat.
Are you looking for fun things to do in Ballarat? We have compiled our list of the Top Ten activities to do in Ballarat.

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21 thoughts on “Top Ten activities to do in Ballarat.

  1. Never heard of Ballarat so thanks for the introduction to a new place. Love the idea of panning for gold, you never know you get lucky. Looks a fun place to visit. #feetdotravel

  2. There is a lot to do in this place! You got me when you described the open air museum and the castle. I enjoy places related to history (and mining). #TPThursday

  3. What a great photos! looks like an interesting place to spend. I like that beautiful lake though looks like a nice area to walk. Thanks for sharing these great photos!

  4. So much to see and do! Love how many interesting museums there are in the area. I haven’t made to Ballarat (we headed towards Great Ocean Road) but seems like there are plenty of reasons to visit!

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