Bicycle Network: Ride a Trail
Things to do & see
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A range of things to do in and around Ballarat before or after a trail ride.
Ballarat’s legacy of gold lives on today
Find out more at: www.visitballarat.com.au
Visit Ballarat and soak up its architectural splendour; explore Ballarat’s fascinating gold rush history at Sovereign Hill, the living museum recreating the early days of Ballarat; see horticultural treasures at Ballarat’s Botanical Gardens; follow in the footsteps of early diggers and police troopers as they stumbled into the pages of Australian history; dine at the city’s tempting range of cafés and restaurants and enjoy the charms of the city’s diverse range of accommodation options.
With its mix of big city sophistication, relaxed country living and countless historic treasures, Ballarat is a unique destination to discover.
Blood on the Southern Cross
Learn about the events building up to the Eureka Stockade at Blood on the Southern Cross, an awesome sound and light show using spectacular state-of-the-art technology that brings the Eureka story to life. This not-to-be missed event is held every night at Sovereign Hill
Experience the 1850’s at Sovereign Hill
Allow at least a day to explore Sovereign Hill, the magnificent reconstructured township of Ballarat in the 1850’s, built on the site of its richest mines. Pan for gold, take an underground mine tour, ride in a Cobb and Co coach, wander through old-style buildings and soak up the atmosphere of a bygone era.
Ballarat’s fascinating Gold Museum, located directly across the road from Sovereign Hill, displays early photos and paintings, manuscripts and books and one of the country’s finest collections of gold coins and gold nuggets.
Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (M.A.D.E)
Another must visit is the M.A.D.E, situated on the site of the M.A.D.E. Here, five galleries with audio-visual facilities and a movie theatre tell the story of Eureka. Walk through the beautiful heritage listed Stockade Gardens with their historic monument and all abilities playground.
Ballarat Art Gallery
Spend relaxing hours viewing the magnificent collection at the Art Gallery of Ballarat. Australia’s first provincial art gallery, it houses the country’s largest and finest regional collection of art, from early colonial works through to contemporary art that includes prints dating from Captain Cook’s voyages as well as the original Eureka flag.
Ballarat Botanical Gardens
Ballarat’s Botanical Gardens are considered one of Australia’s finest examples of a 19th century gardenesque style landscape. Established in 1858, this lovely 40 hectare space features horticultural treasures include towering Californian Redwoods, imposing Swamp Cypresses, Turkey Oaks, Druid Oaks, and Weeping Elms planted between 1863 and 1874.
Australian Ex-Prisoner of War Memorial
At the heart of this striking monument is a stark 130 metre long wall of highly polished black granite engraved with the names of over 35000 Australian prisoners of war. Standing sentinel at the centre of the Memorial are six huge basalt obelisks etched with the names of all the countries where Australians were held prisoner of war.
Star gazing at Ballarat Observatory
Established in 1886 the Ballarat Observatory at Mt Pleasant is Australia’s first municipal observatory. The Observatory’s three historic telescopes, classified by the National Trust , open every Friday and Saturday evening.
Ballarat Bird World
Situated at Mt Helen, two kilometres from Buninyong, Ballarat Bird World is home to more than 200 species of birds. Stroll through a large free flight aviary or sit with the native birds on the outdoor tree top deck area.
Ballarat Wildlife Park
Home to more that 400 animals including koalas, kangaroos, emus, brolgas, Tasmanian Devils, snakes and crocodiles, Ballarat’s terrific Wildlife Park is situated 5 minutes from Sovereign Hill. The park is open 7 days a wee and features guided tours and fascinating intereactive animal shows.
Ballarat is renowned for its array of quality antique shops. You can spend hours amid the maze of delights waiting to be discovered among these treasure troves of history. Some of the city’s antique hotspots include Woolshed Antiques, CV Jones Antiques and Art Gallery, Lydiard Street Furniture and Antiques, Antiques and Collectibles Centre, Antiques, Goods and Chattels, and Kittelty’s Auctions Rooms.