THINKING of hitting the road for a day-trip to Ballarat? Here's five things you need to do while you're here.
1. Music events galore
Make sure to plan your visit to coincide with one of the major music gigs held during the summertime. Events including the Australian Jazz Convention, annual City of Ballarat Summer Sundays, the Ballarat Beer Festival, Red Hot Summer Tour or February's Ballarat Beat Rockabilly Festival are just some examples of where to catch some of the finest tunes from around the country.
Whether it's coffee or wine that you're after, Ballarat has the goods. The city's cafe scene is ever-evolving, with several prized cafes serving locally-roasted coffee or premium caffeine from the likes of Padre, Supreme, Axil, Sensory Lab and local coffee roasters Hellbilly. If you're looking for vino, head into Mitchell Harris Wines for some award-winning drops or venture out to the Pyrenees Wine Region for a plethora of choice.
Head into the Art Gallery of Ballarat – Australia’s oldest regional art gallery. Located in one of the city’s most iconic thoroughfares Lydiard Street, the gallery will provide you with a decent dose of history. Take your time as you walk through the permanent collection of historic fine art as well as the indigenous and contemporary art and then check out the much-anticipated Romancing the Skull exhibition - held until the end of January and exploring life beyond this mortal world. Afterwards, head over to The Lost Ones Gallery and admire the contemporary art housed in a majestic 19th-century Masonic lodge.
Majestic colonial architecture, stunning parklands, or a glistening lakeside walk - summer is the perfect chance for you to admire Ballarat's beautiful outdoors. Pack a picnic and find your spot at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens, sport your kicks and run a lap of Lake Wendouree, or learn all about the city's rich history on one of Ballarat's many tours.
Ballarat’s reputation as a melting pot of culture is continuously evolving, and the city is home to some of the most culturally-diverse eats in the country. Find your place at one of Australia’s best Thai eateries Catfish, enjoy a true Italian culinary experience at Carboni’s, take in the teppanyaki tastes at Asahi, devour dumplings by the mouthful at Fu Man Lou or embrace the Spanish feels at the dining experience that is Café Meigas.
Please remember to check Christmas trading hours when planning your visit.