SPRING is the perfect time to pack a picnic and make your way to one of Ballarat's most-loved outdoor parks and spaces, cheese board in tow!
Here are our top picks for a spring of natural wonders:
Located in the heart of Ballarat, Lake Wendouree and the Ballarat Botanical Gardens and surrounding natural spaces provide the perfect escape from reality. Admire the local swans glide along the glistening waters as you take a stroll, jog or ride around the six-kilometre Steve Moneghetti track. Stop by one of the lakeside cafes for a coffee break, or picnic by the water’s edge as the children explore the much-loved Adventure Playground.
Meander along pebbled paths at the historic Ballarat Botanical Gardens and soak up the beauty of the grand floral displays (in full bloom in spring!), heritage oak trees, Italian marble statues and the iconic Prime Ministers’ Avenue. With guided tours running throughout the week, you’ll be able to discover the rich history behind this local piece of paradise.
2. Buninyong Botanic Gardens
Wander through these historic gardens before finding your place on the lush green fields for a picnic or BBQ. These gardens were designed in the 1860s by Baron Ferdinand von Mueller, director of the Melbourne Botanic Gardens. Featuring a playground, lake and lots of secret pathways, it's the perfect place for some spring exploration.
While you're in Buninyong, make sure to visit the iconic Mt Buninyong with its panoramic views, or take a stroll through the Union Jack Education Area - a delightful bush reserve providing accessible walks for all ages. You'll be in awe.
As one of the region's most exotic gardens, Kirks Reservoir Park is a most picturesque asset. Situated just 10 minutes drive from the Ballarat CBD, the park has undercover BBQs and toilet facilities as well as an ample space of natural delights for the whole family to explore..
A popular spot for all ages, St Georges Lake was once a mining dam but today serves as a great base for water activities. If you're not in the mood to make a splash, take a hike around the lake's edge and surround yourself in nature's embrace before having a serene picnic or BBQ.
Lake Esmond was originally a quarry for Eureka Tile Works until 1982 until its official opening as a lake in 1988. Named after the discovery of gold and Eureka Stockade leader, James Esmond, it has developed into an invaluable source of passive recreation for nature lovers and bird observers, as well as a great location to enjoy a swim, a play or a picnic.
Woowookarung Regional Park is a brand new 641 hectare park in Ballarat. The park is perfect for a variety of activities, including bushwalking, jogging, mountain bike riding, nature appreciation and even stargazing. Explore the park’s rich native flora and fauna and its flush of colourful wildflowers in spring and autumn!