MEET Ballarat social media influencer and new Visit Ballarat brand ambassador Natalie Dickinson.
After having three children in the space of two-and-a-half years, the former secondary school teacher turned to Instagram in search of new connections and a fresh creative outlet.
Today, Natalie's Instagram profile With My Little Loves has racked up almost 15,000 followers and sees the 34-year-old sharing her love of photography, her family and her hometown Ballarat.
What do you love most about this great city?
Ballarat is the perfect place to raise a family. We have incredible schools, fantastic attractions, great restaurants and we are close enough to easily travel to the beach and the city. It’s a beautiful place to live.
Where are your favourite Ballarat haunts to eat?
I’m a big Thai fan, so I love Brown Grain and Thai Sala Pavilon. I can never go past the tagliatelle at Oscar's and The Forge has my vote for pizza. For child-friendly options, we like Zagame's and the Golden City.
We are lucky to have so many shopping options locally, but I go to Stockland Wendouree for Forever New and Sportsgirl, and I’m always at the Delacombe Town Centre for the Kmart!
We are always out exploring the local parks and gardens. The kids love the Ballarat Botanical Gardens and that suits me because I can let them explore without the stress of roads or bodies of water.
Ballarat’s best kept secret?
There are so many new restaurants getting amazing feedback lately. Underbar is definitely on my to-do list.
The city’s best Insta-worthy locations?
The gardens are easily some of the most beautiful places. Lake Wendouree, the Ballarat Botanical Gardens, Kirks Reservoir and Buninyong Botanical Gardens are all beautiful. So many of the old buildings have beautiful doorways and there are feature walls in so many laneways and streets that we love.
Which Ballarat events are you most looking forward to in 2019?
I’m excited to get involved in Plate Up Ballarat this year and try out some of the amazing new restaurants. And the Ballarat Winter Festival is always beautiful, particularly Winter Wonderlights at Sovereign Hill.
Stay tuned in coming weeks to meet more of Visit Ballarat's new brand ambassadors.