WITH the Biennale of Australian Art kicking off in September, you're going to need to know how to best spend your getaway to Ballarat. Here's our idea of a three-day visit well-spent.
DAY ONE - THE CBD
Start your getaway right with a wholesome breakfast and warming coffee at one of Ballarat's prized inner city cafes. Whether you're after a classic Smashed Avo, a healthy Acai Bowl, or some warming pancakes, you'll find an indulgent option to satisfy your taste buds. Many CBD cafes also serve Melbourne beans from the likes of Axil, Industry, Seven Seeds, and AllPress - so you're in for a real treat.
Spend the majority of your day exploring the exhibitions around the BOAA CBD village. Start off at the Art Gallery of Ballarat before making your way to Alfred Deakin Place, Backspace Gallery and The Lost Ones, finishing off the circuit in the city's historic churches and spaces.
After dinner, catch one of the BOAA Dark events (Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays) where music, video art projects, light and performance bring the night to life!
DAY TWO - THE LAKE AND GARDENS
Take a morning stroll around Lake Wendouree before stopping in at one of the lakeside cafes for breakfast and coffee. During your stroll (or run, if you're feeling more adventurous), you'll be able to admire the 36 BOAA sculptures that line the six-kilometre Steve Moneghetti Track.
Afterwards, take a wander through the Ballarat Botanical Gardens and surround yourself with the beautiful floral displays and other BOAA artworks before meandering through the pebbled pathways in search of your own secret garden space.
If you're travelling with family, use this time to explore one of Ballarat's premier attractions including Sovereign Hill, the Ballarat Wildlife Park, or Kryal Castle. Otherwise, venture along your own retail trail and see what early Christmas gifts you can pick up at one of the city's independent retailers.
For a much-needed night-cap, dine in at Mitchell Harris Wines and savour the region's top drops accompanied by some fine fare.
DAY THREE - EUREKA
Make sure to check out the BOAA Art Camp at some point during your stay. The camp will see two artists take to the Ballarat Mining Exchange each week, creating large-scale drawing, painting or sculptural projects. Visitors are also encouraged to contribute to the projects, making this an interactive creative experience.
Time to explore the final BOAA village - Eureka. Discover what makes this area of Ballarat so unique, unravel historic stories and immerse yourself in the rich art that awaits.
To fully maximise your BOAA visit, click here.