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Where to stay in Ballarat

Exploring Ballarat

Until the Australian gold rush of the 1850s, Ballarat was just an unassuming sheep station of southeastern Australia. However, thanks to the rich, gold deposits surrounding the region, this intriguing town experienced a massive population and development boom in the second half of the 19th century. Today, many of the main tourist sights of Ballarat date from the gold-rush era, making it a living, breathing 19th-century museum.

From the likes of the Ballarat to the famous Sovereign Hill, Ballarat is a fascinating holiday destination. It sits just 90 minutes’ drive from Melbourne, within the plains of the Great Dividing Range. Plenty of comfortable and affordable hotels and quality inns are found in Ballarat. Thousands of tourists flock here throughout the year, making the city much busier than its 84,000 resident population suggests.

There is a range of options for all travelers. The most popular hotel in Ballarat is the Twelve Errard, which has been booked 5 times from our verified guests. Our guests also highly recommended 165 On Bogong in Ballarat as it has been reserved 5 times.

Sights nearby

Being a former gold-rush town, Ballarat unsurprisingly features attractions which are predominantly linked to this fascinating period of Australia’s history. Hotels are located both inside the city centre and across the suburban areas of Ballarat.

- Sovereign Hill

Operating since 1970, Sovereign Hill is among Victoria’s most interesting holiday attractions. Located in the suburb of Golden Point, this site is upon a former gold mining spot from the 1850s. Tourists are taken back in time when they arrive here, as more than 60 antique buildings, panning-for-gold activities, gold-digging reenactment shows, and guided historical tours are offered. The Gold Museum is a must-visit within the park. Visitors looking to experience the Victorian gold rush period should not look beyond Sovereign Hill. Several magnificent hotels are situated within a short distance from this intriguing landmark, including the Comfort Inn Sovereign Hill.

- Eureka Stockade Centre

The Battle of Eureka in 1854 was a significant event in Australia’s history. Today, tourists can dive into this important event at the Eureka Stockade Centre, which is located in East Ballarat. The museum and gallery takes visitors through an exciting tour of the Eureka Stockade, complete with its detailed collections, paintings, pictures, and more. The centre was formerly set in a dilapidated shed, but has since been refurbished and completely revamped into an impressive exhibition hall. It is only minutes on foot from Ballarat’s downtown accommodation options.

- Ballarat Fine Art Gallery

Ballarat Fine Art Gallery is home to Australia’s finest collections of local masterpieces outside of a major capital. This splendid landmark has been operating since 1884 and houses famous pieces of work such as Tom Roberts’

- Wood Splitters and Jane Sutherland’s Obstruction. It is free to enter, meaning budget travellers can enjoy the magical collections within. The art gallery is conveniently located along Lydiard Street North in central Ballarat.

Eating and drinking and shopping nearby

The Bridge Mall and Central Square shopping centres are the largest malls in the city, but there are plenty of other shopping options within Ballarat. Several markets operate during the week, including the state-renowned Trash and Treasure Market at the showgrounds each Sunday. The craft market at Pleasant Street Primary, open the first Sunday of the month, is also worth visiting. For a regional city, Ballarat is home to a number of wonderful restaurants, including those serving both local and international cuisines. Tourists looking for a night out can find several clubs in Ballarat, including live music venues and dance clubs.

Public transport

The easiest way to get around the city of Ballarat is via the local bus network. It connects the central district with suburban Ballarat, although routes are limited on Sundays. Tourists are also advised to experience the historical guided walking tours of Ballarat, which take an hour or two and cover some truly majestic areas of the city.