The Top Things to do in Ballarat

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History-rich and home to a number of distinctive attractions, Ballarat to the north-west of capital Melbourne is nothing if not unique. Full of heritage both in its landmarks and architecture as a result of its early development during the Australian Gold Rush period, the city is large and brimming with examples of Victorian-era buildings that remain in top condition to this day.

As a result, a visit here is akin in many ways to stepping back in time, and many history-oriented attractions that document the interesting and tumultuous past of Ballarat to visitors can be experienced firsthand. Step back directly into a surprisingly encompassing and accurate simulation of the 1850's at Sovereign Hill, which comes complete with in-character-and-costume townspeople and era-accurate buildings; view a movie while surrounded by antiquity at the historic Her Majesty's Theatre; enter an attraction straight out of the Middle Ages at Kryal Castle; or visit any of the city's number of well-curated museums and galleries for an in-depth look at history.

Simply browse our list of the top things to do in Ballarat below for more information and to book online.

Select one from the following:

Select one or more from the following:

Top 5 Things to do in - Ballarat and surrounds

Sovereign Hill
Ballarat Wildlife Park
Kryal Castle
Ballarat Botanical Gardens
Ballarat Observatory

1. Travel back in time at Sovereign Hill

Location:Bradshaw Street, Ballarat

Go back in time to see how life was in Ballarat in the 1850s. The region was once known for being the destination of the greatest gold rush the world has ever seen. A visit to the makeshift old town is a must-see and provides visitors with a day full of adventure, excitement and an authentic old-style atmosphere.

2. Visit Ballarat Wildlife Park

Location:Cnr York & Fussell Streets, Ballarat East

Visit the popular, family-run Ballarat Wildlife Park in Victoria and get up close with a wide variety of native Aussie and exotic animals! Here you can come face to face with a wide range of creatures including kangaroos, koalas, wombats and crocodiles, all living in pleasant, green surroundings. A great educational and hands-on experience here you will also learn about different kinds of snakes, pat a koala, get up close with friendly wombats and see birds of prey in flight.

3. Explore Kryal Castle

Location:121 Forbes Road, Leigh Creek

Take a step back in time, and journey inside Australia’s only Medieval themed adventure park! Within the walls of Kryal Castle, you’ll find a sprawling medieval village of activities including jousting tournaments, wizardry and sword battles. For lovers of anything pre 15th century, you’ll lose yourself in this fantastic replica village, boasting the aura of the real medieval times.

4. Wander around the Ballarat Botanical Gardens

Location:Gillies Street, Ballarat

Located near Lake Wendouree the Ballarat Botanical Gardens are spread over around 40 hectares of land. The gardens feature many beautiful sights including the flourishing rose garden, statuary and Prime Ministers Avenue displaying statues of the faces of every Australian Prime Minister. Various events are also held in the gardens throughout the year including the popular Ballarat Begonia Festival.

5. Visit the Ballarat Observatory

Location:Cnr Cobden and Magpie Streets, Mt Pleasant

Take a tour through the Ballarat Municipal Observatory Museum to learn all there is to know about our planets and stars that lie just above our heads. With a range of modern and vintage telescopes on display, you will see the beauty of space from an observatory that has been running for more than 100 years.