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The Top Things to do in Ballarat

Relive tales of times gone by when you pay a visit to historically rich Ballarat in Victoria’s Central Highlands. This regional city pays tribute to Australia’s gold rush period with Victorian-era architecture and its very own replica town at Sovereign Hill, which recreates the 1850’s with costumed townspeople and authentic buildings filled with antiquities. If medieval history is more your style then don’t miss out on the grand Kryal Castle, while animal lovers can kill time snuggling native koalas and wombats at the Ballarat Wildlife Park.

Top Things to do in Ballarat

Ballarat is the third largest city in Victoria situated just one hour's drive from Melbourne and was once the epicentre of the famous Australian Gold Rush. The legacy of that prosperous time is evident when you walk down the streets of the town filled with grand historic buildings.

Fast forward 150 years and the impressive architecture that remains is a refreshing change that aims to honour its history and prosperous beginnings. The town is now better known for its tourism offerings and living museum at Sovereign Hill that encourages visitors to step back in time in a recreated township for an immersive experience of this era. Ballarat also has an emerging cultural arts scene and stages a number of festivals throughout the year.

If you are looking to understand and witness a piece of Australia’s history then a visit to Ballarat is a must. Here we have compiled a list of the top five things to do that you must do when you visit Ballarat.

Top Things to do in Ballarat - Sovereign Hill

1. Sovereign Hill

The region was once known for being the destination of the greatest gold rush the world has ever seen and a visit to Sovereign Hill is a must-see experience for those interested in Australian history.
Top Things to do in Ballarat - Ballarat Wildlife Park

2. Ballarat Wildlife Park

Come face to face with a wide range of creatures including kangaroos, koalas, wombats and crocodiles, all living in pleasant, green surroundings at the Ballarat Wildlife Park.
Top Things to do in Ballarat - Kryal Castle

3. Kryal Castle

Explore the lavishly decorated castle complete with themed passageways, view the fascinating (and somewhat terrifying) torture chamber exhibition, watch as knights joust to proclaim their bravery and so much more at Kryal Castle.
Top Things to do in Ballarat - Ballarat Botanic Gardens

4. Ballarat Botanic Gardens

The Ballarat Botanic 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.
Top Things to do in Ballarat - Australian Ex Prisoners of War Memorial

5. Australian Ex Prisoners of War Memorial

Since its inception in 2004 people have been visiting this memorial to learn about its purpose and pay their respects to those it is honouring.
Top Things to do in Ballarat - The Aura Show

6. The Aura Show

The Aura Show at Sovereign Hill is a 90-minute multi-sensory experience that relives Australia’s most important rebellion set out over 64 acres and lights up the Ballarat night sky.
Top Things to do in Ballarat - Lake Wendouree

7. Lake Wendouree

The Lake Wendouree precinct located near the Ballarat Botanic Gardens once played host to the rowing, canoeing and kayaking in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics Games and now is hive of activity with picnicking families.
Top Things to do in Ballarat - The Gold Museum

8. The Gold Museum

The Gold Museum in Ballarat holds 150,000 items from Australia’s mining and military history through to period costumes and historic photography and is well worth the visit.
Top Things to do in Ballarat - Ballarat Bird World

9. Ballarat Bird World

Take a walk through the free-flight aviary to see a variety of feathery friends at Ballarat Bird World.
Top Things to do in Ballarat - The Eureka Centre

10. The Eureka Centre

The Eureka Centre is located at the historic site of Australia’s infamous Stockade and houses artefacts such as the Eureka flag, books, newspapers, maps and many more items of importance.