In 1851 gold was discovered in Ballarat and within a few years there were thousands of miners trying their luck on the Ballarat goldfields. The city grew on the wealth of the gold rushes and Ballarat is now Victoria’s second largest inland city.
39 Sturt Street, Ballarat
Tel (03) 5332 2694
Open 9am-5pm daily
Ballarat has good transport connections. V/line (tel 13 22 32) have trains to Ararat and Melbourne and V/line buses to other destinations including Bendigo and Geelong. Both trains and buses depart from the train station on Lydiard Street North.
Ballarat’s local bus service has half-hourly departures to most parts of the city with most routes converging near Bridge Street Mall.
Magpie Street, Ballarat
Tel (03) 5337 1159
If you visit most of Ballarat’s attractions you may want to consider buying the Ballarat Eureka Pass ($35.50), which allows two days unlimited entry to the Eureka Centre, the Gold Museum and Sovereign Hill plus entry to the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery.
Australia’s first provincial art gallery has an impressive collection of early Australian art including collections from the Colonial and Heidelberg Schools. The main exhibit is the original Eureka flag, which was raised during the Eureka Stockade in 1854 and has been displayed here since 1895.
40 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat
Tel (03) 5331 5622
Open 9am-5pm daily
This museum sits on the site of the Eureka Stockade, which is the closest Australia has come to having a civil war. In 1854 around 800 miners rebelled against the oppressive taxes and police brutality imposed by the British colonial government. On 3 December 1854 government troopers attacked the stockade. The resulting battle lasted only 20 minutes and left 30 miners and five troopers dead.
Stawell Street South, Ballarat
Tel (03) 5333 1854
Open 9am-4.30pm daily
This 1850s gold mining township is Ballarat’s main attraction. It is an excellent living history exhibit featuring staff in period costume, and is the best attraction of its kind in Australia. The Sovereign Hill complex incorporates an excellent Gold Museum, which covers Ballarat’s history with an emphasis on the impact of the gold rush.
Bradshaw Street, Ballarat
Bus 2, 9, 10
Tel (03) 5331 1944
Admission $35 ($27 students)
Open 10am-5pm daily