Ballarat Spa Accommodation

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Swallowvale-Country Getaway

Rated 5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

House in Buninyong

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Wonderful 4.9/5 (11 reviews)
  • 6 guests
  • 3 bedrooms
  • 4 beds
  • 2 bathrooms

About Ballarat

Ballarat is just over an hour drive north west of Melbourne, in the Goldfields region of Victoria. It's colourful history includes the gold rush in the 1850s and the subsequent Eureka Rebellion. Both of which are now the basis for the two main tourist attractions, Sovereign Hill and The Eureka Museum. Ballarat is also known for it wide boulevards and impressive buildings.

Come for the history and elegance of Ballarat.  Browse our accommodation selection of town houses and b&b accommodation.
Home to nine theatres, Ballarat has an active and time-honoured theatrical community.  You will find many properties on the Stayz site offering great last minute accommodation deals to ensure that you experience your ideal getaway!

Visit The Ballarat Wildlife and Reptile park, seated on 16 acres of peppermint gum features koalas, crocodiles, and free-range kangaroos.  If you want accommodation ranging from b&bs to b&b accommodation, you'll find great accommodation options for your stay in Ballarat!  

Ballarat: The Changing Facade of Regional Victoria

Once a bustling mining village, Ballarat is now becoming a regional hub for arts, culture and families. The Victorian town proudly showcases modern Australian living without forgetting about the past. Ballarat is the only city in the state to host the Archibald Prize, boasts endless parks and reserves and has its very own Children’s Week.

Ballarat may be more widely known for the pioneer village of Sovereign Hill and the open air Ballarat Wildlife Park, considered some of the top attractions in Victoria. Meanwhile, those interested in military history can pay their respects to WWI soldiers along the Boulevard of Honour or stop at the Australian Ex-POW Memorial.

Visitors to Ballarat can choose from a wide array of holiday rental options, from modern family homes to rustic-style terrace houses.

Arts and Culture in Ballarat

The Art Gallery of Ballarat is the longest standing Australian museum outside of major urban centres. During your visit, take in the most extensive collection of works by local and other Australian artists. As for a recent claim to fame, the Gallery is the only one in Victoria to host the Archibald Prize exhibit, showcasing the prestigious award’s final portraits selection.

A number of smaller galleries grace the streets of Ballarat, such as The Lost Ones, with its contemporary pieces. In addition, live music and theatre are very present in Ballarat, which even has a Cabaret Festival. Year-round, you can catch a ballet, musical or operatic performance at Her Majesty’s Theatre, be it a local production or an international classic.

Digging into Ballarat’s History

See what life was like back in Ballarat’s mining days at Sovereign Hill, a village set up as an 1850s mining town, complete with employees wearing era attire. There are activities for the whole family. Take part in a candle making session or sample candies replicating yesteryear’s. You can also descend into a mine and learn all about the gold rush that took this part of Victoria by storm.

More sobering is a visit to the Australian Ex-POW Memorial, the first of its kind not set in Canberra, commemorating Australian prisoners of war during the 20th century. For more military history, stroll or drive along the Ballarat Avenue of Honour, line by close to 4000 trees planted in honour of Australian WWI soldiers. The avenue begins at the Arch of Victory.

For insight into the role of the Chinese in shaping Ballarat, make your way over to the Chinese Open Monument, which features 33 stone panels telling the story of the city’s Chinese inhabitants.

Ballarat’s Parks, Gardens and Lakes

Ballarat is teeming with green spaces of all sizes. Fronting Lake Wendouree, the cool climate Ballarat Botanic Gardens are known for Victorian touches and marble statues. If you’re visiting Ballarat in March, you’ll be able to catch the Begonia Festival. Meanwhile, Buninyong Botanical Gardens are home to the area’s original Courthouse and the Queen Victoria Rotunda.

Lake Wendouree is a popular destination for rowing and canoeing. A tram winds around the shore, allowing visitors to sit back and take in the scenery. You are likely to spot black swans, ducks and cormorants as you make your way around the lake.

A short distance from the city centre, Black Hill Reserve rises 500m above the city. Once a prime mining site, the park is now laced with mountain biking trails. Visitors can also take a day trip to Mt Buninyong Scenic Reserve, setting of an extinct volcano. Hike up to the summit for views of the eucalyptus forests and countryside. The lookout is also accessible by car.

Visiting Ballarat with the Kids

Ballarat always has something going on for families. The city celebrates its youngest residents at the end of October, during Children’s Week. Choose from arts and crafts classes, mini golf, popup playgrounds or cultural programs for those under 12.

Head to Ballarat Wildlife Park to watch kangaroos and other native species hopping about in an open air gum tree reserve. You’ll be able to feed the kangaroos, pet koalas and watch the wombats’ antics. This park is family-run and heavily invested in conservation efforts.

There are close to 200 playgrounds in the great Ballarat area. Many of the city’s restaurants, shops and museums have slides and sandboxes, all the way to intricate jungle gyms. For thrills and spills, spend some time at the Midlands Reserve Waterpark. Nearby Lal Lal Falls also have a playground area, so parents can take in views of the cascades as children let loose.

How to get to Ballarat

Ballarat is located approximately 100 km from Melbourne. Drive to the city in about 1.5 hours from the state capital, or take a direct V/Line Train departing Melbourne’s CBD.