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Ballarat and surrounds


  • official websites:
  • city of ~80,000 people on the Western Highway ~100km from Melbourne
  • one of the main cities in Victoria in the gold rush era of the 1850's
  • attractions:
    • Sovereign Hill historic gold mine tourist attraction:
      • set in the 1854-61
      • old shoppes & crafts such as candleworks, boiled sweets, metalworks, pottery, etc
      • 1860-1918 underground mine tours (extra $4 adult, $2 kids) - well worth it!
      • has one of only 3 working steam-powered Cornish beam mine water pumps in the world
      • creek to pan for specks of gold
      • most school holiday activities are aimed at 4-8yr olds.
      • gravel roads can get quite muddy to cross in wet weather!
      • entry:
        • adults $27, kids $13 (NB. buy one get one free voucher in Entertainment Book)
        • ticket includes a free entry to the Gold Museum opposite within next 6mths
        • hours: 10am-5pm
      • also has:
        • accommodation at Sovereign Hill Lodge
        • Blood on the Southern Cross evening sound & light show of the Eureka Stockade (must book & pay extra)
    • Kryal Castle medieval England tourist attraction
      • Wallaby Track (was the Federation Track) - 92km bushwalk track from Buninyong to Ballarat to Daylesford
      • Creswick Miners' Walk - follow footsteps of gold miners from Ballarat Railway Station to Creswick (23km)
    • Begonia Festival
    • Lake Wendouree & Botanic Gardens incl. Norman Lindsay historics
    • several nice golf courses



  • Mt Buninyong
  • Lal Lal Bungal Historic Reserve:
    • best access is via Eureka Street, Yendon and then Lal Lal following the signs to the Blast Furnace
    • the site of the Lal Lal Iron Mine & the Lal Lal Blast Furnace is a feature of the reserve
    • picnic & 20 minute circuit Blast Furnace Nature Walk, see birds and flowing of water from the Bungal dam.
  • Lal Lal Falls
    • historic gold mining region 25km south of Ballarat; the major location west of Melbourne for the rare Yarra Gum.
    • To gain access to the park, turn into Misery Creek Road from the Colac-Ballarat Road.
  • Brisbane Ranges National Park:


  • Gordon
  • Werribee Gorge State Park:
    • between Bacchus Marsh and Ballan, this park was established in 1910 to protect its geologic significance with its exposed uplifted and folded Ordovician seabed.
    • the fine blue-grey clay mixed with pebbles in the cliff walls called tillite formed from sedimentation of ancient ice sheets in the Permian glaciation 280 million years ago.
    • parallel scratch marks on cliff rocks are evidence of ice moving in glaciers during the ice age.
    • parts of the cliffs have vertically oriented shale deposits which are marine sediments tipped on their end by tectonic movement which lifted them above sea level some 350 million years ago.
    • today it is a relatively easy flat bush walk along a small river with an option to make it a 5hr circuit through more bushy terrain - just watch out you don't step on one of the extremely venomous snakes found all over Australia, especially along gullies such as these (although all I saw in 3hrs is a harmless  echidna), and bring walking shoes, hat & water as it can get hot, exposed and isolated in summer.
    • mind you, not many of the local Melbournians have bothered to come to either of these gorges - but they do make a nice walk in the bush if you come prepared and a chance to cool off in the river on one of the sandy beaches if you are so inclined - a fairly private spot during the week for a skinny dip on a hot day.
    • for a more energetic walk to stress your heart out, and your ankles, try the nearby Ironbark Gorge track.
    • rock climbing - here
  • Werribee Gorge
  • Lerderderg Gorge State Park:


australia/vic/ballarat.txt · Last modified: 2016/07/17 14:21 by gary1

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