The City of Gold

Ballarat’s history is intertwined with the story of gold in Australia. Its first brush with fame came in 1851, when the discovery of the largest goldfield in the world made Ballarat the epicentre of the Australian Gold Rush. Wealth, prosperity and a population explosion followed, and Ballarat is now Victoria’s third largest city.

These days the gold may have run out, but Ballarat’s rich culture, superb cuisine and fascinating heritage mean it has retained its capacity to draw visitors, and make it a wonderful travel destination. 

The city’s golden history is showcased by a wonderful immersive open air museum experience, and its cultural offerings in the form of world class art galleries and exhibitions, and international festivals make it an incredible place for lovers of the arts. The region’s natural beauty is on show here too thanks to Lake Wendouree and several superb parks and gardens, putting Australia’s unique flora and fauna front and centre.

Not just for culture vultures, the centre of town boasts a wonderful array of independent shops, boutiques, and artisanal crafts, showing off Ballarat’s creativity and giving visitors an abundance of opportunities for the perfect souvenir. Taking inspiration from Melbourne’s reputation as Australia’s foodie capital, Ballarat’s restaurants, and cafes provide an amazing range of cuisines and styles, with some truly excellent chefs serving up delicacies from around the world. A lively craft brewing scene, alongside some of Australia’s top wineries, and a host of classy and elegant cocktail bars make Ballarat one of the most vibrant, interesting and attractive cities in the country.

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