Things to do in Ballarat

Our most recommended things to do in Ballarat

From Melbourne: Sovereign Hill Gold Mining Town Day Trip

1. From Melbourne: Sovereign Hill Gold Mining Town Day Trip

Immerse yourself in daily life during the 19th-century gold rush on a day trip to Sovereign Hill, a replica gold mining town. Wander through faithful model buildings and watch professional actors reenact scenes from the 1850s. Enjoy optional gold mine cart rides or horse carriage tours. Meet your driver in Central Melbourne and begin the journey to Sovereign Hill with views of the Australian countryside on the way. The town is full of interactive exhibits and demonstrations to discover: gold panning demonstrations, underground gold mines, and gold bar-making demonstrations. Wander through the town's true-to-life buildings for an insight into daily life. From grandmothers teaching grandchildren how to embroider to the local primary school and police station, the buildings are a great way to travel back in time to the excitement of the era. Feel free to ask the traditionally dressed actors for photos. You can also enjoy optional activities at an additional cost. You could go for a horse-drawn carriage tour of the town or take an underground mine cart ride. There are also occasional dramatic reenactments throughout the day.

Visit J Ward Lunatic Asylum: Night Ghost Tour in Ararat

2. Visit J Ward Lunatic Asylum: Night Ghost Tour in Ararat

Be incarcerated for the evening at Australia's home to the criminally insane: the famous J Ward Lunatic Asylum. Meet at J Ward, Girdlestone Street, Ararat in the evening and commence the tour with free museum access to explore the memorabilia of the past including straight jackets, electro shock therapy devices, and fascinating patient records. After exploring the museum, enjoy a guided ghost tour of approximately 2 hours through the home of notorious criminals such as Chopper Read, Gary Webb and William Wallace. Explore the governor's bathroom, the hangman's gallows, the original kitchen, the showerblock, the grave sites, the West Wing, the J Ward Block, and the exercise yards and grounds in search of the souls that still linger, and hear the terrifying stories of murdered inmates and prisoners buried in the grounds as you explore the property. Tours run every Friday and Saturday evening at 9:30 PM.

3-Day Great Ocean Road and Grampians Small-Group Tour

3. 3-Day Great Ocean Road and Grampians Small-Group Tour

Explore some of Australia's most stunning scenery on a 3-day trip from Melbourne, and enjoy a breathtaking trip along the Great Ocean Road and to Grampians National Park. Travel in a small and intimate group for the ideal touring experience, and stay in top-notch accommodation to ensure a unique and relaxing journey. Day 1: After pick-up from your city hotel in Melbourne’s Central Business District or Federation Square, head out of Melbourne via the West Gate Bridge. Travel through the vast volcanic plains on route to Geelong, where you’ll have time to stroll along the beautiful waterfront. Then start your journey along the Great Ocean Road at Torquay, stopping at various spots along the coast including Bells Beach, the Memorial arch, and the seaside resort of Lorne for lunch and shopping. After lunch, cruise further along the spectacular Great Ocean Road, stopping at more scenic spots including Kennett River on the way to the Great Otway National Park, where you’ll enjoy a guided walk through a cool temperate rainforest to see the world's tallest flowering plants, prehistoric trees and ferns and unique features such as 'Yabbie Chimneys'. Visit Apollo Bay before checking into the Beacon Point Ocean View Villas, where your private self-contained villa is set high on a hill overlooking the Southern Ocean – the perfect place to relax and unwind for a couple of hours before a great dinner. Day 2: Today starts with breakfast at a favorite local spot, the Bay Leaf Cafe. Then, travel through the Otway ranges and onto the Shipwreck Coast, stopping at Castle Cove for views over the Aire river valley. Learn about the region’s rich Aboriginal heritage and the many tribes that have lived prosperously along the coastline for thousands of years. From there, visit the famous limestone stacks known as the 12 Apostles, true icons of Australia's natural beauty. After hearing of the creation of the stacks and holding some of the limestone rock you can explore the boardwalks or even take a helicopter flight along the coastline (not included). Then visit 'Loch Ard Gorge', the site of the most famous 19th-century Australian shipwreck, before heading to the charming fishing village of Port Campbell for a lunch break. After lunch, pass along more impressive limestone formations on the way to the Tower Hill Game Reserve for the chance to see koalas, kangaroos, and emus living in this extinct volcanic crater. From there, head north towards Grampians National Park, where you’ll check into your accommodation at the foot of Mt. Sturgeon, the renowned Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld. 3 Day: The third day starts with an amazingly scenic drive along the Wonderland and Mt. William Ranges, through to Halls Gap in the heart of the Grampians National Park. Enjoy a few short walks at Baroka Lookout, Reid's Lookout, and McKenzie Falls, as well as visits to the Brambuk Aboriginal cultural center and a local rock art site. Your journey back to Melbourne takes you through the gold mining township of Ballarat, once one of the richest towns in the world, before arriving back in the city at around 06:00 PM.

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What people are saying about Ballarat

Overall rating

4.1 / 5

based on 19 reviews

this experience was absolutely amazing the ladies that guided our tour was fantastic!! would highly recommend u experience this we drove 2 hrs to do this and was praying it was worth it with it being on so late it definitely is!!

It was amazing. All the staff were very friendly and in there Roll. We could see the passion in all the staff. Thank you so much!! Kids lived it too!!

It was a real eye-opener. The history and real life experience was fantastic. I thoroughly recommend the experience. A big thumbs up.

Enjoyed all shows very friendly had a great time both me and wife loved it

My 7yr old Grandaughter had a wonderful time as did I