Gold, Sovereign Hill and the Eureka Rebellion
and Sovereign Hill Day Tour with Optional Wildlife Park from Melbourne
National Park and Australian Animals Small Group Tour from Melbourne
Great Ocean Road and the Grampians Tour from Melbourne
is a Victorian gold-rush city of just under 100,000 people 105km
to the west and north of Melbourne.
city was originally a sheep station called Ballaarat - after the
Aborginal term balla arat, which is said to mean resting place.
1851 gold rush transformed the area as 20,000 people flocked in
gold run continued for decades with its rich veins of the ore making
the surrounding city one of the richest in the country. Today's
magnificent Victorian buildings attest to the wealth created.
was also the scene of Australia's only armed rebellion where in
1854 miners rose up against the cost of digging licences among other
complaints. They armed themselves, built a wooden stockade and waited
for colonial forces to arrive.
battle, when it came, was bloody and quick, with 27 people dying
in the clash - 22 of them miners.
hundred and 20 miners were arrested and of those 13 were put on
trial for high treason and faced the death penalty. After hearing
the Crown and defence cases the judge took 30 minutes to deliberate
and came back with a verdict of not guilty.
to Ballarat can go to the site of the battle in Eureka St.
there is the new Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka near the
site too. This museum has interactive and immersive exhibitions
that it says will explore the evolution and the future of democracy
– looking at culture, civics, history and citizenship for Australians.
The centrepiece of the museum is the actual Eureka flag - the Southern
Cross - that was raised at the Eureka Stockade.
a hands-on experience of life in the Victorian goldfields you can
visit Soveriegn Hill, a multi-award winning outdoor museum where
you can see how miners and early settlers lived, as well as try
you hand at panning for gold. Any you find you get to keep!
for a real thrill, hop aboard a stagecoach and have a ride around
the diggings or steel yourself and head into the underground workings
more on gold and its importance to the city of Ballarat head along
to the Gold Museum in Bradshaw St. other museums of note include
the Tramway Museum and the Observatory and Museum.
plants are your thing then Ballarat has wonderful Botanical Gardens
regarded as one of the country's most important cool-climate gardens.
They were created in 1857 and have the country's greatest concentration
of public statuary including the official Prime Ministers Avenue.
is also the Ballarat Begonia Festival over the Labour Day long weekend
in March that attracts tens of thousands of flower lovers to the
city is also home to Australia's oldest regional arthouse - the
Ballarat Art Gallery.
outside Ballarat at Mt Helen is the amazing Bird World, which has
Australia's largest display of cockatoos and parrots. There is more
wildlife on offer at the Ballarat Wildlife Park on the corner of
Russell and York streets.
Ballarat, it's an amazingly big, little city.