Ballarat is the city that started the Victorian Gold Rush in 1851, resulting in the immense wealth of the state since then. The city has played a major part in the gold mining industry and history of Victoria. The historic re-enactments at the open-air Sovereign Hill Museum and the Art Gallery of Ballarat are points of interest that show the deep history and culture of the city.
Heritage buildings dot the cityscape of Ballarat, a tribute to the prosperity experienced by the city during the Victorian Gold Rush. Of particular interest are the Ballarat Town Hall, Her Majesty’s Theatre and Craig’s Hotel. At Sovereign Hill, visitors will take a step back in time as the area is a re-enactment of the gold nine township from the 1850s, complete with underground mines and coach rides. Among the delightful sights in this living museum are shops, schools and houses from that time period populated by costumed actors to provide an authentic experience. The evening sees a fascinating light and sound show called AURA. The site also has a Gold Museum that traces the history and significance of the gold mining industry to the region. Ballarat’s historical significance is further evident at the Eureka Centre where lies the Museum of Australian Democracy. It commemorates the site of the Eureka Rebellion, a miners revolt that resulted in introduction of male suffrage in Australia. The Kryal Castle takes visitors further back in time, with re-creation of medieval era sights and activities within the replica medieval castle. The Art Gallery of Ballarat is the oldest and largest regional art gallery in Australia, with the curation of art masterpieces considered the best of the non-capital cities in Australia. The city’s cultural side receives a different form of energy during the Ballarat White Night event, when the art installations and light shows paint the city in the vividest of colours.
Apart from its historical and cultural riches, Ballarat also boasts some serene natural beauty. The Ballarat Botanical Gardens provide some beautiful greenery to enjoy, with the massive Lake Wendouree Reserve adding to the area’s charm. The vintage Ballarat Tramway operates between the gardens and the lake, providing visitors with a unique way to enjoy their visit. The Ballarat Wildlife Park takes travellers close to native fauna of the area set in the magnificent bushlands that fringe the city.
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