Sovereign Hill is an outdoor museum presenting the story of Australia’s fabulous gold rush history. Its particular focus is the impact of the great 19th century gold discoveries on the growth of Ballarat, which was a small pastoral settlement when gold was discovered in 1851. By 1861, Ballarat had grown into a fine provincial city built on the wealth derived from its gold. Sovereign Hill is administered by The Sovereign Hill Museums Association - a not-for-profit, community-based organisation.
Set upon 32 acres of woodland is a collection of Australian native animals and reptiles which have been chosen for their educational and conservation potential. The reptile collection alone is one of the largest private collections in Australia featuring around four hundred individual animals of both native and exotic origins. The Ballarat Wildlife Park is situated only five minutes from Sovereign Hill and is the only regional zoo of its kind on such a large scale. Open 9.00 am to 5.30 pm everyday except Christmas Day.
The Ballarat Botanical Gardens Reserve covers an area of 40 hectares which is divided into 3 distinct zones. The central Botanical Gardens preserve the 'garden es que' style of the Victorian pleasure garden. On either side there are open parkland buffers known as the North and South Gardens. Located on the western shore of picturesque Lake Wendouree, the Gardens are an invaluable heritage and recreational resource to be enjoyed by the residents of Ballarat and visitors from around the world.
Walk the Eureka Trail, from Camp Street to the Eureka Stockade Centre taking in many Eureka sites along the way. The Eureka Trail, aimed at enhancing the "Eureka Experience", is managed by the City of Ballarat and was developed in 1996 with funding assistance from the State and Federal Governments as part of the Eureka Project. The landscape along the trail has changed considerably since 1854 as Ballarat has continued to develop as a major Regional Centre.
‘Blood on the Southern Cross’ is an explosive multi-million dollar sound-and-light show like nothing you’ve ever seen before! The story of the Eureka Rebellion, a dramatic battle between gold miners and Government forces at Ballarat on 3 December, 1854, is retold nightly by ‘Blood on the Southern Cross’, Sovereign Hill’s acclaimed sound-and-light spectacular. To make the most of your ‘Blood on the Southern Cross’ experience, enjoy a three-course, pre-show dinner which includes beer, wine and soft drink served at your table.
Nothing makes a visit to Art Gallery of Ballarat more enjoyable than spending time with our highly trained voluntary Gallery Guides. Their love of the Gallery and its collection together with their enthusiasm and knowledge will give you greater insight into the development of Australian art. Groups by prior arrangement. Our Gallery Guides can help your group to enjoy the Gallery if you let us know that you are planning to visit. Contact the Gallery at least two weeks prior to your visit to arrange your group's guided tour.
Visit the Mining Exchange, where troops gathered in 1854 before setting off to quell a revolt by miners. After Victoria became a separate colony in 1851 a 200 pound reward was offered for any gold discovery within 200 miles of Melbourne. The reward went for a discovery at Clunes (approximately 20 miles from Ballarat) in June of 1851 and rich fields were found by the end of that year at Ballarat. The Victorian gold rush that ensued was one of the largest migrations in the world at that time.
The pretty township of Buninyong lies at the foot of landmark Mt. Buninyong, 11KM south of Ballarat in Victoria. Surrounded by a precious belt of farmlands and wooded ridges, Buninyong treasures the beauty of its natural environment and the picturesque gold-era buildings and gardens which give it an old-world tranquillity and charm. At the same time, its contemporary cafés, shops, markets, festivals and amenities all contribute to a spirited community life in the peace and beauty of the countryside.
A fine example of a Victorian streets cape it is surrounded by the city's grand buildings as well as popular attractions such as the Ballarat Botanical Gardens, Sovereign Hill, Eureka Centre and Ballarat Wildlife Park. Nearby Lake Wendouree makes a great spot to enjoy outdoor activities like fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking, biking, kayaking, swimming and more. Lydiard Street has examples of all types of architecture and is a comfortable location for a stroll or visit at any time of the year.
The University of Ballarat (UB) is Australia’s only regional multi-sector university. We are the third oldest site of higher learning in Australia, and offer secondary schooling, technical and further education (TAFE), higher education, and research opportunities. We have six campuses, located at the Mt. Helen, SMB and Camp Street campuses in Ballarat and at Horsham, Stawell and Ararat. We also work with a range of partner institutes across Australia and the world.
The Eureka Centre is located in East Ballarat adjacent to what is considered to be the site of one of the most significant events in the evolution of Australian democracy - the Eureka Rebellion. As well as being one of Victoria's popular tourist destinations, The Centre provides a national focus for debate about, and interpretation of, the Eureka story. In the early 1850's, the lure of gold was a magnet, drawing people from all over the world to the Victorian goldfields.