BALLARAT is a grand provincial city that makes a memorable first impression, especially if approaching from the west, via the Western Freeway, along the Avenue of Honour. Lined on either side with more than 22km of trees and dedicated to the Ballarat soldiers who enlisted in World War I, it is Australia’s longest such avenue. It ends at the massive Arch of Victory, through which you drive to enter Sturt Street and the city. More than a quarter of all gold found in Victoria came from Ballarat’s fantastically rich reef mines before they were exhausted in 1918. Nowadays, in addition to the more obvious tourist attractions and fine architecture, the town is interesting in its own right, with a large student population that gives the city a somewhat vibrant character and reasonably active nightlife.

Sturt and Victoria streets terminate on either side of the Bridge Mall, the central shopping area at the base of quaint Bakery Hill with its old shopfronts. Southeast of the city centre, Eureka Street runs off Main Road towards the site of the Eureka Stockade, with several museums and antique shops along the way. Main Road is crossed by Bradshaw Street, where you’ll find Sovereign Hill, the re-created gold-rush town. Northwest of the centre, approached via Sturt Street, are the Ballarat Botanical Gardens and Lake Wendouree.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Australia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Solo travel in Australia: everything you need to know

Solo travel in Australia: everything you need to know

Australia remains a classic travel destination. A steady stream of gap-year backpackers, career breakers and round-the-world-trippers head down under to sample …

22 Nov 2016 • Shafik Meghji insert_drive_file Article
Road trip Australia: 6 of the best routes

Road trip Australia: 6 of the best routes

Pack your stuff, throw it in camper van along with a surfboard and don’t look back… This might be an old cliché but it’s one for good reason: Australia r…

18 Oct 2016 • Ros Walford insert_drive_file Article
Sydney or Melbourne: the great Aussie debate

Sydney or Melbourne: the great Aussie debate

Sydney and Melbourne have been battling it out for supremacy as long as Europeans have been setting sail for Australia. Both are capitals of their respective st…

03 Oct 2016 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month