Things to love about winter in Ballarat

Whether you are a local or are here visiting friends and family there is lot to love about Ballarat this winter. Be sure to rug up and get out and explore some of the attractions on offer.

Ballarat Winter Festival 

The Ballarat Winter Festival will look a little different this year as it moves online. Ballarat’s Virtual Winter Fest will allow users to virtually explore the city in animated form, play games at Ballarat’s major attractions, download Ballarat-themed activities and search for winter specific content and incentives from local businesses. Launching just in time for the winter school holidays, you can find out more here.


Walk the streets of historic Ballarat while hearing stories of strange happenings, weird people, and cruel punishments from a professional local guide. With Eerie Tours you will explore underground buildings, back alleyways, and the old Ballarat Gaol. Rug up and enjoy this this spine-chilling ghost tour.  

Explore the wine, cider, and local produce from the surrounding region on a private half-day tour with Green Guide Explorer. Let them pick you up from your Ballarat hotel, take in the beautiful scenery and enjoy sampling wines, coffee, cider, and chocolate. Touch base with Lizzie and the team today to book.


Does strolling around a gallery while the rain falls outside sound perfect? The Art Gallery of Ballarat will open its doors again from the 1 July with two new exhibitions. Book your free ticket to see Stagecraft by Ballarat-born, London-based artist David Noonan and Strange ways by Melbourne-based artist Anne Wallace. Book early to avoid disappointment.

Over the winter school holidays you'll also have the opportunity to see art from 29 local artists as part of a Playing in the Attic exhibition. Artists were given creative license during the COVID-19 lockdown to produce 100 faces on artboards, ranging from oils, acrylics and pencil and featuring a variety of local identities, storybook characters and animals. These artworks now form the exhibition One Hundred Faces, which can be viewed from the Playing in the Attic shop window on Sturt Street at the entrance to the Ballaarat Mechanics' Institute.

If experiencing animals up close without the crowds is your thing, a winter visit to the Ballarat Wildlife Park is in order. Hand feed the free roaming Kangaroos and visit Koalas, Tasmanian Devils, Penguins, Crocodiles, Meerkats, Emus and more. Mention the code word “Be Kind” at the ticket office for 10% off entry.  

Stay warm with outdoor open fires while you experience life in the heart of the gold rush at Sovereign Hill. Try your hand at gold panning, pick up some famous raspberry drops and explore the depths of the Red Hill mine. Tickets are available online only and numbers are limited so make sure to book ahead. 

Or, embark on a medieval adventure these school holidays at Kryal Castle. Entry is pre-booked, so head online to secure your spot.

Once night falls, look up and explore the winter skies at the Ballarat Observatory. The frosty winter evenings offer extra clarity for viewing the celestial sky. Can you see the Emu stretched across the Milky Way? 


As the government's COVID-19 restrictions continue to change, we encourage you to be kind, stay safe, maintain social distancing and use common sense. And if you're unwell, please stay home.