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5 reasons Ballarat’s history is cooler than you think

Visit Ballarat

01 Mar 2022

Filed underSee & Do

Think you know all there is to know about Ballarat?

Here are five things that might surprise you about this thriving city…

5. Beer has been brewing in Ballarat since the gold rush

There were more than 500 pubs at the peak of the gold rush. Today, the beer scene is awash with some of the best handcrafted brews in the country.

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4. Women have always taken centre stage

Known for her spicy performances, Lola Montez made quite a name for herself on the Ballarat goldfields. Her story lives on today at Sovereign Hill and her spirited natured was also the inspiration behind the city’s Restaurant Lola.

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3. Ballarat is a city influenced by many cultures

The lure of gold saw thousands of people from all around the world flock to Ballarat. Today, the city celebrates the positive influence of different cultures, just like local cafe Johnny Alloo – named after Ballarat’s first documented Chinese restaurateur.

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2. Some really famous people have visited

A goldfields icon, the rooms of Craig’s Royal Hotel have hosted many famous people, including Prince Albert and Dame Nellie Melba.

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1. Ballaarat is the city’s original spelling

Ballaarat is the name derived from the Wadawurrung words ‘balla’ and ‘arat’, meaning ‘resting place’. Rather appropriate for a city that warmly beckons one and all to settle in.

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Main image: Aunty Jacks

Across Victoria’s Midwest, we acknowledge that we travel across the ancient landscapes of many First Peoples communities.

These lands have been nurtured and cared for over tens of thousands of years and we respect the work of Traditional Custodians for their ongoing care and protection.

We recognise the past injustices against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in this country. As our knowledge grows, we hope that we can learn from their resilience and creativity that has guided them for over 60,000 years.

As we invite people to visit and explore Victoria’s Midwest, we ask that alongside us, you also grow to respect the stories, living culture and connection to Country of the Ancestors and Elders of our First Peoples.