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Cool and quirky places to stay in Ballarat

Visit Ballarat

01 Aug 2023

Filed underPlaces to Stay

Want to stay somewhere unique on your next trip to Ballarat?

From historic churches and charming cottages to off-the-grid cabins and boutique hotels, here are some of the coolest and quirkiest places to stay around the region.

Hotel Vera

Heritage gems

Ballarat’s newest boutique hotel offering brings a whole new meaning to luxury accommodation. Located in Sturt Street, Hotel Vera blends the heritage bones of the mid-1880s property with contemporary decor, Australian art and modern facilities.

A boutique hotel in the heart of the CBD originally built in 1909, The Provincial Ballarat of today features 23 suites that have been uniquely styled with a mix of bespoke antique, modern and custom pieces.

Steeped in history, the 167-year-old Craig’s Royal Hotel has played host to everyone from Dame Nellie Melba to Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh.

Craig’s Royal Hotel

Once a school, the heritage-listed Quest Ballarat on Dawson Street offers a range of accommodation options from studio apartments to three-bedroom serviced apartments.

The spacious and modern rooms of Quest Ballarat Station are optimally positioned in a heritage precinct with Ballarat Station and the bluestone railway Goods Shed (home to Itinerant Spirits, Boom Time Dumplings and Nolans).

A former 1860s Baptist church, Battista underwent a major renovation on ABC Australia’s Restoration Australia. It is now a grand home with a one-bedroom apartment available for stays.

Built in 1901 by a local surgeon, the heritage-listed Ballarat Premier Apartments was once a base for returned servicemen and women before being transformed into luxury accommodation in 2013.

Heritage on Lydiard Ballarat is part of the former Bank of NSW building and dates back to 1862, the height of the Australian Gold Rush period. 

Previously the gold rush era Criterion Hotel, Oscars Hotel & Cafe Bar features 13 contemporary guest rooms with the bonus of an in-house restaurant.

Tiny homes and glamping

Escape the crowds and enjoy the fresh air and open space with Unyoked cabins at Peerick Wines.

Why not make the most of the beautiful Pyrenees scenery and book a night in an Unyoked cabin. Facing the remote mountain range, these cabins make for the perfect off-the-grid stay.

Relax and unwind in one of three tiny homes on the former Pyrenees estate of a Hollywood movie star. From the 1930s to the 1960s, Carranballac’s historic Mooramong Estate was owned by actress Claire Adams and her millionaire Australian husband, Donald ‘Scobie’ MacKinnon.

Mooramong Tiny Houses is the result of collaboration between the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) and Into The Wild Escapes, with support from the state government.

Each of the homes – Tiny Lenore, Tiny Helen and Tiny Justyn – are named after characters portrayed by Adams in silent films.

In Bung Bong (between the towns of Avoca and Maryborough), you’ll find Pyrenees Tiny House and Pyrenees Glamping Retreat.

You can also stay in a tiny house on Captain’s Creek Organic Farm in Blampied.

The Garden of St Erth is a secluded glamping getaway in Blackwood, on the northwestern corner of Lerderderg State Park. Once a gold rush town of 13,000 people, the site now has one last remaining stone cottage, seasonal gardens and six private bell tents nestled in bushland. Each 5-metre wide tent is carpeted and decked out with all the mod-cons including 100% flax linen bedding, in tent heaters and air-conditioning.

Glamping at Garden of St Erth

Unique family stays

Stay in the heart of the action at the Sovereign Hill Hotel, with all of the gold rush excitement right on your doorstep.

Explore Kryal Castle by day and sleep like a king or queen at night in one of the castle’s 22 on-site medieval suites.

Kryal Castle suites

Country retreats

Escape to the country at Tuki Retreat Trout Farm and soak up the views of the Loddon-Campaspe Valley from the Smeaton property’s three cottages.

The National-Trust listed Mount Mitchell Estate near Lexton has a charming cottage on site, surrounded by 10 acres of impressive gardens.

Luxury vineyard farmhouse The Glut Farm* is perfect for a family or group getaway for a special occasion. With vineyard views, woodfired oven and an indoor fireplace, this gorgeous property is set close to Pyrenees wineries specialising in red wine.

You can even spend a weekend in an old railway carriage which has been fittingly filled with 1920s-inspired furniture. You’ll find this quirky stay in Scotchmans Lead, near Buninyong, about 15-20 minutes drive from Ballarat.

You’re in for a quiet country retreat at The Railway Carriage in Scotchmans Lead, just a stone’s throw from Buninyong. Image: The Railway Carriage owners Doug & Julie

*Please note that The Glut Farm is situated near state parks and forests impacted by the February 2024 Mt Buangor bushfire. While this idyllic property is open for bookings please check with the operator before booking should your itinerary be focused on nearby nature-based activities, as access may be restricted while the environment recovers.

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.