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25 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.

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.

Hotel Vera

Meanwhile, 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.

Or 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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

Take your pick of castle suites, cabins, caravan and camping sites, and even tiny homes at Kryal Castle

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.

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. There’s also a dog-friendly BIG4 on the castle doorstep which includes an array of tiny homes, cabins, caravan and camping sites.

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.

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

There’s no shortage of quirky accommodation in Bunyinyong. Sleep in an old railway carriage which has been fittingly filled with 1920s-inspired furniture, or wander seven acres of historic gardens at a 19th Century heritage homestead.

Head bush to Beaufort’s Cave Hill Creek for a group glamping adventure. Or stay in a tiny house on Captain’s Creek Organic Farm in Blampied.

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Escape the crowds and enjoy the fresh air and open space at Cave Hill Creek.

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.

Willow & Stone Estate is a self-contained luxury cottage built with a faithful tribute to goldrush architecture, and features a huge bathroom and separate dressing room with standalone bath.

If you’re looking to live like a local, you’re spoilt for choice. Stay in a historic three-bedroom cottage at Woodhouse Ballarat, former lolly house-turn-cheery-home Bunting Cottage or in a 1960s hilltop bungalow with stunning views of Ballarat.

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. Maybe a luxury mountainside farmstay sounds more your style? Then check out The Glut Farm.

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Described as “an ancient remedy for modern times”, Unyoked is about giving you easy access to the wild.

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.