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Escape to the Pyrenees

Visit Ballarat

31 Mar 2021

Filed underPyrenees

There is a feel about the Pyrenees that you don’t get in the rest of the country.

A straight road is hard to find and you can see the meandering creeks and waterways a mile off, lined by bent and ancient river red gums.

Blacktop roads give way to gravel avenues and there is a winery around every bend.

The golden plains rise to forest-cloaked ranges where waterfalls tumble down rock faces in cool green gullies.

Old houses and colonial pubs form the streets in the towns and historic buildings that were once drapers or haberdashers are now modern cafes and popular galleries.

While the Pyrenees is famous for its wine and food, it is a beautiful, diverse and energetic place to enjoy culture, history, the outdoors and a quiet stroll through a beautiful old country town.

Some of our favourite places are in Avoca, home to the Pyrenees Unearthed Wine &
Food Festival
on Saturday 17 April but also home to The Avoca Hotel, a beautifully restored Victorian era pub serving great food and local wine.

Down the street is Shear Delights, a country bakery offering hearty bacon and egg pies, classic square tin sandwich loaf and great fruit buns.

Above this is the beautifully tranquil Avoca Chinese Garden celebrating the thousands of people, mostly men, who travelled from Canton in China to work the goldfields.

Summerfield Wines

A short drive away is Moonambel, home to Summerfield Wines cellar door which is also a great place for a great feed.

The Summerfield family raise their own sheep and pigs to supply the restaurant with great indoor/outdoor dining spaces.

Another place for a great little meal is Sally’s Paddock at Redbank Winery – a place to try the beautiful red wines and enjoy a cheese or antipasto platter or a smoked lamb roll.

One of our favourite places for a shared plate is Blue Pyrenees Estate, which offer a generous platter of hot and cold bites from arancini to charcuterie.

What we love is heading to the Pyrenees on a good day to explore the parks and forest of the area.

A popular spot is Avoca Falls at Percydale where, after a good rain, these ephemeral falls spring to life and cascade down the rock face.

This is just one of the many parks in the Pyrenees offering bush walks, short walks and camping with Mount Buangor being one of the more accessible areas.

Another way of navigating your trip around the Pyrenees is to put growers and makers at the heart of the experience.

The Pyrenees Farm Gate Trail lists scores of makers, growers and artists from around the Pyrenees including the beautiful hand-thrown ceramic bowls at Lexton Pottery to the stunning cakes made by Sara Kittelty, formerly of the Art Gallery of Ballarat.

But at the heart of the Pyrenees is the wine industry.

There are too many to go into depth with, instead here is a list and links of the wineries of the Pyrenees:


The City of Ballarat acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land we live and work on, the Wadawurrung and Dja Dja Wurrung People, and recognises their continuing connection to the land and waterways. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging and extend this to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.