Make the most of a day out in Ballarat

There’s nothing like waking up on a Saturday morning with a hankering to get away for the day.

Just a stone’s throw away from most Victorian cities, Ballarat makes the perfect destination for those last-minute planners. 

Travellers can take their pick of mind-opening masterclasses with local artists, seasonal degustation at Underbar, to sampling award-winning wine and local produce alongside the signature Ballarat experiences that have long made the region a favourite destination for those seeking an enriching escape.

Explore with a friend 

Join a perfume masterclass at Sweet Fern Fragrance Boutique. This niche perfumery is the only of its kind in regional Australia. The perfumery houses a large collection of the finest perfumes in the world with significant historical backgrounds.

Relax and unwind at Ballarat Sanctuary Day Spa – winner of Australia’s Best Luxury Day Spa at the 2019 World Luxury Spa Awards. Leave life stresses at the door and allow the attentive team of skilled therapists to take you on a decadent journey to promote well-being, vitality and radiance from within.  

Eastern Peake have been serious about rose for more than a decade.
Their 2019 vintage is due for release in September, however, right now you can try two made under owner Owen's own Latta label – the 'Tranquil' (appropriately named for these uncertain times) and the 'WHAT-A-MELON' which is described as 'fun to make and fun to drink.'

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Owen Latta of Eastern Peake Winery

Visit, indulge and discover the finest of Australian bushfood products made locally at Saltbush Kitchen.

Fancy getting your hands dirty? Join a casual Saturday pottery class with local ceramicist, Beck Davies.

Local creatives, Benny from Heaps Good Leather and Rachel from Rachel Grose Jewellery, are throwing open their studio doors from Wednesday to Sunday at Lost Ones Gallery. Open from 11am until 4pm.

Looking for somewhere to eat? Look no further than The Shared Table in Buninyong. Showcasing the diverse flavours of the Victorian Central Highlands, The Shared Table menu reflects what is fresh and at its best right now. 

Make it a date

What better place to spend a date than wandering around the Art Gallery of Ballarat with your special someone. 
Right now you can see Anne Wallace’s Strange Ways exhibition. While Anne Wallace’s figurative paintings might seem conventional on the surface, they are anything but ordinary. 

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Anne Wallace, Eames Chair 2004. Oil on canvas. Collection of Kate Green and Warren Tease, Sydney
Anne Wallace, Eames Chair 2004. Oil on canvas. Collection of Kate Green and Warren Tease, Sydney

If you ‘re a fan of Australian Rules Football, then you might like to check out Join the Club. This exhibition is characterised by the irreverent humour that is a hallmark of the Pitcha Makin Fellas’ work and is both a celebration and a criticism of Australia’s favourite sport.

You can also catch The Golden Pantomime – Ballarat-based artist Madeleine Cruise and ceramicist Ruby Pilven share a showcase of artworks produced by them individually and in response to each other’s work. 

Open daily for trout fishing, why not catch your own lunch or experience the licensed restaurant at Tuki Trout Farm. Tuki Retreat’s stone cottages also offer couples a romantic getaway.

Join a two-hour truffle hunt and Taste of Truffles experience (June-August) at Black Cat Truffles or simply enjoy the Farm Gate Cafe and Truffle Shop. 

Fill that lifelong curiosity and delve into the curious world of bees by taking part in a hands-on journey of discover with Ballarat beekeepers Amanda and Scott Collins.

Join Adam Parker at his new Mount Mercer workshop and learn how to forge your own knife.

Taste Australian natives in Kilderkin Distillery's popular Sunburnt Country Larrikin Gin. This small Ballarat distillery, which focuses on producing high quality gins, opens its Cellar Door on weekends for tastings and take away purchases. 

Seating just 16 and only open on Friday and Saturday nights, the elusive Underbar is the brainchild of head chef Derek Boath – formerly of New York's three-Michelin starred Per Se.
Pronounced "oon-de-bar", Underbar is a hatted Ballarat dining experience like no other.

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Why not stay for the weekend

You’ll find all the ingredients for an indulgent and relaxing weekend away right here in Ballarat, so why not extend your trip and stay a night or two.

Built in 1909, the iconic The Provincial Hotel sits pretty on Ballarat’s historic Lydiard Street. It’s also home to Lola, where you’ll find stylish, European inspired dining. 

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Located opposite award-winning tourist attraction Sovereign Hill, and with access to all-day dining at Azzuri, gallery space and Ballarat Sanctuary Day Spa located on-site, staying at Mecure Ballarat has plenty of perks.

Craig's Royal Hotel has been a goldfields icon since Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, slept in its ornately-decorated rooms in 1867 and Dame Nellie Melba famously sang from its balcony in 1908.
Join the elite guest list at Craig's Royal Hotel and rest your weary head before another big day of exploring the region.

Take a step back in time and stay in a fully-restored 19th century terrace, Earle Ballarat. This self-contained boutique accommodation is perfect for those looking for a peaceful time away with all of the luxuries (and where your fur friends are always welcome).