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#VISITBALLARAT

The best ways to explore the great outdoors in Ballarat

Visit Ballarat

25 Oct 2021

Filed underSee & Do

It doesn’t matter the weather, there’s boundless fun to be had in the great outdoors.

From charming sunflower fields to colourful murals and picturesque look outs, your only decision is deciding where to start …

Here’s our top picks for exploring Ballarat’s great outdoors.

Lake Wendouree and Ballarat Botanical Gardens
When it comes to the perfect picnic spot, it doesn’t get much better than Lake Wendouree.  Watch the swans as you devour handmade croissants and pies from 1816 Bakehouse, or find some shade under the 100-year-old trees at the Botanical Gardens and enjoy delicious treats from Ballarat sweet icon Vegas and Rose while you marvel at the colour of the curated gardens.

Take a leisurely stroll along the lake’s 6km track while taking in the stunning views. There’s one thing we love about Lake Wendouree, and that is that no matter the time of year, you’re guaranteed an Insta-worthy shot.  Go at your own pace, you’ll find plenty of places to take a break along the way.

Get your friends together and sign up for a mystery picnic
If you’re looking for a little fun before sitting down for a delicious picnic among good company, then have we got an adventure for you.
Using your smartphone to solve clues and riddles, the AmazingCo journey will take you to local artisan producers where you’ll collect delicious picnic ingredients before ending at a stunning picnic spot somewhere in Ballarat.

The Ballarat Botanical Gardens is always a popular spot for picnics. Image: Matt Dunne.

Check out Ballarat’s cool wall murals
History is everywhere in Ballarat – often serving for the perfect backdrop. Just like the old Ballarat Bitter mural in Lyon Street South. 
There’s also so much modern street art to uncover around Ballarat like the Cax One beauty which is located on the side of the city’s only niche perfumery in Armstrong Street. 

On the side of Webster’s Market and Café you’ll also find a very cool Travis Price mural. It’s one of four murals created by this Ballarat artist around the city, you’ll find his others down Hop Lane, at the end of the Main Road and in McKenzie Street.

Pan for gold at Sovereign Hill this spring. Image: Matt Dunne.

Visit one of our outdoor attractions
One of Australia’s favourite outdoor museum, Sovereign Hill recreates Ballarat’s first ten years after the discovery of gold in 1851, when thousands of international adventurers rushed to the Australian goldfields in search of fortune. 
It’s just like stepping back in time — from the excitement of the diggings where you can pan for real gold to the hustle and bustle of Main Street where you can catch a coach ride, shop for sweet boiled lollies and make your own candles.

Get up close and feed the free-roaming kangaroos and admire koalas, wombats, little penguins and other Australian native animals at the Ballarat Wildlife Park
Around the park you will also see cheeky meerkats, dingoes and emus, as well as the park’s most popular inhabitants, Crunch the five-  metre crocodile and Satu, the Sumatran tiger. 

Soak up the fresh air during a short hike
Surrounded by extinct volcanos, old forests and picturesque views that seem to extend for days, you’ll definitely find a hike to get your heart pumping, including Mount Buninyong, Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail, Goldfields Track, La Gerche Forest Walk or Mount Cole in the Pyrenees.

Hire a bike and explore the city
Whether you prefer getting off-road and taking in the scenery, or you’re after a challenge and in for the long haul, there’s a smorgasbord of cycling trails awaiting your discovery in the Ballarat region.    
Hire a bike (or the electric version) for the day and discover Ballarat at your own pace. 

Talk to local producers at the Lake Wendouree or Bridge Mall Farmers’ Markets
Source local and seasonal ingredients and gourmet wonders at some of the region’s most popular farmers’ markets.  Stock up on regional produce and pantry items, source a bottle of award-winning vino, and indulge in some homemade delights.

Be blown away by the history of Ballarat on a self-guided tour
Explore Ballarat in your own time and at your own pace on a self-guided tour around the city. Check out the various self-guided tours here

Pond and paddock to plate experiences
A traditional grazing property, Tuki Trout Farm pursues organic and sustainable principles in rearing its rainbow trout and pasture-fed beef and lamb.  
Indulge in a pond to plate experience by hooking yourself a rainbow trout from the farm’s fully stocked pond. 
You can then have it cooked fresh in the restaurant, or cleaned and packaged ready to take home. 

Join a ghost tour by night
Discover the mystery and stories of the gold rush era with Eerie Tours’ Ballarat Ghost Tour.  This tour travels through underground buildings, back alleyways and through the remains of the old Ballarat Gaol, the site of the highest number of executions in regional Victoria.

Check out the region’s best cellar doors
Take a short 20-minute scenic drive out to Coghill’s Creek and you’ll discover Eastern Peake Winery. Visit the cellar to enjoy top drops, including some of the best Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah in the state. You’ll instantly understand why Owen Latta has been awarded Australia’s Young Winemaker of the Year.  

Situated just off Ballarat’s beautiful Avenue of Honour, the Michael Unwin Wines cellar door has become a popular weekend destination for local wine lovers.  Processed and bottled onsite, you’ll likely find yourself right in the middle of the wine making process when you arrive. 

Get lost in sunflowers
Towards the end of every summer, the Britt family open the gates to their Dunnstown farm for their annual Pick Your Own Sunflower weekends. Keep an eye out for their 2022 season opening dates.

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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.