We know travelling right now isn’t possible for everyone, but don’t let that stop you dreaming of your first lockdown escape.
Let us inspire you with a snapshot of Ballarat in spring – a season that is identified by the blossoming of orchards, the lushness of landscapes and the richness of blue skies.
Here’s our top picks for exploring Ballarat’s great outdoors this spring.
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.
Discover outdoor exhibitions at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale
You’ll discover works in the city’s laneways, inside cafes and restaurants, projected onto buildings, on display in the Sturt Street gardens and even at the Ballarat General Cemetery.
Check out the full outdoor program here.
HOT TIP: Capture your next Instagram post by heading to Police Lane and snapping a photo in front of the Abbey Road zebra crossing.
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.
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.
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