Let’s face it, some of the best memories are made with friends. So, when the opportunity pops up to get together and head out on a road trip, most of us jump at the chance.
From unwinding at a day spa and wandering boutique shops, to chatting over a wine or two, Ballarat provides the perfect backdrop for an indulgent weekend of relaxation with friends.
2. Ballarat Sanctuary Day Spa
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.
3. Check out the region’s best cellar doors
If you’ve got wine on your mind then your next stop needs to be Mitchell Harris. Winemaker John Harris works with growers in Pyrenees, Macedon, Ballarat and Henty to craft wines that reflect the cool-climate characters of the nearby regions. Sit down to their new spring menu and watch traffic pass by from their Doveton Street warehouse.
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.
4. Take part in a hands-on workshop
Learn traditional Italian recipes straight from the masters at Carboni’s monthly cooking masterclasses, join in a candle making workshop with the Essential Candle Co, or sip and paint with Pinot & Picasso. From gin blending to painting pots, go behind the scenes with local makers and creators with a special Made of: Ballarat Experience. The colourful Windflower boutique on Sturt Street also hosts local (and visiting) creatives offering workshops in their unique floral setting.
5. Shop ‘til you drop
If you prefer to wander a while in search of something to take home, then you can’t go past Sweet Fern Fragrance Boutique. The perfumery houses a large collection of the finest perfumes in the world with significant historical backgrounds. You could always sign up for one of their perfume masterclasses and make your own fragrance.
Some of our other favourite shopping experiences include checking out all things floral Windflower, tasting Australian bush chocolate at Saltbush Kitchen, and indulge in some retail therapy at Ivy & Coco, The Foundry and Hattie and the Wolf.