Summer of Fun in Ballarat

Welcome to Ballarat's Summer of Fun.

Whether you're a family in search of a new school holiday experience or a couple looking for a place to unwind, Ballarat's warm days and balmy evenings make the city the ideal setting for a summer getaway.

Think award-winning attractions, exciting food and drink offerings, secret swimming holes and more.

 

Water play

Where to find the Ballarat region's best swimming holes
The Ballarat region is full of beautiful swimming holes and stunning parkland to discover. And with the long summer days now upon us, it’s the perfect time to explore all the natural wonders on offer...
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Eureka Pool
Your summer guide to Ballarat's pools
Escape the summer heat at one of Ballarat's outdoor pools. Or head indoors and away from the sun at the Ballarat Aquatic and Lifestyle Centre. Outdoor pools Eureka Aquatic Centre 103 Stawell Street...
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Sebastopol Water Play Facility
Make a splash at Ballarat's water play spaces
If you're looking for a fun way to cool off the kids this summer, definitely make a beeline for Ballarat's water play spaces. Entry is free to both the Midlands Aquatic Space and Sebastopol Aquatic...
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Food & drink

Top Ballarat eats during the warmer months
Want to know where an acclaimed writer and food festival founder like to eat out in Ballarat? These are Richard Cornish and Kate Davis' favourite local cafes and restaurants this summer.... Moon and...
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Go the whole hog in Ballarat
It's an open secret that Ballarat has some of the best meat in the country. We are surrounded by some of the nation's richest grazing land on which our farmers raise beef cattle, sheep, and pigs. Our...
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Ballarat's summer food and drink calendar
From a meat masterclass to a special lunch with renowned wine writer Max Allen, Ballarat is serving up some unique foodie events to make summer even more fun. G&T(ea) from Japan to London When...
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Six must-do summer experiences in Ballarat
We asked award-winning food writer Richard Cornish and Plate Up Ballarat/Eat Drink West director Kate Davis to share what's at the top of their Ballarat must-do lists this summer. This is what they...
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A summer of milkshakes and memories in Ballarat
Celebrate those golden summers of childhood past with these chilly milkshakes. This summer, a swag of Ballarat's cafes, bars and restaurants are making simply slurpable milkshakes using their own...
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Fall in love with Ballarat's ice cream sundaes
Sundaes are more than just desserts – they are decadent but innocent moments in time savoured at the end of a very long spoon. A swathe of Ballarat’s favourite venues have created memorable ice cream...
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The Shared Table
Six of Ballarat's best summer picnic hampers
Grab a rug, throw the esky in the car and head off for a perfect summer picnic at one of Ballarat’s beautiful historic gardens, hidden swimming holes or secluded bush reserves. The summer of 2020/21...
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Ballarat's Balmy Night Cocktail Series
After a long summer’s day, when the sun lowers in the sky, there is nothing nicer than a long, cool, slow cocktail. So Ballarat's best bartenders and mixologists have created a special suite of more...
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Where to do brunch in Ballarat this summer
The Ballarat region's cafes are going way beyond the smashed avocado this summer by putting on special brunches to entice visitors, friends and family out of bed after a long sleep in. It could be a...
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Explore Victoria's Pyrenees wine region
While Adelaide has the Barossa Valley, Sydney has the Hunter and Melbourne the Mornington Peninsula, Ballarat's go-to wine region is the Pyrenees. Dominated by the rugged and beautiful Pyrenees ranges...
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See & do

21 things to do in Ballarat this summer school holidays
There's no chance of "I'm bored!" this school holidays thanks to Ballarat's Summer of Fun. From stepping back in time to gold rush and medieval times to hours of fun at the city's pools, cinemas and...
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How would you spend a perfect summer's day in Ballarat?
Ballarat is a place to be explored, a city with many layers to be peeled away to reveal hidden architectural gems, ancient landscapes, cultural icons, historic parks and an over-abundance of good...
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Summer at Sovereign Hill just got even better
Summer at Sovereign Hill just got even better! The tourist attraction has opened seven days a week. Some of the much-loved activities and attractions set to return for the first time since March this...
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Make the most of a day out (or stay for the weekend) in Ballarat
There’s nothing like waking up on a Saturday morning with a hankering to get away for the day (or even the whole weekend). Just a stone’s throw away from most Victorian cities, Ballarat makes the...
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Taste the world in Ballarat
Overseas travel might be off the cards for a while yet but you can still take your tastebuds on a global food discovery at one of Ballarat's internationally-inspired restaurants and cafes. Indulge in...
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OBrien Beer
Seven places to get on the beers in Ballarat
Now that Premier Daniel Andrews has officially given Victorians permission to "get on the beers", here's our top picks for where to polish off a frothy or two in Ballarat: Drink your beer right where...
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Plan your stay

Family itinerary

Get ready for three days of family fun, adventures and memories in Ballarat.

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Outdoor & adventure itinerary

Enjoy Mother Nature at her best with this two-day tour of the Ballarat region's stunning outdoor spaces.

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Eat & drink itinerary

The culinary world is sitting up and paying attention to Ballarat courtesy of its booming food scene.

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Events

Summer entertainment in the heart of Ballarat
Ballarat's balmy evenings are set to be just that little bit better with two outdoor live performance spaces featuring local artists, musicians and performers. The Queen Alexandra Bandstand and...
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Kryal Castle at Twilight - Summer School Holiday Program
The legendary Kryal Castle is opening its doors later in the day over the warmer months (2pm-8pm, from 26 December to 26 January) so you can enjoy a memorable family experience at twilight. The Castle...
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Jan 26 Survival Day Dawn Ceremony - Virtual
The 2021 January 26 Survival Day Dawn Ceremony will go ahead as a virtual live streamed event. Due to current COVID19 restrictions gatherings are restricted and we encourage people to watch the...
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Ballarat Beer Festival
The Ballarat Beer Festival is a family-friendly festival filled with Australia's leading craft beer brewers, a great range of live bands, children's activities, many gourmet food trucks and craft beer...
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Rock Ballarat Rock n Roll Rockabilly Festival
Welcome to Rock Ballarat Rock n Roll Rockabilly Festival 2021.Everything nostalgic will be on display, Vintage Cars, Rock n Roll Dancing, Australia's best vintage inspired pinup competition, burlesque...
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Ballarat Funk'n'Fest
An afternoon chillin' in the shade of North Gardens, gettin' your groove on with Victoria's leading bands in Funk, R & B, and Soul About this Event Headlined by Kylie Auldist, described as "The High...
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Summer School Holiday Program
School Holiday activities - Afternoon program of Children's activities including optics, camera obscura, rocket launching followed by an evening program of Tour, Astrotour movies and viewing at the...
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Murder Mystery at Kryal Castle
On the night of a royal wedding joining two kingdoms as one, the young bride is found in her chambers, viciously murdered. But who committed this heinous crime? Tensions are palpable as the rulers of...
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Ballarat Farmers Market
Ballarat Farmers Market takes place in central Ballarat near the shores of beautiful Lake Wendouree. Our COVID-safe operation is set in large parklands north of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens. Stroll...
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Farmers Market - Bridge Mall - Ballarat Central
The Bridge Mall Farmers Market is a fun and vibrant community event running yearlong on the first Saturday of the month. Experience a foodie’s paradise with exceptional farm-fresh produce, unique hand...
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Summer School Holiday Program 2021
Day program -BYO Picnic. Cold Drinks available.Astronomy activities for children.Learn about different types of telescopes.Astronomy Movies about the Solar System and the Little Things in our Solar...
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Hop Temple Blues and Brews
This city bar can be found at the end of an alley, beautifully covered in suspended umbrellas. It is here, at The Hop Temple, every Sunday when the long languid summer afternoons are filled with the...
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Wine Tasting evening at RJMS Wine Bar
RJM’s Wine Bar is holding their first wine tasting for this year. Sample five (60 ml glasses) of the twelve outstanding quality wines on offer, or four wines plus one of the three (50 ml) fortifieds -...
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Pick Your Own Sunflowers 2021
BOOK NOW to join us in the Dunnstown Sunflower fieldBetween Sunday 28 February 2021 10:00 AM and Monday 1 March 2021 10:00 AMLocationDunnstown Sunflower Field420 Navigator-Dunnstown Rd, Dunnstown...
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Workshops

Aunty Jacks' Beer School - Belgian
Are you ready to take your beer palate on a tour of Belgian?Starting at 2.30pm Aunty Jacks' own Dr. of Beer, Peter Aldred will school you on Belgian beer all whilst sampling beers from around the...
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Beck Davies Ceramics Pottery Classes and Workshops
If you've ever thought, 'I'd love to learn pottery', here's your chance.Beck Davies hosts pottery sessions in her studio in Ballarat. She loves being a part of people's joy as their creative ideas...
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Introduction to Beekeeping
A four hour theory and practical course which includes hands on practice with two hive openings and how to light a smoker. About this Event Join local Ballarat Beekeepers Amanda Collins and Scott...
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Wonderful World of Whisk(e)y 30th Jan
Taste your way around the world in 5 Whiskies! About this Event Join Gorge and the 18th Amendment team as we taste our way around the world!Saturday 30th January$45+booking feeIncludes 5 x 20ml...
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Advanced Beekeeping Course
A six hour beekeeping course including theory and practice in advanced beekeeping techniques which will accelerate your skills in beekeeping About this Event This two part course offers with two or...
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Ultimate Birds Of Prey Photography Workshop - VIC
Join renowned wildlife photographer Jay Collier from Photographers Collective for an action packed birds in flight photography workshop About this Event Do you love wildlife photography but have had...
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Secret Life of Bees: Open Hive Experience
Join us for a unique beekeeping experience as we delve into the curious world of the European Honey Bee (Apis mellifera). About this Event The Secret Life of Bees: Open Hive experience is a curated...
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Wonderful World of Whisk(e)y 6th Feb
Taste your way around the world in 5 Whiskies! About this Event Join Gorge and the 18th Amendment team as we taste our way around the world!Saturday 6th February$45+booking feeIncludes 5 x 20ml...
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Music

Summer Sundays Live Streamed from Kryal Castle
The City of Ballarat’s popular Summer Sundays is back in 2021 with an awesome line up of artists and a very different format.Live and local, over three weekends in January, Summer Sundays is...
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Pierce Brothers: Early Show
Pierce Brothers are coming to Ballarat to play at Volta! About this Event For years now twin brothers Jack and Patrick Pierce’s high energy duo Pierce Brothers has been a staple of the Australian...
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Jess Locke
Jess Locke returns to Volta after recently announcing the forthcoming release of her third album, 'Don't Ask Yourself Why'. About this Event Jess Locke recently announced the forthcoming release of...
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Los Locos Quartet with Spanish Night at The Main Bar
Los Locos Quartet and Spanish night at The Main Bar About this Event Join us for Spanish night on our Outdoor Stage in historic Main Road. Your $42 ticket includes 2 sets with LOS LOCOS , Spanish...
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Neil Murray at Main Bar.
Founding Warumpi Band member and now maverick, award-winning songman, Neil Murray is appearing at Main Bar, Ballarat on January 23rd 2021Widely covered, Neil Murray’s song writing is diverse and...
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John Floreani (Trophy Eyes)
John Floreani is coming to Volta About this Event John Floreani is inspired by romantic tragedy and beauty in life’s most simple phenomena’s. A lyrical deep dive into heartache, addiction and self...
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Freya Josephine Hollick: Early Show
Following her appearance at BE HEAR NOW, Ballarat local , Freya Josephine Hollick brings her band to Volta!! About this Event Following her appearance at BE HEAR NOW, Ballarat local , Freya Josephine...
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Emma Donovan & The Putbacks
Acclaimed Indigenous vocalist Emma Donovan and Melbourne rhythm combo The Putbacks are heading to Ballarat! About this Event EMMA DONOVAN & THE PUTBACKSAcclaimed Indigenous vocalist Emma Donovan and...
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Harry Quail Band at The Main Bar
Harry Quail Band at The Main Bar About this Event The Harry Quail Band - a Jazz ensemble, performing a variety original compositions and arrangements across a broad range of Jazz styles. Joining Harry...
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METAL FROM THE GRAVE - BALLARAT Feat Damaged, Terrorust & more
Matt “Skitz” Sanders returns to the surface to resurrect the old School Savagery of Australian Extreme Metal including past bands and peers About this Event Not too far away - in February, 2021...Your...
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Queen of Hearts Mariachi at The Main Bar
Taking Melbourne by storm, QUEEN OF HEARTS Mariachi at The Main Bar's Outdoor Stage About this Event First female mariachi band in Melbourne "Queen of Hearts Mariachi" ! Queen of Hearts is an all...
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Press Club (First Show)
Press Club are coming to Ballarat! About this Event With lock downs easing around Australia, Press Club have announced The Electric Eagle Soars Again tour for early 2021. Hitting up some of the band's...
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The Hornets at The Main Bar
The Hornets on the Outdoor Stage at The Main Bar About this Event The Hornets feature some of the country’s most well known and respected blues and roots musicians, including ARIA Hall of Fame...
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The Lone Mariachi and The Silver Masked Men at The Main Bar
Good time Mexican madness on the Outdoor Stage at The Main Bar About this Event Mexican Barrio Cumbia Style - Alejandro (The Lone Mariachi) has performed in Ballarat many times with his brand of big...
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Neil Murray at Main Bar.
Founding Warumpi Band member and now maverick, award-winning songman, Neil Murray is appearing at Main Bar, Ballarat on January 23rd 2021Widely covered, Neil Murray’s song writing is diverse and...
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Piano wizard
Andrew Farrell blows our joint apart when he pops into town.Original material and Covers inc Elton JohnTom WaitsBilly Joel.Come see. X On Saturday 23 January 2021 at 7:30 PM to 11:00 PM Location...
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Shimmer net, Hoff & The Night Riders at The Main Bar
Shimmer Net and Hoff & The Night Riders at The Main Bar About this Event Eco jungle punk redneck warriors from Ballarat join with Central Victoria's electronic funbunnies Shimmer Net . All on our new...
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Hammond Groove Nights at The Main Bar feat. Dani Fry
The Main Bar presents HAMMOND GROOVE NIGHTS! About this Event The Main Bar presents HAMMOND GROOVE NIGHTS, featuring the amazing Liam Kealy on Hammond B3 organ, Dave Clark (Motor City Sounds) on Drums...
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Anticline
ANTICLINE!! Metal is back in the venue..After releasing their sophomore EP “Urgency” to critical acclaim, they want to perform live in 2021! About this Event After releasing their sophomore EP...
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Exhibitions

David Frazer: Another night on earth
Castlemaine artist David Frazer is renowned for fine wood engravings and linocuts which explore the frailties and intricacies of the human condition. His finely detailed prints, marked by finely tuned...
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Pitcha Makin Fellas: Join the club
Love it or hate it, Australian Rules Football is an important part of our history and culture. Join the club is characterised by the irreverent humour that is a hallmark of the Pitcha Makin Fellas’...
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Trent Parke: Ballarat Avenue of Honour
Ballarat’s Avenue of Honour is the longest and one of the oldest avenues of honour in Australia, comprising 3,801 trees which were planted to honour the service of the men or women of Ballarat who...
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David Noonan: Stagecraft
Stagecraft brings together silkscreen collages on fabric, tapestries and film which David Noonan has made between 2015 and 2020. Noonan repurposes found photographic images from his extensive personal...
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Madeleine Cruise & Ruby Pilven: The golden pantomime
For Ballarat-based artists Madeleine Cruise and Ruby Pilven, the process of creating artworks is as important as the artworks themselves – it is a daily necessity much like preparing and eating a meal...
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Tracey Moffatt & Gary Hillberg: Montages: The full cut 1999–2015
Montages: The Full Cut 1999–2015 brings together for the first time the full suite of eight montage films by artist Tracey Moffatt and her long-time collaborator Gary Hillberg. It spans 16 years of...
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49 Collages for Friends
Amy Tsilemanis is a Ballarat based artist, curator and producer working across various artforms and projects. Her hand-cut collage work has taken off over the last year and the works exhibited in this...
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Colours of Light at Art Space Ballarat
The second exhibition in Art Space Ballarat is 'Colours of Light' by local photographer, Jen Findlay. Captured in a dark year, these photographic works aim to display the tones and brightness that you...
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Marcia King: I think you're on mute
Ballarat artist Marcia King has created a series of drawings in different mediums which explore some of the challenges of learning to manage new modes of communication during COVID.Participants were...
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Colours of Light at Art Space Ballarat
The second exhibition in Art Space Ballarat is 'Colours of Light' by local photographer, Jen Findlay. Captured in a dark year, these photographic works aim to display the tones and brightness that you...
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Mutual Realities: Finding common ground in uncertain times
While working alone suits many artists, who appreciate the space and distance, others crave social interaction and stimulus. Eight local Ballarat artists working in a range of media have been paired...
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Vipoo Srivilasa: Covid superheroes
What does a COVID-19 superhero look like? Thai-born Melbourne-based artist, curator and arts activist Vipoo Srivilasa has created a collection of superheroes inspired by the dreams of people in the...
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Next Gen 2021: VCE art and design
Next Gen 2021 showcases the work of students from government, Catholic and Independent schools from Ballarat and its broader region, who have just completed VCE studies in Art, Studio Arts, Design and...
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