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Ballarat - Cities, Towns and Localities

Ballarat - Avenue of Honour

The discovery of gold in Ballarat in August 1851 laid the foundations of one of Australia’s largest inland cities and yielded a majestic architecture of historic buildings and statues that line the main street giving the gold city a genuine rich colonial feel unrivalled elsewhere in Australia.

Australia’s only armed rebellion at the Eureka Stockade on Sovereign Hill occurred in 1854, the location is now a museum and tourist centre and recreates the event called “Blood on the Southern Cross”. Try your hand at gold panning and relive the lives and stories of our early gold miners at the Eureka Stockade Centre.

Once you’ve explored Ballarat’s past and present, there’s a whole region to discover. The city lies close to the Great Ocean Road and to the heart of some of Victoria’s finest attractions, the spectacular Grampians, wineries of the Pyrenees and historic mining towns abound.

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Ballarat's Main Street - Statue and Town Hall

Ballarat is host to a number of festivals during the year including the Ballarat Heritage Festival, Buninyong Gold King Festival, Ballarat Cup Carnival, Ballarat Begonia Festival and many more.

Other attractions of interest include the Avenue of Prime Ministers located in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens and the Avenue of Honour, a 22 km long avenue dedicated to Ballarat’s World War I heroes.

Check out our listing of Ballarat accommodation and Goldfields Region accommodation. In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.

Information Centre

Ballarat Visitor Information Centre
Eureka Centre
Cnr Eureka & Rodlier Streets
Freecall: 1800 446 633 (within Australia)

As well as information about Ballarat and surrounding region, there is also internet access, cafe, local and Australian-made merchandise, children's playground, toilet facilities, ample parking for larger vehicles. Visit the website for maps and brochures.

Ballarat Fine Art Gallery Information Centre
40 Lydiard Street North
Ph: 03 5320 5858

Daily 9 am - 5 pm
Closed Christmas Day
Hours may vary, contact visitor centre
MSN Map of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

One of the most often asked question is ‘do you spell Ballarat with four a’s or three a’s?’

It is generally accepted that the origin of the name ‘Balla-Arat’ came from two aboriginal words of the Wathaurong people, signifying a camping or resting place - ‘Balla’ meaning elbow or reclining on the elbow and ‘Arat’ meaning place, together forming ‘balla-arat’ meaning ‘resting place’. It made reference to the favourite camping areas around Lake Wendouree, which was once a wetland.1

It was generally always ‘double a’ until the local government amalgamations of 1994, forming the new City of Ballarat. The ‘double a’ spelling is used less now, but many local organisations like the Crafts Council and the Astronomical Society still stick to tradition by continuing with the original spelling2.

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Ballarat Distance

Distance to Ballarat
• Following are some approximate distances by road to Ballarat:
Ararat 93
Bendigo 120
Castlemaine 82
Creswick 18
Daylesford 45
Geelong 89
Heathcote 133
Maryborough 68
Melbourne 115
Stawell 124
Distances given are only approximation, they should be verified with the appropriate maps.
The Australian Automotive Motoring Associations also offer select access to travel trip planners.

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Ballarat Maps
Australian Automotive Motoring Associations
Bing Maps - Ballarat, VIC
Google Maps - Ballarat, VIC 3350

1 BALLARAT or BALLAARAT?, Visit Ballarat, Retrieved July 18,2008 from
2 Ballarat History Central, Retrieved July 18, 2008, from
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