Holi Festival Australia

Explore the city of Ballarat

 Explore the city of Ballarat

Looking for a family-friendly day trip? Khushboo shares her must-do lists for the city of Ballarat, just a short 90-minute drive or train ride from Melbourne.

Set against the picturesque backdrop of Lake Wendouree and the Ballarat Botanical Gardens, the upcoming Ballarat Begonia Festival is a must-see. The Robert Clark Conservatory becomes a haven for rare begonias from 9-11 March 2024. Even if you can’t make it to the festival weekend, the begonia displays will be in place four weeks afterward, allowing you to catch a glimpse of the floral wonders.

Entertainment at this free festival includes SWAY’s new show featuring performers on tall poles, roving stilt walkers, live music, and family-friendly activities such as face painting, arts and crafts, a maze, and an obstacle course.

From early autumn, the sunflower field in Dunnstown offers the perfect photo op for the family. The Britt family farm is a 15-minute drive from Ballarat. The field is now in bloom for a short season. Dates are released in blocks ahead of each weekend, so make sure you book your session ahead of your trip.

Pick Your Own Sunflowers

We keep visiting Sovereign Hill every year, because there is so much to see and do. Stepping into the gold rush era, you can pan for gold, and this time, we added a special touch with the unique Red Hill Photographic Rooms. The spectacular Winter Wonderlights during the winter school holidays is also not to be missed.

Sovereign Hill

For wildlife fans just like my little ones, Ballarat Wildlife Park is a gem. The family-run park offers bookable Animal Encounters with rangers providing a unique and up-close experience with the animals. Both our kids, Aarya and Viren, couldn’t get enough of hand-feeding kangaroos and the unforgettable koala encounter.

Ballarat Wildlife Park

A journey to Kryal Castle is a step into the realm of knights jousting on horseback, magical potions, mazes, and archery. Open weekends during school terms and daily during school holidays, it’s an adventure filled with medieval charm.

Kryal Castle

Our top picks for dining around town with kids include Lilly’s at Eureka, Hydrant Food Hall, Il Piccolo Gelato, and The Forge Pizzeria. Don’t miss the delightful Goldmine Pancakes at Lilly’s at Eureka – they come with a sweet surprise of hidden lollies in the chocolate dirt!

A daytrip to Ballarat is a kaleidoscope of experiences – from history to nature, and so many fun attractions. So, pack your bags, embark on a family adventure

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