Top things to do

Top Choice Historic Site in Ballarat

Sovereign Hill

You’ll need to set aside at least half a day to visit this fascinating re-creation of Ballarat's 1860s gold-mining township. The site was mined in the gold-rush era and much of the equipment is original, as is the m…
Top Choice Gallery in Ballarat

Art Gallery of Ballarat

Established in 1884 and moved to its current location in 1890, the Art Gallery of Ballarat is the oldest provincial gallery in Australia. The architectural gem houses a wonderful collection of early colonial paintin…
Top Choice Beer Hall in Ballarat

Hop Temple

Symbolic of the Rat's meteoric rise from bogan country town to cool happening city is this massive converted red-brick warehouse tucked down a laneway. There are 16 craft beers on tap (plus 200 kinds in the fridge),…
Top Choice Thai in Ballarat

Catfish

Run by chef Damien Jones, Catfish is Ballarat's most acclaimed restaurant, featuring a salivating menu of contemporary yet authentic Thai dishes to share. They're probably the only hatted restaurant in Australia to …
Top Choice Wine Bar in Ballarat

Mitchell Harris

A stylish wine bar without a hint of pretension is this attractive red-brick space set up by local winemakers Mitchell Harris. It not only showcases their own range, but wines from the entire Victorian Pyrenees. As …
Top Choice Live Music in Ballarat

Karova Lounge

Ballarat’s best original live-music venue showcases local and touring bands in a grungy, industrial style.
Museum in Ballarat

Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka

Standing on the site of the Eureka Rebellion, this fine museum opened in May 2013 and has already established itself as one of Ballarat's top attractions. Taking the Eureka Rebellion as its starting point – pride of…
Pub in Ballarat

The Mallow Hotel

One of the first pubs in town to start serving decent beer, the Mallow remains a much cherished local. It has 12 beers and ciders on tap, featuring predominately Victorian microbreweries. Food is good too, from craf…
Modern Australian in Ballarat

Craig's Royal Hotel

Even if you can’t afford to stay here, you can experience some royal treatment dining in the Gallery Bistro, a sumptuous light-filled dining room serving European-inspired cuisine. Otherwise, come for a cocktail in …
Microbrewery in Ballarat

Red Duck

With a no frills cellar door (literally a table and few chairs at reception), here at Red Duck the priority is all about brewing quality beer – which they've been doing since 2005. They have a few on tap, and some 2…