Ararat is the next town encounted when traveling west from Melbourne to Adelaide. Ararat is an old town that is rich in history and manages the ‘cities’ heritage admirably. Travellers and visitors will enjoy a stay at Ararat, and is important to allow plenty of time.
Ararat is named after Mount Ararat 10 kilometres south west of the town which was named by Horatio Wills in 1841.
The discovery of gold in 1857 during the Victorian gold rush transformed it into a boomtown which continued to prosper until the turn of the 20th century after which it has steadily declined in population. It was proclaimed as a city on 24 May 1950. Today, however it continues to decline, but given aging demographics Ararat is the sort of town that will have appeal.
In 1857, a party of Chinese miners en route to the Central Victorian gold fields struck gold at the Canton Lead which marked the beginning of great growth in Ararat. The Chinese community was substantial in Ararat; the Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre commemorates the history of the community. Allow time when visiting.
The city also has a significant service economy with health, community services and is a regional commerce centre and the Ararat Prison is located in the town and there are quite a number of magnificent heritage listed buildings.
Ararat requires a two day visit to do the absorb and enjoy what is on offer.