Ballarat is Australia’s ‘Eureka City’; and Australians should never forget it. Ballarat, or Baker Hill was and is Australia’s first and only ‘revolution’. The cry; ‘no taxation without representation’. This from intellectual leader, Peter Lalor was great stuff. Radical at the time, but the reading and myth makes up for most of the actual history. But you will love it.

Ballarat is a ‘gold city’ and with that history, money flowed mostly into physical assets. Churches, pubs and government buildings sponged up much of the wealth. The region was ‘gold mine’ Nevada and much wealth was created. Ballarat from that era to this day has set the heritage standard for the country.

Ballarat was named by Scottish settler Archibald Yuille who established the sheep run called Ballaarat in 1837 with the name derived from local Aboriginal words for the area, balla arat, thought to mean "resting place".

By 1852 a grid plan and wide streets for land sales in the new township of West Ballarat contrasted markedly with the existing narrow unplanned streets, tents and gullies of the original East Ballarat settlement.

Ballarat has also set the standard for ‘the served fallen at war’. The Avenue of Remembrance and the ‘Prisoner of War Memorial’ set the city apart from the rest. Moving and amazing.

Ballarat in the ‘gold era’ had 54 pubs. Today the influence of pub culture remains, but to the cities credit the pubs for the most part are a class act.

The Cathedrals of Ballarat are quite spectacular. Three 160 year plus cathedrals and numerous churches bear testimony to the sharing of the riches. The stain glass windows tell many a story in all/each of the cathedrals.

Craigs Royal Hotel in downtown Ballarat is one of the classiest hotels in Australia. Please take the time to visit and at a minimum have a coffee.

Ballarat held the rowing events at the 1956 Olympics. Take the time to note the athletes. By the 1970s, Ballarat began to officially recognise its substantial heritage and the first heritage controls were recommended to ensure its preservation.

The Sovereign Hill Museum/ historic Show are a half day show/exhibit. Please give due consideration to your entrance fee. There is a lot to this museum. The Gold Museum is one of the best in the county. Only matched by the Kalgoolie Gold.

Ballarat has a very special in Australia’s history and has so much to offer. A minimum of four days is recommended. The friendly folk may well determine an extra day is necessary. Should the visit coincide with a weekend, then Kryal Castle may become an additional visit.

Heritage diary


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