There’s no better way to spend your summer than in Ballarat.
Entertain the family at Sovereign Hill, Kryal Castle and the Art Gallery of Ballarat’s school holiday programs, explore the great outdoors at the Lake Wendouree Adventure Playground, or indulge in a refreshing treat at Il Piccolo Gelato. You can even send the kids off to Cave Hill Creek’s award-winning summer camp.
Or step it up a notch at one of Ballarat’s bumper summer events including the Federation University Road National Championships, Summer Sundays, Ballarat Beer Festival, Rock Ballarat, and Nitro Circus.
Sovereign Hill’s summer school holiday program (26 December-27 January) brings with it a different adventure every day of the week, with Make it Mondays, Trotting Tuesdays, Wednesdays on the Whim, Trade Thursdays, Find it Fridays, Sweet Saturdays, and Soldiering Sundays.
At Kryal Castle, a team of dragonologists and explorers have discovered the long-resting Dragons of the Mountain. Get up close to the ancient reptiles from 21 December and enjoy the attraction’s new summer twilight opening hours (2pm-8pm) from 26 December until 28 January.
The Art Gallery of Ballarat’s school holiday program (13-26 January) explores the theme of animals and art as a tie in with its summer exhibition line-up.
Located near Beaufort, Cave Hill Creek is the home of Australia’s best school holiday camps. Kids can paddle in a canoe, abseil down a cliff, ride a bike through the forest and learn the art of archery at the venue’s summer camps (6-10 January and 13-17 January).
A favourite destination for families, the Lake Wendouree Adventure Playground is a haven of slides, swings, monkey bars, forts, climbing structures and tunnels. Situated on the picturesque Lake Wendouree foreshore, it’s also the perfect spot for a laid-back barbecue or picnic.
And a day out in Ballarat isn’t complete without a visit to the Willy Wonka of frozen delights, Il Piccolo Gelato. With up to 24 artisan gelatos available each day from a line-up of over 100 flavours, you will be well and truly spoilt for choice.
When it comes to events, Ballarat is bursting at the seams this summer with sport, music, culture and craft beer.
The Federation University Road National Championships (8-12 January) will see Australia’s elite cyclists converge on Ballarat to compete for the coveted green and gold national champions jerseys. The five-day program includes the criterium race, road race, time trial and a number of other recreational and community events.
An impressive line-up of artists will take to the stage in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens when Summer Sundays (5, 12 and 19 January) returns in 2020. Presented by the City of Ballarat, the free all-ages concert series is the ideal place to kick back and soak up the atmosphere with a bite to eat and a cold drink.
Step back in time at Rock Ballarat (7-9 February), a two-day tribute to everything rock ’n’ roll and rockabilly. The city will come to life with music, fashion parades, classic cars, burlesque dance demonstrations, pin-up competitions and the return of Ballarat’s favorite street party,
The Ballarat Beer Festival (15 February) is a celebration of great craft beer and passionate brewers in Australia’s original beer capital. Staged at Lake Wendouree’s North Gardens, the festival features more than 150 Australian brews, award-winning regional wines, an abundance of food trucks, live music, beer education classes, trivia games, and the popular brewers sack race.
Whatever sport you’re into, you’ll be covered in Ballarat on 16 February with the A-League’s Western United taking on Brisbane Roar at Mars Stadium, Cricket for Causes Super 7s, and the Ballarat Cycle Classic.
And think exhilarating action sports, think Nitro Circus (29 February) at Mars Stadium. The global sports company’s athletes are at the top of their games in FMX, BMX, skating and scootering.