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Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Monument / Landmark
“A premier national tourist attraction and even though I’m a local I still take my family several times a year. Very kid friendly. Definitely a must!”
  • 42 locals recommend
Monument / Landmark
“A day at Sovereign Hill is a day filled with fun and adventure. Discover all the action and excitement of life as it was in 1850s Ballarat during the greatest alluvial gold rush the world has ever seen. Sovereign Hill is a living museum with working exhibits brought to life by costumed characters and over 40 horses. Set on 25 acres of an original mining site, Sovereign Hill is a goldfields town with shops, hotels, a theatre, schools, factories, a gold diggings and underground mines to explore.”
  • 10 locals recommend
Hotel
“A day at Sovereign Hill is a day filled with fun and adventure. Discover all the action and excitement of life as it was in 1850s Ballarat during the greatest alluvial gold rush the world has ever seen. Sovereign Hill is a living museum with working exhibits brought to life by costumed characters and over 40 horses. Set on 25 acres of an original mining site, Sovereign Hill is a goldfields town with shops, hotels, a theatre, schools, factories, a gold diggings and underground mines to explore. Sovereign Hill is an easy 90-minute drive from Melbourne and we have plenty of free parking on-site.”
  • 10 locals recommend
Bus Station
“Pan for gold, play olden day ten pin bowling, or simply indulge in raspberry drops - a trip to Ballarat isn't complete without a visit to Sovereign Hill”
  • 5 locals recommend
Hotel Bar
$$$
“We love to hang out here, they serve food all day in a nice relaxed atmosphere.”
  • 8 locals recommend
History Museum
“When you visit Sovereign Hill remember to visit the Gold Museum next door. Kids and adults alike will be fascinated by the big nuggets of gold and the story of gold. ”
  • 10 locals recommend
Bus Station
“ Sovereign Hill brings to life the excitement of Australia’s great 1850s gold rushes. Named Australia’s best ‘Major Tourist Attraction’ four times, most recently in 2016, Sovereign Hill provides a unique Australian experience and a full day of entertainment. There’s real gold to be panned – and it’s ‘finders keepers’, an underground gold mine, street theatre and the opportunity to meet costumed goldfields characters. See a spectacular $150,000 gold pour and chat with skilled craftsmen at work in the blacksmith’s forge, the candle works, the wheelwright’s plant, the coach builder’s and the confectionery factory. Sovereign Hill entry also includes entry to the Gold Museum which displays a b”
  • 9 locals recommend
Travel Agency
“Take a walk back in time to Australia’s gold rush! (it’s quite a drive to do in a day but definitely a lot of fun. You can also take a v-line train from southern cross station) ”
  • 6 locals recommend
Japanese Restaurant
$$
“Probably my favourite restaurant in Ballarat and perfect for a splurge of romantic night out. This is not a typical Australian Japanese restaurant, but more like eating in a fine restaurant in Japan itself. Friday and Saturday evenings only offer excellent set menus, with vegetarian and non vegetarian options. Other nights are a la carte or set menu options. Lunchtime offers bento boxes and more. They even can match sakes to each course, or try indulge in a flight of tastings as an apperitif, serve Japanese fruit based wines or fine Australian ones. If you love Japanese food, don't miss Kambei if you can avoid it; If you have never tried it, this is the ultimate place to start. The wonderful complex menu extends way beyond just sushi and sashimi, to utterly authentic Japanese fine dining!”
  • 6 locals recommend
Entertainment
“In addition to astronomy, the Observatory buildings and telescopes are of historical interest.”
  • 4 locals recommend
Lake
“Great lake with walking tracks, playground and BBQ. Recently been updated with new play equipment.”
  • 4 locals recommend
Restaurant
$$
“Family friendly restaurant with indoor playgroung, sports bar and gaming machines.”
  • 4 locals recommend
Home Goods Store
Museum
“Night time sound and light show at Sovereign Hill - history of gold in Victoria, Eureka Stockade and the Goldfields of Ballarat”
  • 3 locals recommend
Laundry
  • 1 local recommends

Top restaurants

Hotel Bar
“We love to hang out here, they serve food all day in a nice relaxed atmosphere.”
  • 8 locals recommend
Japanese Restaurant
“Probably my favourite restaurant in Ballarat and perfect for a splurge of romantic night out. This is not a typical Australian Japanese restaurant, but more like eating in a fine restaurant in Japan itself. Friday and Saturday evenings only offer excellent set menus, with vegetarian and non vegetarian options. Other nights are a la carte or set menu options. Lunchtime offers bento boxes and more. They even can match sakes to each course, or try indulge in a flight of tastings as an apperitif, serve Japanese fruit based wines or fine Australian ones. If you love Japanese food, don't miss Kambei if you can avoid it; If you have never tried it, this is the ultimate place to start. The wonderful complex menu extends way beyond just sushi and sashimi, to utterly authentic Japanese fine dining!”
  • 6 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Family friendly restaurant with indoor playgroung, sports bar and gaming machines.”
  • 4 locals recommend
Bar
“Great pub food at very reasonable prices, in a local pub environment. Owned and run by a local family who are just the nicest people you could meet. They will make you feel like you’re a part of the family and will welcome you in. ”
  • 2 locals recommend
Bistro
  • 1 local recommends
Meal Delivery
  • 1 local recommends
Cafe
  • 1 local recommends

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