Where to Go Next
64000) (100km west of Melbourne)
Surface gold was found around Ballarat in 1850. A gold rush followed witha large influx of people all trying there luck in small diggings. By the 1880s much of the shallow gold had been found and mining companies began to sink deep shafts. Some people made there fortune out of gold, as testified by the grandiose buildings in downtown Ballarat. Others however struggled leading to a revolt against the high price of miners licenses. The "Eureka Stockade" was the only public revolt in Australia's history but was quickly put down quickly.
This recreation of an 1860s Australian gold mining town is Ballarat's premier attraction and well worth visiting. Traditional style ironsmiths, baker, lollyshop and others still operate. Horsedrawn carriages travel aroung the town. Many children enjoy panning for alluvial gold in stream through the town. At night there is a light and sound show reliving the history of the Eureka Stockade uprising.
Soveriegn Hill is open daily 9.30am to 5.30pm. Entry $18, children $9, students $13. The night show costs $21, children $11. A gold museum opposite is free with Sovereign Hill entry, $5 without. Allow half a day for a visit to Sovereign Hill
Eureka Stockade Memorial Park
This park on the site of the Eureka stockade uprising against miners licence fees has a memorial to the miners and a recorded message telling of the history of the uprising.
A new castle built for tourists on a hillside 8 kilometres from Ballarat as you approach from Melbourne on the freeway. It has lots of gory torture and punishment devices on display.
Downtown Ballarat has many old majestic buildings dating from the 1860s to 1880s built with the enormous profits from gold mining. Best is Lydiard Street and Sturt Street.
The botanical gardens face Lake Wendouree.
Tourist Information Office
Corner of Albert and Sturt Streets. Phone 53322694.
Getting to/from Ballarat
There are trains and buses from Melbourne's Spencer Street Station to Ballarat and beyond. Vline operates regular train and bus services. Greyhound and McCaffertys operate long distance coaches. Check Timetables at operators websites.
Getting around Ballarat
Ballarat has a local bus system.
60,000) (115km north of Melbourne)
The other big Victorian gold rush town. Surface mining began in the 1850s followed by alluvial panning and later deep shaft mining in th 1880s. Central Deborah Mine is open for tourists who can descend on guided tours. Bendigo, like other gold rush towns had a significant Chinese population. The Joss House and Golden Dragon Museum are testament to this.
Central Deborah Gold Mine
The guided tour descends 70 metres doen the 500 metre shaft by elavator and along the tunnels there on the second level of the mine. Violet Street. Open daily 9.30am to 5pm. Closed Christmas Day. Cost: $13 (children $6.50)for underground tour and self guided surface tour. $5 (children $3) for surface tour only.
Vintage Talking Tram
The vintage tram runs tourists from the Central Deborah Gold Mine through downtown to the tram museum Includes a recorded commentary about Bendigo's history. Departs from the Central Deborah Gold Mine 9.30am 3.30pm every 60 minutes. Cost: $7.50, children $4. A combined mine and tram ticket provides a slight discount.
Pall Mall and View Street have impressive colonial buildings from gold rush days. Hargraves Street is the main shopping street.
Golden Dragon Museum
Housees two chinese dragons carried in procession during ceremonies. One is the world's longest. Other interesting taditional chinese artifacts and costumes are also exhibited. 5-9 Bridge Street. Open 9.30am to 5pm. Closed Christmas Day.
Chinese Joss House
Temple built during the gold rush. In the 1860s one quarter of miners were chinese. Finn Street, North Bendigo. Open 10am to 5pm. Closed Christmas Day. $3, children $1.
Tourist Information Office
Pall Mall. Open 9am to 5pm daily. Phone 54477788.
Getting to/from Bendigo
There are a few daily trains and buses from Melbourne's Spencer Street Station to Bendigo and beyond. V-Line operates regular train and bus services. Two hours and $20 from Melbourne. Check Timetables at V-Line website.
Getting around Bendigo
Bendigo has a local bus system.
TO GO NEXT
From Ballarat go west and visit the Grampians National Park on the way to Adelaide.
Melbourne is 100km east from Ballarat and 115km southeast from Bendigo.