Blogs from Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, Oceania


Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Ballarat October 2nd 2019

Today we all piled into Moyra's Hyundai to visit the Julie and Mike McCarthy's and stay overnight in Romsey, north of Ballarat. We had a warm welcome from all the family and after a tour of their lovely big home and garden and after being entertained by the children, we had a delicious BBQed lamb lunch. The highlight of the entertainment was an amusing musical play, put on by the children, directed by Ella and supported by Charlotte, Paddy and Tom, playing the part of Father Christmases. We think it was the best entertainment we have experienced for a long time. In the afternoon we all went on a circular walk to the creek and got some ideas of the local area, and plants surprisingly there were some Buttercups and daffodils! The family enjoyed looking at ... read more
Moyra and Charlotte
Ella, Paddy and Charlotte puzzeling
Charlotte and Ella dancing

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Ballarat January 12th 2019

Getting to Australia from Singapore was not so easy! Friend Linda picked me up from Kathy’s to take me to Changi airport for a just-after-midnight flight to Melbourne. She’d just come back from visit her son who’s studying in Melbourne, so we hadn’t had the chance to meet up and it gave us an opportunity to natter on the way. She assured me that I’d love Melbourne and Ballarat. When we arrived at departures se pulled up outside and I ran in to check if I was in the right terminal. There was my flight with Scoot airlines on the board ...... but retimed to 03.30 in the morning. It was now only just after 9 in the evening. Linda lives quite near the airport so I jumped back into her car and went back to ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Ballarat April 4th 2018

Today’s destination is Ballarat. I’ve never been there before but I’ve watched 36 episodes of the Dr Blake Mysteries (more than once) so it feels very familiar. We start at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka, venue of the Eureka Stockade; a miners’ uprising violently put down by government forces. The museum covers the uprising and democracy in general. (Oh, and features in Dr Blake series 3 episode 4). It’s the old man’s birthday so he gets his first senior discount, which makes him happy. Then on to Ballarat town centre to Lydiard Street and its grand Victorian buildings built during the height of the gold rush (that coincidentally feature heavily in Dr Blake). We tour the art gallery which has a great collection of Australian art (series 2 episode 8). Then we buy picnic ... read more
Museum of Australian Democracy

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Ballarat June 27th 2016

So after the epic emptying and cleaning of the flat we had to ensure everything was in the car and and return the keys to the agent by closing time. As I expected packing the car was wretched and determining what could go on the roof took time. Based on the heap it seems we have done a Burke and Wills (overpacked with ridiculous things) Below is an extract relating to the Burke and Wills departure day. "The expedition took a large amount of equipment, including enough food to last two years, a cedar-topped oak camp table with two chairs, rockets, flags and a Chinese gong; the equipment all together weighed as much as 20 tonnes" The good news is we have no Chinese Gong! We took so long to get packed we had to revise ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Ballarat October 2nd 2015

Despite the disappointing time at the Swan Hill Pioneer Settlement, we had planned to spend an entire day at Sovereign Hill, the replica gold town in Ballarat. In fact, we had also booked to do the sound and light show (called Blood on the Southern Cross) at Sovereign Hill, which is almost entirely focussed on the Eureka Uprising of 1854. We were up bright and early this Friday (pre-Grand Final Day in Victoria) but the traffic was very light and there didn't seem to be anything happening. We stopped for some fuel and I asked the attendant was it particularly quiet for a Friday? She replied that the Victoria Government had declared that a Public Holiday should be celebrated on Grand Final Eve. Not hard to believe when Victoria is the only place in the world ... read more
Sovereign Hill, Ballarat
Sovereign Hill, Ballarat
Sovereign Hill, Ballarat

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Ballarat October 1st 2015

After a night at Vaughan Springs, we filled up our water bottles with spring water and headed off on a meandering journey to Ballarat. It wasn't too far so we took our time travelling through Hepburn Springs and Daylesford (Victoria's Spa country) before lunch. Along the way, we stopped at Lavendula, a lavender farm that had a cafe. It was a very pretty spot and had been in the one family for many years. Both Hepburn Springs and Daylesford can be tricky to navigate through if you leave the highway because there are many small lakes and quite a few of the roads are dead ends. We had lunch at Daylesford at Victoria Park and then continued on the highway to Mount Franklin (an extinct volcano). You can drive around the outside slope of the mountain ... read more
Lavandula Farm, Shepherds Flat
Lavandula Farm, Shepherds Flat
Mount Franklin

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Ballarat March 26th 2015

Our overnight sailing back to Melbourne proved to be uneventful arriving at 6.30am in the dark.How we ever managed without GPS I don't know, navigating out of the docklands and onto the freeway would have been a nightmare without mine.We are headed for Ballarat a former gold town with a very important place in Australian history.The 1800's saw a gold rush in Ballarat and surrounds bringing in thousands of would be gold diggers from all over the world with a significant Chinese contingent.The second largest gold nugget in the world was found here. Ballarat is also where the Eureka Rebellion took place and the birthplace of our current day Democracy. An exhibition reconstructs the Eureka Stockade and tells the story behind those dark days that gave us democracy. On proud display is the original flag flown ... read more
The Begonia display

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Ballarat February 22nd 2015

Sunday, 22nd February 2015 A nice easy morning today and just after 0930 we drove into Ballarat about 8kms away from the caravan park. The road into town is named Remembrance Drive and it is lined with trees on both sides of the road, each with a plaque recognising a soldier who served in World War 1. It is 22kms long and has 3912 trees planted as an Avenue of Honour. Of these 528 were killed during or from their wounds. Our destination was the Sovereign Hill Outdoor Museum. This tells the story of the goldrush at Ballarat after the discovery of gold in 1851. Covering 25 hectares of a former gold mining site it has some of the original buildings still standing plus period replica buildings to make a village of the time. Activities such ... read more
Sovereign Hill
Wendouree Lake
The Australian Prisoners of War Memorial

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Ballarat January 29th 2015

Když v okolí Melbourne probíhala zlata horečka, konkrétně tak se dělo ve 3 městech v okolí: Ballarat, Bendigo a Beechworth. To první z nich (má 80tisíc obyvatel) jsem navštívila díky CouchSurfingu. Jak se to stalo? V létě 2013, když jsem začala svůj francouzský výlet, jsem v Lyonu poznala slečnu z Austrálie. Tato slečna mě loňskou zimu navštívila v Praze a minulou sobotu se po 2 letech vrátila domů z Evropy - do města Ballarat. Jednak je to pěkně město s architekturou ve viktoriánském stylu, známý je ale především pro Sovereign Hill. Sovereign Hill je vesnice postavena podle stylu Main Street v Ballarat - hlavní ulici tenhdejsi zlaté chřipky (horečka zaručena). Člověk jako by se ocitl v roce 1851. Dobrovolníci oblečení v dobových kostýmech hrají různé role a fotí se s turisty. Na 25 hektarech stojí krámky ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Ballarat December 8th 2014

Walking around in Oz is far more challenging than I would have ever expected. I love walking in England and we have considerably less pleasant weather than you'd find in Australia, but it only took me one attempt to discover the multiple reasons why having a car and a licence is a necessity when visiting, in my opinion. I've written about this on my blog but I feel like I can summarise most of the issues I faced: The street was for pedestrians, bikes and cars, which made me feel very nervous. The roads are long and with a higher speed limit than I usually encounter in the UK. This means that distance travelled is further than I think. There is no lighting for pedestrian streets that I encountered, this became quite frightening after dark. Everyone ... read more

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