Ballarat is the third largest city in regional Victoria with a population of just over 90,000 people living within an area of 740 square kilometers in Victoria’s central highlands. Located just over 110 kilometres due west from Melbourne, Ballarat is only an hour and a half by road or rail from Victoria’s capital
The history of Ballarat is rooted in gold and rich with drama, being the site of Australia’s only real rebellion, the Eureka Stockade in 1854, which some believe was the birthplace of Australian democracy. Ballarat was said to produce the purest alluvial gold in the world and the wealth that flowed into the city from the early 1850′s is reflected in the city’s stately buildings in the CBD including the Town Hall, Mechanics Institute and Her Majesty’s Theatre.
These days Ballarat’s wealth comes from manufacturing, tourism and agriculture and the city is also a centre for both high school and tertiary education, being home to two universities, the University of Ballarat and the Australian Catholic University.
Ballarat is situated approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes drive from Melbourne via the Western Freeway.
Visitors arriving by air into Melbourne can continue on to Ballarat by taking the Ballarat Airport Shuttle Bus, which runs a number of daily services. Vline runs a number of trains daily to Ballarat from Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station. It takes approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes to travel via train from Melbourne to Ballarat.