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Monday, 27 February 2017

Mini-Break! Ballarat

Now that our days of overseas travel are temporarily on hold, it's mini-beak time.  At only just over 100km from Melbourne, Ballarat is the 3rd most populous city with around 100,000 Ballaratians. So an easy drive on Friday afternoon  First stop, the beautiful Lake Wendouree (did you know it was the venue for the rowing and canoeing at the 1956 Olympic Games?) and Emilio was champing at the bit to get a bit of fishing in! 

Saturday, we set off at a Lucas walking pace to tour the city to admire the architecture. Ballarat is probably the most significant gold rush town in Australia with gold discovered in August 1851. Within months, migrants from across the world had arrived and the town quickly grew and all that gold left behind some beautiful buildings.

The Battle of Eureka Stockade, took place on 3 December 1854. We visited the Museum of Democracy Eureka (MADE) where the Eureka Flag, is held and learnt some of the history.

Saturday night I set off to the Old Ballarat cemetery for a tour.  I learnt that tombstone tourists are called "taphophiles".  Our guide for the night was really interesting and gave us heaps of info on the history and the people resting in peace (or in some cases, maybe not so restful). Was cold, so can only imagine what it's like in the middle of winter!  The ghosts were quiet. 

Sunday we visited Sovereign Hill which re-creates the early gold rush days, did a bit more walking around town and then headed back to Sovereign Hill to do the Blood on the Southern Cross. It's a sound-and-light show depicting the story of the Eureka Rebellion.

Last day we visited the beautiful Ballarat Botanical Gardens and had another walk around Lake Wendouree before heading home.

So there we are.  Our first little trip for the year with several ticks!  And every time we saw a caravan, we said that will be us one day!  Oh and number 92, walk around Lake Wendouree (circumference of 6km), a fail.
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