Walk to the Art Gallery of Ballarat - Australia’s oldest and largest regional art gallery. If you take the train into town, the gallery is only a short stroll away from the station. Take your time as you admire the permanent collection of historic fine art as well as the indigenous and contemporary art. Afterwards, venture to the temporary French exhibition Into Light, showcasing outstanding 19th- and 20th-century impressionist artworks from the Musée de la Chartreuse. Featuring pieces reflecting the romantic seascapes and tranquil landscapes of northern France through to paintings celebrating pure light, colour and the lives of ordinary people, this show will have you yearning for a Parisian life of calm, culture and delight.
Stop in at the Art Gallery's adjoining Kittelty's cafe and enjoy some homemade delights accompanied by a cup of warming coffee. The cafe also boasts a huge selection of pantry goods and locally-made treats from the region - so make sure to stock up!
If you're travelling with friends or family, you might want to try out your skills at the pop-up ice-skating rink. Located in the heart of the CBD, the rink is a sure way of bringing laughter and fun to your one-day escape!
Use the winter holiday period to indulge in the gastronomic delights that await. The winter festival will see the return of the Ballarat Potato Festival (June 30) celebrating the spud in a variety of dishes and forms, as well as the inaugural Salumi and Charcuterie Festival (July 21), with both events showcasing the best produce and freshest ingredients of the region! Local eateries will also be serving up their very own warming pies during winter as part of the Ballarat Pie Competition, so eat your way around the town as you partake in some beautiful pastries during your stay.
Sovereign Hill will once again host its magical Christmas in July: Winter Wonderlights activities during the Winter Festival. By day, stroll down the Main Street and relish in the smell of Christmas spices and faux snow falling at regular intervals as you take-in all the wonder and delight that this award-winning outdoor museum offers. Indulge in a bag of iconic Raspberry Drops, test your luck gold panning, or devour the glorious pastries at the New York Bakery. By night, watch the mystical Winter Wonderlights as they whisk you to an alternate world with yuletide-themed projections, sound, light, music and more snow! An event not to be missed.
If you're after a quick feed before you set back home, you won't be strapped for choice. Check out one of the many casual eateries and gastro pubs such as Grill'd, Brown Grain, or The Mallow - each offering the perfect feed for the way home.