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Updated by Roland Lefevre (Uditha Dharmawardhane) on Jun 17, 2015
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Things to do in Ballarat - Top Activities in Breathtaking Ballarat

As one of Australia's hidden gems the picturesque hamlet of Ballarat is a dream come true for active vacationers. From nightlife to retail hubs the town's must-experience highlights are below.

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Attractions and Activities

Ballarat's top points of interest include Ballarat Bird World which is home to a whopping 200 winged beauties. Showcasing birdlife native to Australia as well as plant and bird species hailing from all corners of the globe the larger than life aviary at Ballarat Bird World is one of the best in the region. The Tangled Maze and Mistydowns Nursery is another highlight for nature lovers as this iconic green space contains a picturesque maze composed of literally thousands upon thousands of trees, plants and trellises along with a breathtaking nursery. Made up of Peonies and varieties of roses and unique perennials the area is one of Ballarat's most captivating corners. Popular activity bases in town include the Ballarat Indoor Laserforce with its very own GLOW Laserforce arena as well as the Ballarat Indoor Go Karts race course. Those with a flair for spooky excursions can take part in a Ballarat Ghost Tour in what is known to be the country's most haunted city of all.

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Nightlife

Visitors in search of live shows, comedy skits and other entertainment productions can head to Her Majesty's Theatre while those looking for a cosy pub can stop in for a pint at Irish Murphy's. The Blood on the Southern Cross audio-visual experience is another highlight in Sovereign Hill while bar hoppers can stopover at Haida or Karova Lounge to enjoy cocktails while listening to local acts.

3

Shopping

An unconventional retail hub for those with a flair for specialty items and unique wares Ballarat is home to come of the region's top shopping destinations for the masses. If its antiques and rare collectibles one is after look no further than Alexa's Treasures, the Mt Lonarch Gallery and Antiques, Goods and Chattels where everything from porcelain and Wedgwood items to silverware and pottery are found. Ruth Howlett Collectables is equally impressive with its metal ware while Westbury Antiques is the perfect venue to pick up decorative art. Sovereign Needlework and the Millrose Quilting and Gallery on the other hand are perfect for craft lovers. Those based in centrally located hotels in Ballarat such as the Country Comfort Ballarat or with any other well situated Ballarat accommodation provider can enjoy easy access to these retail hotspots.

4

Wildlife Park

Tipped to be Ballarat's premier attraction for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts the Ballarat Wildlife Park is another must-visit highlight in the city. Having earned several accolades and awards this well-maintained wildlife sanctuary is managed by Greg Park and family. Having opened its doors to the public as early as 1985 this iconic wildlife reserve aims to educate the masses on conservation while providing engaging encounters with the resident animal populace. Some of the park's most popular inhabitants are of course the koalas and the kangaroos while wombat and crocodiles also call this 16 hectare bush land enclosure home. Guided tours and Meet the Keeper encounters are also available for intrigued visitors who wish to learn more about the native Australian animals occupying the park.

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Cycle Ballarat

Hosting the Ballarat Cycle Classic since 2008 Ballarat is a cycling enthusiast's dream come true. Those who wish to take part in the annual Ballarat Cycle Classic are welcome to join the fundraising event which has raised millions for cancer research since the race's inception. Welcoming a whopping 720 cyclist each year the event has raised Ballarat's profile as a cycling haven and indeed visitors who wish to tour the confines of this vacation hub can do so thanks to the bike rentals and guided tours available in the city.