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The Beauty of Ballarat

3 days 2 nights
Melbourne to Melbourne
from NZD$475pp
Tour summary and feature with map

You will start your journey in Melbourne and pass iconic laneways, art galleries, and the Yarra River. After a two-hour drive, you will reach Ballarat, a perfect place for a short break to explore a mix of history, heritage, art, and contemporary culture. Travel back in time to the gold rush of the 1850s, try your luck panning for gold, take a tour of the underground mines, and enjoy nineteenth-century life at magnificent Sovereign Hill. On the third day, travel back to Melbourne via the Great Dividing Range, a region famous for mineral springs, the spa town of Daylesford, and renowned cool-climate wines. 

Tour full itinerary
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Day One - Start your journey in Melbourne and drive to Ballarat
Tour day 1
The Beauty of Ballarat - Day 1

Melbourne is the coastal capital of the state of Victoria. At the city's centre is the modern Federation Square development, with shopping, bars, and restaurants by the Yarra River. In the Southbank area, the Melbourne Arts Precinct is the site of Arts Centre Melbourne and the National Gallery of Victoria, with modern and Indigenous Australian art. As a cultural capital of Australia, Melbourne has a hidden gem around every corner - Rich history, bustling laneways, rooftop bars and world-class restaurants are just the beginning!

Collect your rental car from the Melbourne City depot

Head to the Melbourne CBD depot today to collect your chosen rental car, and continue your journey.

Melbourne to Ballarat

The direct route from Melbourne to Ballarat has a rough drive time of 1 hour and 30 minutes via National Highway M8. Before you hop on the road to reach your destination, take your time to explore the iconic graffitied laneways, cuisine, and coffee by the historical Yarra River and wander through the international exhibitions at the art galleries. After 45 minutes of driving, take a slight detour at Flanagan's Drive to 'Our Lady Ta' Pinu Shrine', which provides a panoramic view of the cathedral, Bacchus Marsh, and the motorway. After another 45 minutes of driving, you will reach your destination, Ballarat. 

Accommodation: Best Western Plus Ballarat Suites
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
A stone's throw from the iconic Sovereign Hill and the City Centre, close to the wildlife park and botanic gardens. The luxurious apartments are nonsmoking with king beds and high-speed internet and smart TVs.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 111 kms / 69 miles : 1.3 hours

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Day Two - Explore historic Ballarat and Sovereign Hill
Tour day 2
The Beauty of Ballarat - Day 2

First settled in 1838 and developed rapidly upon the discovery of alluvial gold deposits. Ballarat is now Victoria's largest inland city. It has become a bustling hub for the arts and local producers, set against its historic backdrop. Set off on one of the three heritage walking trails in the heart of the city to journey through the historic architecture, take a step back in time, and immerse yourself in the gold rush era at Sovereign Hill. You can wander along the Art Gallery of Ballarat, Australia's oldest regional art gallery, explore the Ballarat Botanical Gardens, or visit the Ballarat Wildlife Park for up-close interactions with Australian native animals. In the evening, visit one of the city's fine wine, whisky, or cocktail bars. 

Sovereign Hill Museum - One Day Entry

Sovereign Hill is an open-air museum in Golden Point, a suburb of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. Sovereign Hill depicts Ballarat's first ten years after the discovery of gold there in 1851. It was officially opened on 29 November 1970 and has become a nationally acclaimed tourist attraction. It is one of Victoria's most popular attractions and Ballarat's most famous.
Set in the Australian 1850s, the complex is located on a 25-hectare site that is linked to the richest alluvial gold rush in the world. The site comprises over 60 historically recreated buildings, with costumed staff and volunteers, who are able to answer questions and will pose for photos. The recreation is completed with antiques, artwork, books and papers, machinery, livestock and animals, carriages, and devices all appropriate to the era.

Accommodation: Best Western Plus Ballarat Suites
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
A stone's throw from the iconic Sovereign Hill and the City Centre, close to the wildlife park and botanic gardens. The luxurious apartments are nonsmoking with king beds and high-speed internet and smart TVs.

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Day Three - Visit spa town of Daylesford and then continue back to Melbourne
Tour day 3
The Beauty of Ballarat - Day 3
Ballarat to Melbourne via Daylesford

This route to Melbourne is not the most direct, but adds less than an hour to your driving time to visit a true Victorian gem, Daylesford. This town is famous for its mineral waters and spas, art, culture and incredible food. Make sure you make time to indulge in the fresh, seasonal produce at one of the town's cafes or restaurants and to visit the Convent Gallery, housed in a historic 19th century mansion. Browse arty collectables, historic buildings and boutiques before continuing to Melbourne.


Daylesford is one of Australia's few spa towns, located 46km from Ballarat and nesting in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range. The region is home to 65 mineral springs, making this destination the ideal location to slow down and relax at one of the many bathhouses throughout town. Situated in the Macedon Ranges wine region, Daylesford has cellar doors and wineries renowned for their cool-climate wines and produce from local farmers. With the discovery of gold in the Daylesford area in the 1850s, this small country town was swept up in the Gold Rush and grew rapidly in population. The town's historic past can be discovered in the Daylesford Museum and Historical Society, one of the largest regional museums located in Victoria.

Return Car to City Depot

Spend some time exploring before returning your rental car to the city depot.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 150 kms / 93 miles : 1.8 hours

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