Call me biased if you will. Growing up in Ballarat, I’ve been privy to its charm from quite a young age. Over the years, I’ve watched my hometown evolve from a city synonymous with gold and heritage to a melting pot of contemporary art and culture, incredible food, and high-calibre events and festivals.
I’ve also found it less challenging to convince my metropolitan comrades that Ballarat is indeed a place worth exploring. The fact that events such as Open House, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Melbourne Spring Fashion Week and, more recently, White Night have chosen the city as the base for their regional extensions has significantly helped with my persuasive prowess.
But why is Ballarat a city worth exploring?
What makes it so special?
Here are 24 reasons I love Ballarat
(just to give you an initial idea)
1. The affordable housing and education
2. The coffee (without the line-ups)
3. The versatile dining options
4. The month-long food festival Plate Up
5. The entire season dedicated to art and culture
6. The close proximity to Melbourne and other regional hubs
7. The free parking
8. White Night
9. The biggest regional winter festival in Australia
10. The wintertime
11. The distinct seasons
12. The oldest and largest regional art gallery in the country
13. Awesome attractions for my whole family and our visitors
14. The non-existent traffic
15. The entire city’s charm and character
16. Lydiard Street
17. The houses (especially the miner’s cottages and historic homesteads)
18. The festivals and events every weekend!
19. The music
20. Galleries of old and new art everywhere
21. Her Majesty’s Theatre and the local theatre scene (for less $$$)
22. The lake + gardens precinct
23. The rich history
24. The community feels
I could go on. And on. And on…
Be sure to shout out any of your ‘top reasons’ you love Ballarat in the comments below.