With a rich gold rush-era history and charming architecture, Ballarat is the largest inland city in Victoria. It was here that the famous Eureka Rebellion took place in 1854, following the discovery of gold at Poverty Point on 18 August 1851.

Ballarat is home to Sovereign Hill, a replica gold rush-era town that is complete with mid-19th-century streets, shops and underground mines to explore. Actors dressed in period costumes wander throughout this living museum, while a dramatic sound and light show projects the story of the 1854 Eureka Rebellion by night. Visitors can explore the township by horse-drawn carriage of try their luck at panning for gold in the river bed.

Stop in at the Gold Museum that boasts an incredible collection of valuable gold nuggets, alluvial deposits and gold coins or pay a visit to the Museum of Australian Democracy. It’s located on the site of the Eureka Rebellion and houses the famous Eureka Flag that was held as a symbol of defiance against the ruling colonial government.

Don’t miss a visit to the Ballarat Botanical Gardens on the banks of Lake Wendouree, which were established in 1857. Also of note is the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery that features works from gold rush-era artists.

Grab a self-guided walking trail brochure from the Visitor’s Centre to discover the history behind Ballarat’s elegant buildings. Admire Her Majesty’s Theatre that dates to 1875 and stands as one of Australia’s oldest surviving theaters and stroll down the Avenue of Honour, which is the longest war memorial avenue in Australia.