I realise it's a little generic to title this post so vaguely, but my visit to Ballarat a few weekends ago has been my only experience of the place. It's just a 1.5 hour drive from Melbourne and it had been a toss-up whether to go there, or to Bendigo. (They're very near each other and both start with 'B'... it seemed like much of a muchness to the uninitiated.)
It was a good decision. I was surprised at how genteel - and hilly - Ballarat is. There is some gorgeous historic architecture, which makes sense, when you consider the town's role in Australia's Gold Rush, and, with its wide streets and the central Lake Wendouree, it's quite pretty. Here are a few snaps from the weekend.
I loved how some buildings were clearly built in the Art Deco period.
There were several rotundas down the main street.
There were also lots of statues... of whom, I couldn't necessarily say. But this dude is pretty self-explanatory:
Gorgeous old industrial buildings:
Another great facade:
The accommodation we stayed at, Ballarat Premier Apartments, was beautifully decorated in its recent renovations, and featured a chandelier in our room (and many of the others, apparently):
I loved that this was even an option:
The lake on a winter's day.
Early evening at Lake Wendouree:
On the way back to Melbourne, we took the scenic route and found this great little pub in Dunnstown:
It had a picturesque pool room, complete with firewood:
There was lots of naturally occurring wattle growing alongside the road on the way back to Melbourne.
And beautiful country roads, like this one:
Who could say no to that?