It’s been a while that I wanted to go and visit Ballarat. Why? Well, it is the symbol of the Gold Rush in Australia and it is where the Eureka Stockade took place. That is some important piece of history in Australia and an historic place just very close to Melbourne.
It’s just an hour and a half drive from Melbourne, but you can reach it by train. I’d suggest to go by car as you get the chance to visit also the surroundings. A new museum has also just opened: M.A.D.E. – Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka. This museum proposes different views on democracy in the world, but most importantly sits on the site where the Eureka Stockade took place. This rebels action occurred in 1854 when the miners in the area started to claim their rights. This event in time is considered by some people as the starting point for Democracy in Australia. Its symbol is a blue flag, sewn by the miners wives, with the Southern Cross star. You can see it in the museum, which is tiny compared to what I expected. It’s very interactive, with a modern architecture and a beautiful surrounding vegetation. As it was Mother’s Day and the 2nd opening weekend, the visit was free and we didn’t pay the 12$ entrance ticket. It might be a reasonable price in Australian terms, but if I compare it to the price for value we have in Europe, it is probably too high. I have though got to see the flag and I think it was interesting visiting it.
By the time we finished the visit, we were pretty hungry, and after been refused by many restaurants, all full or not accepting customers after 1:30pm, we ended up in the Ballarat Stake House .
The meat was delicious! And good was also the location! By being late, we were basically enjoying, what I think, was the function room by ourselves.
We skipped desserts, as we had a better idea for that: the Pancake Kitchen. We all shared a couple of pancakes, just the perfect way to end an already very good meal.
In the afternoon we walked around Ballarat city centre, admiring the old Victorian/Georgian Buildings, Some of them completely reminded me of England. Meanwhile we were listening to folk music being played, which really put us in a joyful mood, ready to enter the ‘Mining Exchange‘ Gallery. We didn’t know that the vintage weekend was on, and apart from the gallery being very nice by itself, there was a display of vintage stalls from old Theatre posters to the old Popcorn making machine to the…. Apron Festival!!!
Yes, it’s exactly what you just read! A group of inventive and energetic women have started this competition and you can read more on their website. It’s been a whole new & fun discovery. I’ll make sure to be back next year!!!
- Eureka flag to go on display at new home (abc.net.au)
- Eureka Stockade (volkundvaterland.wordpress.com)
- In search of gold (tanushreez.wordpress.com)
- A Museum of Australian Democracy travelling exhibition in association with Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre and photographer Tobias Titz. (lateralloveaustralia.com)
- Melbourne, Australia: Cheap day trips using public transport. (victorhelzberg.wordpress.com)
- Holiday Weekend to Ballarat (southerncrossings2013.wordpress.com)
- A Day in Ballarat (southerncrossings2013.wordpress.com)