187 Scott Parade, Ballarat, 3350, Australia
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Lake Wendouree is very picturesque and you can have very different views of it, depending what side of it you're on.
The lake itself is always different, and is home to an abundant array of birdlife, including many different species of ducks and water birds (some of which are seasonal) and of course Australia's famous black swans. I find their numbers here far greater than at any other lake I've been to in Australia. Try feeding a couple and watch the others swim in from all directions.
Bendigo is found 95km north-east from Ballarat and is 225 metres above sea level. You will see the finest collections of Victorian buildings of any inland city in Australia. The streets are lined with huge granite buildings and in the centre of the city, a fountain dedicated to Queen Victoria's daughter-in-law, Princess Alexandra, sits in the centre of the main street.
Bendigo is home to a collection of 34 Vintage Trams, housed in Australia's oldest operating tramways complex built in 1901-3. Every day 12 Vintage Trams are rostered for daily Vintage "Talking" Tram Tours which provide a taped commentary of the history of Bendigo and background on the many grand Victorian buildings.
The Golden Dragon Museum has some very impressive displays including the worlds oldest and largest imperial dragons. The Joss House, built from hand made bricks is also an important centre of Bendigo
Yuulong Lavender Farm
With a group of co-volunteers from Ballarat Tourism, we visited Yuulong on Wednesday November 15, 2006, a date that will probably go down in Victoria's history as "the date it snowed in mid-November (very rare indeed, considering we've already had some days earlier in the spring which reached almost 35 deg C)
(Yuulong is near Mt Egerton, about 35-40 mins from Ballarat, off the Western Highway on the route to Melbourne)
One of the special things about Yuulong is that they have more than 100 different varieties of lavender there (though they only sell the commercial ones) so a part of their field is a bit like a botanical outdoor museum.
We had a delicious morning tea in the tearooms while watching the snow flurries outside (unfortunately the snow bout only lasted about 20 minutes and remained on the ground for just a few minutes before it melted)
We tried Lavender scones with Lavender and Blueberry jam, and lavender biscuits as well - there are about 8 other products the cafe produces with lavender as one of the ingredients, for example lavender fruit cake and lavender ice cream!
The gift shop stocks Australian made lavender products, some locally made, and lavender sachets & other associated items from the farm.
There is an entry fee to visit the Lavender Farm, of between $3-$5 per person.
Every early December they also have a weekend Lavender festival where Llamas carrying baskets of lavender on their backs as they move through the fields, are one of the top attractions, apart from the music.
Sovereign Hill is only just a short distance from Poverty Point where gold was first discovered on 21 August 1851 gold was discovered. Those in search of a quick fortune flocked to the area and started carving out not only digging areas but a fast growing community as well. In a short time there were 2,500 men digging for all they were worth and that number grew by around a 100 a day. They lived in shanty huts or tents and food and other supplies had to be transported in by cart making them very expensive. Unfortunately there were only a few that made their fortune, most stayed as poor as they were before.
There is a Quartz Mine which depicts the 1880’s period and how they searched for gold. You can take a guided tour of the underground displays and hear stories of early mining. These tours take about 40 mins. with extensive above ground installations and underground displays
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