Quest Colony Ballarat
674 Melbourne Road, Ballarat, Victoria, 3352, Australia
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Lee with one of the military interpretors
Sovereign Hill, Ballarat
Chuck in a few trees
Travel Tips for Ballarat
Bandstand Monument in Sturt Street
This is the Titanic Rotunda (Bandstand) in the Sturt St median strip (200 block)
It was erected as a memorial to the sinking of the Titanic (and is one of only 2 Titanic memorials in Australia, the other being in Broken Hill)
On top of the weather vane on the bandstand is a small iron replica Titanic ship.
I also enjoy the design and colours of this Rotunda.
One of my favorite things about Ballarat (in its oldest streets - the ones with heritage streetscapes) is its heritage housing/architecture.
The most predominant styles are Victorian houses/cottages with wrought iron lace work on the verandahs, Edwardian (which this house in Drummond Street would fit into), Californian Bungalow and there are still some Victorian terraces remaining in streets like Lydiard Street.
Well worth taking a bit of a drive or walk around to see the different styles, usually painted in heritage colours.
Lake Learmonth is a tourist attraction...but at the moment, not for the reasons you might think.
That's because for the past 18 month, this lake, which was once home to many birds, fish, and attracted fishermen and boating enthusiasts...is now completely dry, apart from a couple of puddles at the edges.
This only happens about 3 times every hundred years, they say, and you know the drought has hit particularly hard when a fertile region like Ballarat has lakes dry like this...where you can walk right across its large expanse. People in 4 wheel drives have even been driving across it.
The grass has grown so long in places (almost waist high) that they have had to use a lawn mower on it!
Check out the sign (you'll need to enlarge it)
Lake Learmonth is only about 20 kms from Ballarat. Tourism in this smal town has all but dried up (if you will excuse my pun...I couldn't resist ;-)
Thars gold in them thar hills - still
During 1854 - 1858 more than 2 1/2 million ounces, worth about 10 million pounds in those days, was taken from Ballaarat (original spelling) using pick and shovel, and probably much more was taken away by lucky diggers in their boxes and bags of goldbelts. And just this note in passing - the total amount of gold secured in the Ballaarat district from 1851 till today is more than 21 million ounces, or 643 tons; worth, at the present price of gold, the tidy sum of $440,000,000.
Since that piece was written, the price of gold has gone up!
There are mines still here and one, where there are known reserves of gold, is held up because of water flooding the mine. This occurred when the First World War erupted and miners, who were paid a pittance, went off to the services where they could get a reasonable pay and feed. This act left the mines without labour and so they just sat there and the water found its way in; so much so that these days they haven't worked out how they can pump it all out. It seems almost incongruous in times of severe drought that you couldn't sell the water first and then dig for the gold.
Eureka Centre (Ballart)
The Eureka Centre in Ballarat stands on the site of one of the most significant events in Australian history ... the Eureka Rebellion. In December 1854, Ballarat's miners took up arms against a corrupt and unjust goldfields administration. After years of oppression, the bloody battle that followed led to the birth of true democracy in Australia.
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