Tourist Information Centre
Should you be arriving by train, a not uncommon experience in this town, or by bus, you may well be looking for tourist information.
Unique Suggestions: Thus you will be looking for the Tourist Information Centre. My advice is, don't be in a hurry. The reason is that it's about 3 kms away from where you are, in a purpose-built building on a hillside on the opposite side of town.
Many businesses in town find this frustrating as they have to field questions that their business wasn't put there to provide.
Unfortunately, now the deed has been done, the centre is unlikely to move from its present habitat. A couple of places in town have information of a broad nature but you'll somehow have to make your way up there if you want details.
Fun Alternatives: Alternatively, you could check out the internet before you go and get the details you're after beforehand.
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Slightly un co-ordinated transport
People arriving in Ballarat by train may take it for granted that there will be buses right there to take them about the city, but this isn't so.
There is a bus stop right outside the station, but whether it's useful depends on where you want to go (the main bus terminal is about a 3 block walk down the street to the foot of the hill behind the shopping Mall but you can also catch certain buses outside Myer if you hail the bus or outside the old post office on the corner of Lydiard & Sturt Streets)
Without your own transport, Ballarat can be a little tricky to get around all the attractions by bus. We don't have special tourist buses stopping off at the various points of interest, but public transport will in most cases take you almost to the door.
Buses run till only about 5.30 - 6 pm at night, and weekend services after 12 noon Saturday are fairly reduced, though matters have improved in the past year.
Unique Suggestions: Ask at the Railway station or check out their timetable posters on the wall which give details of how to get to Sovereign Hill by bus.
Otherwise, for more info, go the Tourist Information stand in the reception area of the Fine Art Gallery (just along a bit from the station over Mair street). The original Information Centre in Sturt street has relocated to Eureka Street, about 5 kms away.
Fun Alternatives: An alternative is to hire a car, and drive from Melbourne. It's a straight easy run from the Westgate Bridge and only 110 kms drive, which takes about 1h30.
Parking in Ballarat is quite good and will save you time rather than waiting around for buses.
Otherwise you can call a taxi if you're at Soverign Hill and can't wait for a bus to take you back to the city.
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