Located northwest of Melbourne city, Ballarat was famous for being a mining town, and the site generated the greatest amount of gold during the Victorian Gold Rush of the 1850s. The city occupies an area of 740 square kilometres and houses an estimated population of over 88,000, and has a mixture of Victorian-era architecture interspersed by modern day buildings. Considered one of the state’s premier tourism destination, Ballarat attracts some 1.8 million day trip visitors and about 13% of Victoria’s annual 1.1 million overseas visitors.
Taking a walk along the streets and roads of Ballarat, one can’t help feeling that it has retained much of that old world small town charm of a bygone era, while still modernising itself. The streetscape is vastly different from Melbourne as you may have guessed, and while vestiges of gold-generated opulence can be seen in its buildings, most are classically elegant rather than overtly ostentatious.
The Ballarat train station built in 1862 is the first place to check out. One can see that the name Victorian Railways befits the regal look of this building. The V-Line train from Melbourne stops here.