It’s no secret, we love Ballarat. It’s our home, it’s our community and as much as we love going away on holidays, we always love coming back home. Yes, even if it is only a couple of degrees in Winter! Some of our readers often stumle across our website in their quest to find out why move to Ballarat? We say, why not? What’s not to love? So we thought we’d write about some of the reasons we love Ballarat so much!
1. Lake Wendouree
You can do anything here. We really are so lucky to have such a vibrant heart centre to our town! Have a family catch up, walk, ride, relax, play a game, climb the playground, learn about our Prime Ministers in the PM Avenue, enjoy the gardens, watch a concert, attend a festival, take a picnic, have an ice-cream, go fishing, drive laps with a fancy car, admire the houses, dream about your future. Lake Wendouree truly is the heart of the city.
2. Sovereign Hill
To call yourself a true local you must visit Sovereign Hill every year! Local kids get to experience the goldfields school life, and local residents wait all year long for the Free Entry Shopping Night, or make a quick stop in to grab a pastie. A Ballarat icon, Sovereign Hill has something for everyone. History, adventure, theatre, food and lots more.
You don’t have to go far to find beautiful local produce, hand made artefacts and a treasured bargain. With heaps of markets all around Ballarat like the Lakeside, Bridge Mall, Jiggety Jig and the regular Sunday market, you will especially love taking a half-day trip out to the smaller townships to find a hidden treasure. There is Talbon, Creswick, Avoca, Daylesford, Ballan and many more markets! Encourage your family to purchase local fruit & vegies and get cooking together with your new ingredients. Nothing tastes better than a hand baked bread!
4. Travel Distance
After a long day commuting to the big smoke, you breathe a sigh of relief when your trip home from the station is only 10 minutes. The beauty of living in Ballarat is that everything is a maximum 20 minute drive. It’s a bit trickier if you’re on the bus, as some destinations will take you 2 buses and over an hour to get there, when you could probably walk quicker, but the routes have recently been dramatically improved, so time will tell how good they are now! But we have 3 major shopping centres within 10 minutes of each other, and another on the way. And unless you make a choice to send your child to a different school, the average student can walk to school in about 10 minutes, or ride their bike around the corner! Walking to and from school is often the best part of the day!
5. Bike Riding
Riding around Ballarat is awesome. You can ride to the supermarket or the corner shop, ride around the lake, or take the Yarrowee Trail for a beautiful scenic ride with not too many hills. You can go all the way from Buninyong to the Gong Resevoir if you want to. It’s great for kids too, avoiding the roads and cars. Lots of back streets around Ballarat are fairly quiet and there are bike tracks in many locations around town. But if you are really into your cycling, Ballarat is the place to be! With the Ballarat Cycle Classic and the road championships in town. And you’ll find your crew hanging out down at Racers Cafe around the lake.
6. Close Knit
With such a huge population you’d think how could you everyone know everyone? That’s not really what it’s about. But everyone knows someone who knows someone. You don’t have to ask too many questions before you find a connection between yourself and a stranger. And even if you’re not meeting new people, your friends will always know someone who can do something for you, help you out with something, or lead you in the right direction for whatever you need.
7. Self Sufficient
We’ve got everything here that we need (with some very few exceptions), but generally you could effectively go your entire life without ever leaving the city. With everything we have here in town, we have some pretty wide choices available. A choice of schools, universities, shopping precincts, doctors and hospitals, restaurants, cafes, craft beer venues, festivals and events and the rest.
This is a pretty subjective topic, but in general the prices for living in the outer suburbs of Melbourne would almost get you a mansion around the lake for the same price! So it’s not unrealistic for a local kid to get a good job, save some money and own their own home in Ballarat. Yet we see so many stories on the news about Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane becoming so expensive that most of the population will never own a home.
There is no where better to educate kids on Australian History than in their own town! Ballarat’s rich history of indigenous culture, to the Gold Diggings and Eureka through to today make learning about who we are today a breeze. The small surrounding towns all have their own unique histories and tales of yesteryear. All you have to do is walk or drive around to read the names of streets and places we visit today to see the connection to Australia’s past. What does the name Ballarat meant? Or Wendouree? Who was Alfred Deakin? Why isn’t Main Road the actual town centre? What street do you live on? Do you know it’s past? How old is your home? What was there before it? The history is never ending.
10. Eating & Drinking
If eating at awesome cafes and drinking local wines or craft beers is your thing then Ballarat is IT! We have some of the BEST cafes, restaurants and craft beer venues going around, really giving the big cities a run for their money. If you were here 10 – 15 years ago, you need to come back! The scene has changed dramatically. The old, run down pubs of days gone by are all, but gone, and dingy old venues have been turned into amazing, eclectic eateries and drinkeries (is that a word?).
What do you love about Ballarat? Are you thinking about moving here? We’d love to hear your feedback!
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