We’ve put together this huge list of Ballarat Walking Tracks. Perfect to take the kids for a walk, a bike ride, a picnic and explore some interesting parts of Ballarat often missed on the daily commute.
Some of them are quite long, so you can dart in out and out of the trails in short spurts or do the full length. We’ve also tried to include some interesting features of each trail, any facilities available and the grade of difficulty you might experience along the way.
Easy / Short
Yarrowee Trail – Ballarat Central (entrances from Grant St near SMB, Humffray St Sth, Hickman St, through toPrest / Leith St near Body & Soul Gym) Through the cricket oval precinct and onwards you’ll find playgrounds, bridges to cross and watch the water flowing through the channel and beautiful greenery; it’s the bush in the city.
Yarrowee Trail – Sebastopol (continuing from the Ballarat Central area at Prest / Leith St, entrances further up from Picton St, Bala St, Bridge St, Morgan St, Docwra St) Continue out to Sebastopol through bushlands, trees, open areas to run around, find the giant steps, stop for a picnic and continue all the way out to Buninyong if you’re really keen.
Yarrowee Trail – Main Rd (entrances between Clayton & Lal Lal St, Elsworth St near Zagame’s, Canadian Lakes Blvd, Hocking Ave or Olympic Ave) Travel parallel to Main Rd, stop at the playgrounds at Canadian Lakes, enjoy the shaded tree canopy of the winding walking & bike tracks.
Nerrina Wetlands – Brown Hill (enter via Ainley St or Stawell St/Chisolm St) Visit the wetlands and explore the bird watching signs, walking & bike paths that loop around the creek and lookout area. Picnic Tables.
Russell Square – Brown Hill (Cnr Stawell, Humffray St Nth & Scott Pde). The short circuit walking and bike trail is perfect for a lap or two. With playgrounds, football, soccer and cricket grounds, exercise equipment around the track, sheltered areas and seating. Lined with giant oak trees perfect to pick up an acorn shell and practice your whistle!
The Gong Gong Resevoir – Brown Hill (Car park entrance from Daylesford Rd). Beautiful wide open spaces, walking & bike paths, gardens, bbqs, toilets. No dogs.
Kirk’s Resevoir – Brown Hill (Just over the road from the Gong Resevoir) Large grassy areas, trees and gardens, education centre, paths and rolling hills. Bbqs, picnic tables and toilets. No Dogs.
Lake Esmond – Ballarat East (enter from Larter St or Clayton St) A small lake with flat walking and bike paths, go up the hill to the picnic areas, playgrounds, toilets and bbqs. Some locals will swim in the lake during summer, but it is not manned by life guards, so take extra care and beware of leeches. A beautiful busy area with plenty of wide open spaces.
Victoria Park – Ballarat (enter from Sturt St, Russell St, Winter St or Gillies St). Kilometers of bike and foot paths, some shared access with cars (so take care). Multiple playgrounds, some bike jumps, small duck ponds, cricket ovals and giant oak trees shading the way. You might event see a knight in armour jousting or an archer shoot his arrows. Picnic and bbq areas and public toilets.
Pennyweight Gully- Ballarat East (entrances Main Rd & Callow St, York St between Larter & Otway St Sth, Otway St Sth, Wilson St opposite Rodier, Kline St between Spencer & Wilson, Richards St between Wilson & Spencer) View historic canal type channels, spot heritage homes along the way and wonder all the way into the bushy outskirts of Ballarat East. Passing through Sparrow Ground with ovals, playgrounds and BBQs, you might even see a roo.
Specimen Gully – Ballarat East (entrances Barkly St, Otway St Sth, Joseph St & Rodier St between Eureka & York and Carboni Ct) Taking you through the heart of Ballarat East, past historic sites like the old Ballarat East Town Hall Gardens, heritage homes and beautiful garden areas you can walk all the way to the Eureka Stockade precinct from town.
Sparrow Ground- Ballarat East (Entrances from Kline, Richards & Spencer St) With walking & bike tracks, there are ovals, footy goals, playgrounds and bbqs on the bushy outskirts of Ballarat East. Watch out for wildlife in early morning and late afternoon.
Eureka Stockade – Ballarat East (Cnr Eureka & Stawell St) Take a leisurely stroll around the famous stockade gardens, the memorial canons, huge duck pond, adventure playground and Museum of Democracy at Eureka (MADE). Public Toilets, BBQ, Eureka Outdoor Heated Swimming Pool (Nov – Mar).
Doug Dean Reserve – Delacombe (entrances from Greenhalghs Rd, Nandiriog Dve & Whitelaw Ave). Take a short stroll around the oval or wetlands, or do the whole ground for a longer walk (about 1.4km). Bbq and picnic areas. Details on their website.
Marty Busch Reserve – Sebastopol (enter from Burnett St, Darling or Gladstone St). Walk or ride around the paths, take a skateboard and enjoy the ramps, stop at the playgrounds and picnic areas or continue on to the Yarrowee Trail (above).
Macarthur Park Wetlands – Miners Rest (enter Macarthur Park Blvd and Waterford Close). Enjoy a walk around the wetlands and along the Burumbeet Creek. Bbqs, picnic areas, playgrounds, boardwalks and beautiful native scenery. Be careful of snakes in the warmer weather.
Difficult / Long
Black Hill Lookout – Black Hill (near the top of Chisolm St just past the roundabout drive in through Sim St and park) Walk further into the lookout, enjoy the views of Ballarat, then follow the steps down into the cavity, the steps are quite steep and you can’t take a pram, a bike or tiny toddlers. Follow the path from the bottom to the left, and all the way down until you reach the creek and the park area. Go left again, and continue along the path / gravel rd until you reach Stawell St. Then walk back up the hill to the carpark. It’s quite a climb so be prepared to huff and puff.
Lake Wendouree – (Wendouree Pde, accessible from Ballarat Central & Wendouree sides). A beautiful 6km flat walk around the heart of Ballarat. See the swans, the many playgrounds around the way, stop for a coffee or snack at the cafes and restaurants, public toilets in a few spots, drink taps and now lighting for the darker hours.
Skipton Rail Trail – Wendouree (starting from the Ring Rd in Wendouree or the top of Sturt St just after the Ring Rd). Follow the trail by bike or foot a short distance, or all the way out to the many townships it passes through, including Smythesdale, Scarsdale, Linton and Skipton. The full track is 53km and has a slight gradient of 2 degrees, so a fairly easy ride. A big adventure that’s not too difficult. You’ll see historic buildings, an amazing trestle bridge, natural bush, farmland and stop at any of the shops or cafes along the way for a break. Travellers huts also along the track. Visit the website here.
Yarrowee Trail – Brown Hill (starting from the corner of Peel & Rowe St in central Ballarat, entrances from Nicholson St, Princes St, Newman St, Oliver st, Stawell St, Ainley St, Reid Ct, Duggan St, Springs Rd) Follow the trail all the way out to the Gong Resevoir if you’re up for a big walk or ride, or enjoy the old miners cottages along the way, and the natural bush, including the Nerrina Wetlands (above) as you get further out. At the Brown Hill Cricket oval you’ll find some bbqs and picnic tables, the swimming pool and playground near the Brown Hill Hotel, and further out towards Springs Rd more picnic tables. Come across the sheep and cows as you get closer to the Resevoir. Go fishing or have a bbq when you arrive. Perfect track for a day walk or a big bike ride.
Eureka Trail – Ballarat East (travelling from Bakery Hill, do a loop up Victoria St, Specimen Vale, Rodier St, Stawell, Eureka St, King St and Back to Victoria returning to Bakery Hill). Take in all the historic sites of the Eureka Stockade. Details of the trail provided by M.A.D.E here.
Canadian State Forest (enter from elsworth street east. Loop through Bakers Rd, veer right onto Davidsons Rd, then right back onto Katy Ryan Rd and back to the start) Park on the side of the road. There is a steady incline on the first half (some may say steep) then it levels out and a steady decline to finish. Pram and animal friendly, but keep dogs on the lead in case of cars. Dirt road with minimal traffic, it runs through the bush so lots of birds, plants and sometimes kangaroos, echidnas. Depending on how fast you walk 1-2 hours, though longer if the kids want to ‘stop and smell the flowers’.
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