Ballarat’s only outdoor pedestrian mall, is a little hidden from the main traffic as it enters Ballarat, but is pleasantly tucked away from the hustle and bustle of traffic and offers a good range of retailers including fashion, footwear, homeware, health products, books, gifts, cafes, take away outlets and more. You’ll spot it if you stop at McDonalds on Bakery Hill when you first hit Ballarat from Melbourne, but you won’t be able to see it unless you park and enter via one of the alley ways at either Little Bridge Street (Coles & Woolworths) or Curtis St (Big W). Although outdoors, there are many verandahs adorning the fronts of most stores, and there are 2 covered areas in the centre of the precinct, as well as a children’s playground. Button operated toilets can be found in the Norwhich Plaza, at the Sturt St end of the mall. You can find a lovely parents room in the UFS Pharmacy, however you must be a member to access the facility. It is a small fee and well worth the money if you intend to visit often.
You’ll find some popular chains like The Reject Shop, The Athlete’s Foot, Intersports, Priceline Pharmacy, Typo, Jeanswest, Nando’s, McDonalds, Gloria Jeans, Riot Art and more.
The Ballarat CBD is the heart of Ballarat and home to the most beautiful heritage facades, up Sturt St and the cross over streets like Lydiard, Doveton and Armstrong you’ll find all sorts of treasures from books to fashion to horses to holidays & travel. Some of the local health food stores are in Sturt St, travel agents, real estate agents, professional services and the Town Hall can be found all along Sturt and the other cross roads. As well as the most wonderful array of cafes and dining options around! Ballarat is fast becoming known for it’s eateries, and you will not be disappointed. Ballarat’s CBD dining options for day & night will rival any suburb of Melbourne, but the best part is you don’t have to drive too far or walk too far! You can also find Parent Place open 9am to 4pm weekdays where you can stop in Sturt St to feed your baby, let the kids play, go to the loo and have a free coffee thanks to the City of Ballarat Council. Or other public toilets are located behind the Parent Place in Albert St.
Central Square is hidden away in the CBD behind the gorgeous facade of Myer on Sturt St, and behind Target on Doveton St. There is a multi-level carpark with 2 hours free parking which you can enter on Dana St. The centre is home to the big retailers already mentioned plus Rivers, Lowes, The AFL Store, plus fashion favourites like Roger David, Bras n Things, Strandbags, Cotton On, Suzanne Grae, Rockmans and more. There is a large food court with a variety of options from sushi to subway and donuts or hot dogs. But most famous of all is Chequers and their Chips & Gravy! Public toilets are located beside the food court and a parents room is available there, or upstairs at Myer.
Delacombe Town Centre
DTC is the newest kid on the block to Ballarat! A brand new centre featuring Woolies and Kmart it offers a close option for those moving into the Delacombe, Winter Valley areas. Smaller stores are opening regularly including gifts, bakery, pharmacy, toys, cafes, new restaurants such as the Groove Train as found in Melbourne, and more. An outdoor playground that is fully enclosed is great for the kids to play. And parking is ample! Toilet facilities are inside the Kmart building behind the gift shop.
The home maker centre in Wendouree is just opposite Stockland Wendouree and is home to the larger retailers like Pet Barn, Super Cheap Auto, Spotlight, Fantastic Furniture, Baby Bunting, Adairs, Anaconda, and lots more. Parking here is usually very easy, and free, but there are no toilet facilities. There is an electric car charging station.
Lucas Town Centre
Lucas is a relatively new centre in Ballarat too, heading out of Ballarat towards Adelaide way, giving residents in nearby Lucas, Cardigan, Haddon etc a closer option for groceries and necessities like Ballarat’s favourte fruit & veg store Wilsons, Maccas, Pharmacy, Bakers Delight, Florist, Woolies and a couple of small eateries. There is also the next door Ballarat Community Health Centre which has gym, medical, and community facilities available. There are not a lot of gift stores and no fashion or homewares retailers, but that’s not to say there won’t be any in the future, as that side of down is definitely growing rapidly.
Stockland Wendoure is the only completely indoor centre, and is just about to undergo a multimillion dollar upgrade, it has both the big supermarket chains, Kmart, Reject Shop and a lot of smaller retailers like My Size, City Chic, Cotton On, Spoils, as well as 2 food courts and some play areas, with more to come. The new development will have an additional 20 or more retailers and dining options including more restaurant style. They have a parents room for feeding & changing and also a small library on site. Parking is free and plentiful, and being all one level makes for easy accessibility. If you hear locals mention “The Village”… this is where they are talking about, now Stockland Wendouree, was once known as Wendouree Village Shopping Centre.
Smaller Centres & Shopping Strips
In Alfredton there is a small shopping strip headed up by Aldi and Chemist Warehouse, with a small bottle shop, fish shop and nearby pub and service station that has Subway. There are about a dozen parking spaces out front of Chemist Warehouse that are generally always full, so Aldi is the best bet for parking. It is also located opposite one of Ballarat’s largest high schools, so can be extremely busy traffic wise at school times.
In Ballarat North is the locally known “Tuckerbag” although the supermarket has been an IGA for some years now. They have a great range of gluten free & allergy friendly foods, and on the same site is Brumby’s Bakery, a pharmacy, fish shop, bottle shop, tattslotto and mobile coffee / ice cream vans at various times.
Headed up by Coles, this little centre is on Victoria St as you come in from Melbourne direction and houses a few smaller stores like Bakers Delight, Domino’s, a Newsagent / Tatts outlet, bottle shop, TAB and a gorgeous dress shop. Over the road you will find a very popular vegan cafe, and the opposite direction behind Coles you will find Wilson’s Fruit & Vegies and some tools / machinery stores, a play centre, a nice cafe and a pub. And just down a few doors you will find a pharmacy and doctor’s surgery, and a new furniture store just a little further down towards maccas.
Buninyong has a bustling little town centre only 15 minutes from the Ballarat CBD. With a small supermarket, cafes, bakeries, gift shops, and all the services you would find like hairdressers, pharmacy, take away food, service stations etc. Parking is ample and short walking distances between some outlets makes for a really nice day trip or some wondering around time.
Howitt Street, Wendouree
One of the bigger shopping strips, it is headed up by Woolworths, MacDonalds and Australia Post, and if you keep driving you’ll find bakeries, pharmacy, a good number of op shops, clothing retailers, hair dressers, banks, seafood, take away, and SPC Cannery Surplus and NQR discount stores, furniture store, bottle shops and more. If you can’t get parking in the first section, continue up the road a short distance and you’ll find more. You’ll also find a lot of the larger businesses like Hip Pocket Work Wear, Furniture Stores, car sales, Coates Hire, Machinery sales, doctors, physio’s, mechanics and more.
Miners Rest is a nice suburb set out past Wendouree, over the highway. There are not a lot of stores in the town centre but you’ll find the general store, service station, pub and a large IGA supermarket.
At Mt Clear, on the way out past Sovereign Hill towards Buninyong is another IGA tucked away with a good selection of stores & services including a butcher, pharmacy, Australia Post / Tatts Newsagency, Fish Shop, Subway, Bakery, Bank, hairdresser, bottle shop, car wash and more. It is located close to a number of busy schools, so can get a bit busy during school hours.
The whole way along Skipton St and Albert St Sebastopol you will find shops and services. The main shopping areas are located near Woolworths where there are bakeries, banks, pharmacy, take away, salt therapy rooms, gift shops and more. Then further out you’ll find Coles and another selection of butchers, banks, tailors, take away etc. You’ll also find a number of larger stores like Mitre 10, car washes, caravans, cars, bicycles. And closer in towards Ballarat CBD on Skipton St, you’ll find a lovely little nestling of vintage stores with quaint cafes, vintage wares and fashions and unique gifts.