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The Hotel: 4* Mercure Ballarat Lodge and Convention Centre
Set in a leafy area just off the town centre and blessed with a sprawling garden, the four-star Mercure Ballarat Lodge and Convention Centre lends itself well to a laid-back getaway. With Sovereign Hill right across the street, travellers can engage in a Victorian heritage discovery experience right after a lazy breakfast.
The lodge rooms are located in a brick-clad pavilion and come in an elegant, classic décor. Each is air-conditioned and features tea- and coffee-making facilities, a flat-screen TV and an en suite bathroom.
The casual onsite restaurant invites for a rich choice of dishes and drinks throughout the day, to enjoy either inside or on the scenic terrace overlooking the pond.
- Bed type: double or twin bedding
- Standard occupancy: 2 people
Maximum occupancy: 2 people
- The room comes complete with air conditioning, tea- and coffee-making facilities, LCD TV, in-room safe and ironing facilities
The Area: Ballarat, Victoria
A city with its roots steeped in gold, Ballarat still exhibits its rich beginnings in the grandeur of the Victorian-era architecture that forms the city centre. Any trip is incomplete without a visit to the re-created gold-mining village at Sovereign Hill. Take a trip back in time to the 1860s and test out panning skills in the stream littered with tiny treasures or explore the original equipment and mine shaft. Be sure to head inside an old-style lolly shop for a sweet treat to enjoy while taking in the nightly sound-and-light show, Blood on the Southern Cross.
Recently opened, the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka is soon becoming one of Ballarat’s must-see attractions. Situated on the site of the Eureka Rebellion, this museum features displays that recreate the events of 1854 and examine the impact they had on democracy in Australia and beyond. For something with a little more age behind it head to the oldest provincial gallery in Australia – the Art Gallery of Ballarat, established in 1884. See early colonial paintings including works from celebrated Australian artists like Tom Roberts, Fred Williams and Sir Sydney Nolan. Stop by for a free guided tour at 2pm Wednesday to Sunday.