Ballarat is Victoria’s third largest city, located just over an hour by road or rail west of Melbourne.

Ballarat has enjoyed a rich and prosperous heritage thanks to the Gold Rush which began in 1851. News that the Ballarat region was home to the richest alluvial goldfield in the world resulted in a population explosion as people came from all over the world seeking fortune. By 1855, Ballarat had grown to a city with a population of 100,000 people. Impressive public and private buildings sprung up which were financed from the wealth generated by the diggings.

These days, long after the gold has run out, the city retains much of its rich gold heritage in the form of opulent buildings, fountains, and tourist attractions which celebrate the city’s history. Notable buildings include Ballarat’s Town Hall (built between 1870 and 1872), Her Majesty’s Theatre (1875), and Craig’s Hotel which was built in several stages between 1853 and 1891.

The city is famous in Australia for the Eureka Rebellion, the only armed rebellion in Australian history. In response to this event, the first male suffrage in Australia was instituted and as such Eureka is interpreted by some as the origin of democracy in Australia. The rebellion’s symbol, the Eureka Flag, has become a national symbol and is held at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka in Ballarat.

 

These photos were taken at the Botanical Gardens, Thye Begonia Festival, and some from the Ballarat Heritage Festival.

 

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