To view the video on your iPhone, go to the videos tab.
BALLAN has moved away from the farming town feeling it once had.
It’s now one of the prime locations for tree-changers who want access to big city fun in Melbourne while enjoying peace and quiet in a countryside home.
David Garrick, who runs Ballan Collectables, is one of those who chose to move from the city for a lifestyle change.
Mr Garrick's original plan was to move to Bacchus Marsh, but when plans to look at a house fell through, he and his wife continued to the next town and stumbled across the masterpiece that is Ballan.
"It’s a great little town – there's so much to do," he said.
"There are lots of artists' societies and galleries."
As luck would have it, Mr Garrick found his home in Ballan in a large, old hall because the landlord specifically wanted a tenant who was a collector.
"I had a few antiques and collectables, so it was a perfect match," he said.
Ballan is one of the bigger centres outside Ballarat, home to almost 2000 people and only a half an hour's drive or 20 minutes by train into Ballarat.
The town was settled in the 1830s and named after a village in Ireland.
First settled: 1838
Main industries: Tourism, art, hospitality
Claim to fame: Lou Callow is a well-known artist and teacher from Ballan who built the famous The Flying Tea Pot Cafe.
Five fast facts
1. Gold was first found in the area in 1851.
2. Aside from gold, the location became important in country Victoria as a staging point for transport between Ballarat and Melbourne.
3. The town supports its local football team, Ballan, in the Central Highlands Football League.
4. Bowls is another big sport in Ballan, with three pennant teams in the Ballarat District Bowls Division.
5. Ballan hosts several annual events and carnivals, including the Vintage Machinery and Vehicle Rally in February and Autumn Festival in March.
Five things to do
1. Gather some snacks from the pantry and enjoy a picnic at Werribee River. The river runs right through Ballan and is only a short walk from the town centre.
2. Check out the Ballan Autumn Festival, one of a few festivals the town hosts annually. This year the festival will be held on March 24, when the main street will be closed for a parade and street stalls will surround the town, with activities including woodchop, art and craft shows and entertainment.
3. Ballan is home to many artists groups and their studios. Great places to have a look include the old Flying Teapot Cafe, Velislav Georgiev and Tor Roxburgh’s Omnibus Art Gallery.
4. Take advantage of local Ballan eateries including the Honeycomb Cafe and Millcottage Restaurant and Cafe.
5. Ballan’s Mechanics Institute was built in 1860 and is still a community hub for the town. It hosts a range of events as well as housing the town’s local Library.