You know you're from Ballarat when...

FRANK CALLAHAN'S BALLAARAT (VIDEO)

  • You're now singing the Ballaarat song in your head, aren't you? Ballarat's One Man Band, Frank Callahan, is best known as the man behind the catchy tune.
Frank Callahan

Frank Callahan

BALLARAT BITTER / BALLARAT BERTIE (PHOTOS)

  • Not every town can boast their own namesake beer, but we can. Ballarat Bitter holds a special place in the beer-loving heart of our city.
Ballarat Bertie

Ballarat Bertie

SOUTH STREET COMPETITIONS (PHOTOS)

  • MANY Victorian childhoods crossed paths with Ballarat’s Royal South Street Competitions at some point or another. And even if you didn’t take to the stage at South Street, your brother/sister/cousin/ neighbour or great Aunty Norah certainly did.
Royal South Street

Royal South Street

DOCTOR BLAKE (PHOTOS)

  • THE Doctor Blake Mysteries tells the tale of Dr Lucien Blake (Craig McLachlan), who returns home  to Ballarat in the late 1950s to run his deceased father’s medical practice.Filmed in 2012 and 2013, the ABC show features many iconic Ballarat locations including Lydiard Street, the Town Hall, Ballarat Colonists’ Club, Lake Wendouree and Pax Hill Activity Centre.
Dr Blake

Dr Blake

OUR WEATHER (PHOTOS)

  • Okay, we get it, Ballarat is cold. Yes, we know people shiver upon hearing the name of our town. Yes, we can be hit with four seasons in one day. Yes, it did snow in Ballarat this winter.  But put a jumper on, turn the heater up and deal with it - we certainly have. But Ballarat wouldn't be Ballarat without its contradictory weather in a 24-hour period. Frankly, we're proud of it.
Ballarat's weather.

Ballarat's weather.

OLD NIGHTCLUBS (SPECIAL TRIBUTE WALL)

  • COUNTLESS Ballarat relationships started on the sticky, smoke-filled dance floors of Rafters, Hot Gossip, 21 Arms, the Powerstation and Rattle ‘n’ Hum. For many, what was meant to be just a quick pash and dance turned into a whole lot more. The subsequent marriages, mortgages and munchkins are testament to that. 
One of the great old nightclubs of Ballarat.

One of the great old nightclubs of Ballarat.

DANA STREET HILL (VIDEO)

  • IF THE Dana Street hill was in the dictionary, its definition would read “every learner driver’s worst nightmare”. Stalling and bunny-hopping generally go hand-in-hand when you’re learning to drive a manual car. But throwing a ridiculously steep hill and a bank-up of CBD traffic into the mix sends fear through most inexperienced – and many experienced – drivers.
The Dana st hill.

The Dana st hill.

EUREKA FLAG (PHOTOS)

  • THE five bold stars of the Eureka flag represent the Southern Cross and symbolise unity and defiance. It is a silent witness to the making of Australian democracy. Yet, for many, the true meaning of the flag has gone by the wayside.
Eureka Flag

Eureka Flag

LAKE WENDOUREE (PHOTOS)

  • IT’S the mecca of young families, the fitness savvy, the trying-to-be fitness savvy and MAMILs (middle-aged men in lycra). It’s the home base of angling clubs, sailing clubs and rowing clubs. It’s the host of fierce school rivalries when the annual Head of the Lake boat race sails into town.  It’s the ugly swamp which transformed into a beautiful lake – Lake Wendouree.
You know you're from Ballarat when you've walked/run/cycled Lake Wendouree.

You know you're from Ballarat when you've walked/run/cycled Lake Wendouree.

CIVIC HALL (PHOTOS)

  • IN ITS heyday, the Civic Hall played host to debutante balls, dances and concerts almost every weekend. From the Royal South Street Competitions to Begonia Festival events, school speech nights to conferences, election meetings to bingo, the building (which was built in 1956) was once a hive of activity.
Olivia Newton-John at the Civic Hall.

Olivia Newton-John at the Civic Hall.

STURT ST/PLEASANT ST RED LIGHT (MAP)

  • IT MAY be one of Ballarat’s most confusing intersections but, admit it, the rebel within does do a little happy dance every time you drive through that red light on the corner of Sturt and Pleasant streets.
Sturt and Pleasant streets.

Sturt and Pleasant streets.

SOVEREIGN HILL (PHOTOS)

  • WHEN you’ve grown up with Sovereign Hill on your doorstep, it’s inevitable your teachers would have made the most of  the outdoor museum throughout your school years. 
Sovereign Hill

Sovereign Hill

CHIPS AND GRAVY (POLL)

  • Nothing tastes better after a night on the town than a tray of chips, cheese and gravy from The Gravy Spot in Lydiard Street North – the heart of Ballarat’s nightclub precinct.
Chips, cheese and gravy.

Chips, cheese and gravy.

TRASH (PHOTOS)

  • IT may have recently undergone a name change, but the Ballarat Market will always be known by most as Trash and Treasure or, more simply, Trash. Rain, hail or shine, its dedicated followers make the pilgrimage every Sunday morning to the Ballarat Showgrounds, hoping to snap up a bargain or two.
Trash and treasure

Trash and treasure

BALLARAT CUP (PHOTOS)

  • Arguably Ballarat’s social event of the year, the Ballarat Cup is all about fun, frivolity, fashion and horses – but how many people head along and don't actually watch a race?
Ballarat Cup

Ballarat Cup

WENDOUREE VILLAGE (PHOTOS)

  • In 2003 Wednouree Village was renamed Stockland Wendouree but ask any Ballarat local and it will always be known as Wendouree Village or just the Village.
Stockland Wendouree ('The Village')

Stockland Wendouree ('The Village')

KYRAL CASTLE (PHOTOS)

  • In 1972, Keith Ryall started building Kryal Castle at Warrenheip. The site was chosen for its similarities to the European countryside. It was officially opened by then Victorian premier Rupert Hamer in 1974. Keith and his “queen”, Joyce, sold their beloved castle in 2011 and, following a major redevelopment, it reopened in March last year. Some of the attractions include the dragon’s labyrinth, torture dungeon and museum, re-enactments and shows, wizard’s work room, the maze, theatre and much more.

LAKE WEDDINGS(PHOTOS)

  • WHEN it comes to choosing a location for happy snaps on your big day, the Ballarat Botanical Gardens and Lake Wendouree are obvious choices. Summer, autumn, winter or spring, the gardens are the perfect backdrop for wedding photos – and wedding ceremonies.
Wedding at the lake

Wedding at the lake

LAZY PARKING (VIDEO)

  • Do you know someone who just drives around and around until there's a park smack bang out front? Chances are they're from Ballarat. "If I can’t get a park out the front, forget about it." This is the approach most Ballaratians take to shopping in the CBD.
Parking out the front of where you want to go is what Ballarat drivers are all about.

Parking out the front of where you want to go is what Ballarat drivers are all about.

WILDLIFE SCHOOL EXCURSIONS (PHOTOS)

  • LIKE koalas to eucalyptus leaves, Ballarat schools love excursions to the Ballarat Wildlife Park. And it wouldn’t be a school excursion without being peed on by a koala or having your school laces nibbled by a kangaroo. Run by Greg Parker and his family, the park is home to some of Australia’s popular native animals.
Koalas at the Ballarat Wildlife Park

Koalas at the Ballarat Wildlife Park