Ballarat Begonia Festival 2018: transport, activities, stalls, parade, entertainment, things to do

Leo Vamvalis is putting the finishing touches on his life size sand sculpture and event organisers are busy finalising the set up for Ballarat’s biggest garden festival. 

The Begonia Festival is set to draw thousands to the Ballarat Botanical Gardens over the Labor Day long weekend, as forecast sunny weather will highlight the gardens at their best. 

Here’s all you need to know for a fun day out at the Ballarat Begonia Festival. 


Free festival car parking is available at Victoria Park with access via Gilles Street. Visitors parking at Victoria Park will be asked to make a donation to the Ballarat SES who are managing the carpark over the weekend. 

A free shuttle bus will run from the Victoria Park car park to the Begonia Festival and return throughout the weekend from 9.30am to 5.30pm. 

Sand sculptor Leo Vamvalis and mayor Samantha McIntosh. Picture: Rochelle Kirkham

Sand sculptor Leo Vamvalis and mayor Samantha McIntosh. Picture: Rochelle Kirkham

A free shuttle bus service will also run from the Wendouree Train station to the Begonia Festival. Drop off and pick up location at the festival on Saturday and Sunday is directly outside Pipers Restaurant on Wendouree Parade. Drop off and pick up location at the festival on Monday is the Gillies Street bus stop directly outside the conservatory. 

Free vintage tram rides will be available throughout the weekend along 1.3km of the original track beside the Botanical Gardens on the west side of Lake Wendouree. 

An accessible drop off zone will be located located along Wendouree Parade at Nursery Drive (north gardens) on Saturday and Sunday. The accessible drop off zone will move to Gillies Street on Monday due to the Begonia Parade.


Map: City of Ballarat.

Map: City of Ballarat.


The festival’s namesake begonia display

The display of Ballarat’s extensive begonia collection grown by City of Ballarat’s dedicated gardens is on show inside the Robert Clark Conservatory. A sight of colour not to be missed!

The New Joneses 

The New Jonees tiny house will showcase the easy, everyday choices everyone can make for a healthier, happier planet. 

You can find the tiny house and Tesla car on the main lawn. 


The Ballarat Woodworkers Guild will be making small wooden gifts on the spot for young visitors at their marquee near the entrance. 

Garden and creative designers market 

Garden market stallholders will help you plan your garden with a large variety of plants for sale. 

Plants can be left at the Plant Creche while you continue exploring the market. 

All funds raised will go to the Friends of the Botanical Gardens which is used for Botanical Gardens projects. 

Floral art

The Ballarat Floral Art Group will showcase their talents with a range of floral displays. There will also be floristry demonstrations throughout the weekend at the Stems Flower Market. 


Daily program on the main lawn.

Daily program on the main lawn.

Entertainment throughout the day


10:00 am Michael Meeking & The Lost Souls (International Stage), Kieran Tobin (Market Stage)

10:30am Zeebz vs Miss Vitula (Potters Stage), Kailee O’Beirne (Beaumont Stage)

11:00am Michael Meeking & The Lost Souls (International Stage)

11:30am Kieran Tobin (Market Stage)

12:00pm Zeebz vs Miss Vitula (Potters Stage), Kailee O’Beirne (Beaumont Stage)

12:45pm Kermit’s Revenge (International Stage)

1:00pm Rhiannon Simpson (Market Stage)

1:30pm David Anderson (Potters Stage), Retro Revival (Beaumont Stage)

2:00pm Kermit’s Revenge (International Stage)

2:30pm David Anderson (Potters Stage), Tommy McEwan (Market Stage)

2:45pm Retro Revival (Beaumont Stage)

3:15pm The Dizzies (International Stage)

3:30pm David Anderson (Potters Stage)

4:00pm Tommy McEwan (Market Stage), Retro Revival (Beaumont Stage)

4:15pm The Dizzies (International Stage)


10:00 am Anna Oliphant Wright (International Stage), Kieran Tobin (Market Stage)

10:30am Kailee O’Beirne (Potters Stage), Tommy McEwan (Beaumont Stage)

11:30am Peggy Hills (International Stage), Untapped Duo (Market Stage)

12:00pm Kailee O’Beirne (Potters Stage), Tommy McEwan (Beaumont Stage)

12:45pm Butterfunked (International Stage)

1:00pm Untapped Duo (Market Stage)

1:30pm Rob Baron (Potters Stage), Rhiannon Simpson (Beaumont Stage)

2:15pm Meraki Minds (International Stage)

2:30pm Rob Baron (Potters Stage), The 5 O’Clock Shadows (Market Stage)

2:45pm Rhiannon Simpson (Beaumont Stage)

3:15pm Harri Dale (International Stage)

3:30pm Rob Baron (Potters Stage)

4:00pm The 5 O’Clock Shadows (Market Stage), Rhiannon Simpson (Beaumont Stage)

4:15pm Harri Dale (International Stage)


11:30am Matt Bradshaw (Market Stage), Ash Egan (Beaumont Stage)

12:00pm D&A (Potters Stage)

12:30pm Motor City Sounds (International Stage), Untapped Duo (Market Stage)

1:00pm Matt Bradshaw (Market Stage), Ash Egan (Beaumont Stage)

1:30pm D&A (Potters Stage)

2:00pm Feet (International Stage)

2:30pm Untapped Duo (Potters Stage), Rosie Conforto (Market Stage), Glee Plus (Beaumont Stage)

3:15pm Matt Bradshaw (International Stage)

3:30pm Untapped Duo (Potters Stage)

4:00pm Rosie Conforto (Market Stage), Well Strung (Beaumont Stage)

4:15pm Matt Bradshaw (International Stage), Untapped Duo (Potters Stage)

DirtGirl. Picture: Lachlan Bence

DirtGirl. Picture: Lachlan Bence


12:00pm Dirt Girl & Costa (International Stage)


10:00am till 5:00pm Chris Morant (ROVING PERFORMER)

12:00pm & 2:00pm Saltbush Demo (Market Stage)

12:30pm & 3:30pm Stems Demo (Market Stage)

1:00pm & 3:00pm Bunnings Demo (Market Stage)


A wide range of food and drink will be available throughout the gardens. 

Ballarat’s brewers and distillers will offer a break from the festivities at the beer garden. 

The Mitchell Harris Wine Garden will be set up at the lawn behind the Robert Clark Centre. 


Budding gardeners tent

Mollie Arnts, 3. BotaniKIDS. Picture: Rochelle Kirkham

Mollie Arnts, 3. BotaniKIDS. Picture: Rochelle Kirkham

BotaniKIDS will help families create their own herb pail with a variety of herbs to take home. 

Super sandpit

An enclosed and safe giant sand pit will be set up for kids to play. 

Story time will be held at the super sandpit at 3pm daily. 

Change and feeding facilities run by City of Ballarat family and children’s services staff will also be set up next to the super sandpit. 


The Begonia Parade will begin at 11am on Monday along Wendouree Parade, between the Tramway Museum and North Gardens.