If the thought of winter causes you to shiver spontaneously, it’s time to think again. There’s plenty happening this winter to get you off the couch and keep you warm while exploring this great region. Here are seven ideas to get you started.
Dream of a white Christmas
Snow (of the faux variety) and oodles of fairy lights are set to return to Sovereign Hill for its Christmas in July spectacular, Winter Wonderlights. The entire tourist attraction comes alive in what is the largest light projection spectacle ever staged in one site anywhere in Australia. Before the sun goes down, take time to admire the festive window displays, sample some Christmas treats and watch a traditional Christmas-themed pantomime.
Embrace Ballarat’s winter wonder
Ballarat will transform into a winter wonderland this July as part of its annual Winter Festival. The pop-up ice-skating rink is a major highlight of the festival, allowing beginners and pros a change to take to real ice and glide (or stagger) their way around the rink. Winter is also the season to eat your way around the city and indulge in gastronomic delights. Why not check out the Ballarat Potato Festival as well as the inaugural Salumi and Charcuterie Festival, with both events showcasing the region’s best produce.
Enjoy a touch of France in Ballarat
Exhibiting at the Art Gallery of Ballarat, Into Light: 19th and 20th century paintings features art from the Musée de la Chartreuse, a regional art museum in northern France’s Douai. The collection comprises numerous paintings, sculptures, objets d’art and graphic artworks dating from the late middle ages to the current day. Renovations to its former Carthusian monastery building have created a unique opportunity for Ballarat audiences to see the 19th and 20th century gems from this outstanding regional French gallery.
Battle through the school holidays
Ignite your child’s imagination at Kryal Castle during the winter school holidays. Kids will be mesmerised as they watch the spectacular flaming joust on the main arena, with Sir Hector battling the Black Knight in a fiery clash. There’s also a chance to join in a potion-making workshop, learn the ancient art of archery, attend a puppet-making workshop, or test their skills of combat at knight’s training.
Experience a close (and woolly) encounter
A brand new animal enclosure was unveiled at Creswick Woollen Mills earlier this year, accompanied by a renewed animal experience for guests. Creswick’s resident animal expert Farmer Cameron (above) now walks visitors through the new animal enclosure, allowing you to get up close and personal with Creswick’s gorgeous alpacas, sheep and goats and even feed them. Farmer Cameron will be feeding the baby lambs at 9.30am every Sunday to Thursday until July 1. Visitors are invited to watch, and even lend a hand helping to feed.
Become a culture vulture in Beaufort
The town’s biggest drawcard for the year is a cultured affair, a winter celebration of art and books. The Pyrenees Art Exhibition and Sale promotes, encourages and showcases the artistic talent of the region and beyond. Held in conjunction with the Beaufort Art Trax Gallery and Rotary's secondhand book sale, it’s the biggest event hosted by Beaufort, attracting up to 500 visitors every year.
Visit Daylesford for the Words in Winter Festival
The theme of this year’s Words in Winter Festival is “Change and Chance”. The festival brings together some of the best thinkers, writers, poets and musicians throughout the region and beyond and gives participants a chance to warm themselves around the hearth of electrifying ideas and stimulating conversations.
Further information about these events can be found in the winter edition of Out & About magazine, which is out now. Click on the link to read the entire magazine online.