Ballarat is set to become a hive of activity and festivities, thanks to the fabulous line-up of summer events in the city and surrounding region. From an impressive array of music festivals, to a wide range of sporting competitions and tourist attractions, here are eight ideas to get you started.
Lavender Harvest Festival
Lavandula’s hugely popular event is on January 13 this summer, and includes a host of activities to enjoy. Visitors to the Shepherds Flat attraction can immerse themselves in the lavender harvesting process, and there will be free buggy rides, a walking talk and tour about honey, artisan stalls, tours of the original Swiss Italian farmhouse, and acres of gardens to explore.
On the first three Sundays in January, the beautiful Ballarat Botanical Gardens will be transformed into a live music venue, for the City of Ballarat’s Summer Sundays. Bring your family and friends, a picnic rug and listen to some fabulous live music, while tucking into delicious nosh and beverages, supplied by a variety of local specialty food vendors.
Ballarat Beer Festival
THE Ballarat Beer Festival will pull out all the stops this summer, featuring an even bigger showcase of the region’s food, wine and beer. Voted as Australia’s most popular regional craft beer festival for the second year in a row, the one-day event on January 19 will showcase more than 40 craft beer and cider brewers offering over 200 brews, plus award winning regional wines.
Ballarat Beat @ The Laneways Re Jived
A much-loved favourite will be treated to a shake up this summer, when Ballarat Beat @ The Laneways Re Jived comes to town. The event is a take on the Ballarat Beat Rockabilly Festival, but with a twist. Gone is the beat on Lydiard Street, with the music, trade stalls and cars all relocated to the lanes and spaces in and around The George Hotel and Hop Temple from February 8-10.
Exhibiting throughout summer at the Art Gallery of Ballarat is Strange Garden, featuring the works of Eliza-Jane Gilchrist. The Castlemaine-based artist creates sculptural installations out of cardboard, drawing inspiration from shapes and patterns found in nature, such as seed pods, bones and shells.
Australian Jazz Convention
A week long celebration of jazz hits Ballarat from Boxing Day to New Years Eve. Expect to see musicians and jazz enthusiasts cramming parks, pubs and venues in a series of scheduled performances.
A season of sport
Each summer Ballarat is synonymous with great competitions in rowing and cycling, fun events for both participants and spectators. Lake Wendouree is host to a number of regattas, including the spirited BAS Head of the Lake on February 24. Meantime, the FedUni Road National Championships begins on January 4 and sees Australia’s top cyclists compete for the coveted green and gold national champions jerseys.
Take a road trip to Halls Gap Zoo
Halls Gap Zoo is home to 160 species of native and exotic mammals, reptiles and birds, plus Kifaru, a nine-year-old Southern white rhinoceros bull. He arrived on October 25 from the National Zoo in Canberra and has settled into Grampians life wonderfully. In April he will be joined by Tino, a three-year-old bull from New Zealand.
Further information about these events can be found in the summer edition of The Courier’s Out and About magazine, which is out now. Click on the link to read all the stories online.