You might be missing out on something, a tucked away gem, a road less travelled – I know I was!
As a Queenslander, when traveling to Victoria I never thought to venture far from Melbourne. I stayed near the city, and never thought much about what lay beyond its bounds. When recently I took a few days off to recharge my batteries, not just rest – but that true recharge of my creative side, the side that sees wonder and appreciates life with gratitude, I decided to head to Victoria… and do something a little different, take a drive through to Ballarat.
I was not disappointed.
Country Victoria, quite literally, took my breath away. At every turn of the road I was amazed at the ever changing scenery, the country side moving effortlessly from the lush ‘British countryside’ feel of sheep farms and wineries, to the tall majestic grey gums I love.
My camera and sketch book at hand, I stopped and snapped these pictures in the still, early morning – such a special start on my journey to refresh.
Arriving in Ballarat the regal beauty of the town surprised me. This little pocket of buildings, hotels and theatre’s provides such an interesting mix of architecture and artistry you can’t help but admire the craftsmanship of the ornate stain-glass windows and building facades.
Staying in the unique, historical WorldMark Resort Ballarat was my icing. Built in 1878, WorldMark Resort Ballarat was originally ‘Blythwood Grange’, a school for boys, with extensive gardens a five-acre lake and an onsite chapel, the school operated for over 70 years. Now a historically listed building the resort estate and all its acres of landscaped grounds, orchards, gardens and lake are open for guests to walk, ride or even to set up an easel and paint.
The buildings and gardens of WorldMark Ballarat are simply stunning. With the onsite gym overlooking the rose gardens, indoor heated spa located in the historic wheel house, outdoor play areas for children, not to mention the spacious rooms in the main building – there are so many features to keep your mind firing and your eyes opened wide.
… not to mention the gardens and the flowers to keep any avid photographer, painter or artist in training enthralled for hours.
Ballarat and the surrounds has heaps of places to explore and people to meet too. Re-enact life as it was during the gold rush at Sovereign Hill, stroll through the botanical gardens (and rather…imposing outdoor hallway of monuments to Prime Ministers past) or “meet” Ballarat’s ‘larrikin’ politician Sir Henry Bolte (we really hit it off)…
So don’t miss out.
If you’re thinking of taking a trip, and want something just a little more unique and just a little more inspiring – I thoroughly recommend Ballarat, Victoria for an experience so special you’ll never forget.
Go on, your inner child will thank you!