Article by Della Vreeland – Visit Ballarat
Image: Sovereign Hill Winter Wonderlights – photographer Tony Evans
EMBRACE BALLARAT’S WINTER WONDER
Ballarat is set to transform into a hub of winter wonder this July as part of the annual Ballarat Winter Festival. With wondrous offerings to warm your heart, mind, soul and belly, here are some of the top things to see and do during the month-long event.
VISIT THE WINTER WONDERLIGHTS
July is one of the best times to visit Sovereign Hill and rediscover the reasons why this outdoor museum is one of Australia’s most loved attractions. The Christmas in July: Winter Wonderlights will delight young and old alike, with a series of yuletide-themed activities as well as the iconic Winter Wonderlights display. Think (faux) snow, Christmas treats, mystical light projections and warming hot chocolates!
TAKE TO REAL ICE
The pop-up ice-skating rink is another major highlight of the winter festival. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, the ice-skating will immerse you in the reality of the wintertime as you take to real ice and glide (or stagger) your way around the rink.
EXPLORE THE ART GALLERY
The Art Gallery of Ballarat is one of Ballarat’s most treasured attractions, and if you haven’t visited in a while, then winter is the time. The gallery will be hosting the French exhibition Into Light giving audiences the exclusive chance to view some outstanding 19th- and 20th-century impressionist artworks from the Musée de la Chartreuse. Featuring pieces reflecting the romantic seascapes and tranquil landscapes of northern France through to paintings celebrating pure light, colour and the lives of ordinary people, this show will have you yearning for a Parisian life of calm, culture and delight.
EAT AND DRINK AROUND THE TOWN
Use the winter holiday period to eat your way around the town and indulge in the gastronomic delights that await. The winter festival will also see the return of the Ballarat Potato Festival and The Red Series wine festival, as well as the inaugural Salumi and Charcuterie Festival, with all three events held at the Mining Exchange and showcasing the best produce and freshest ingredients of the region!
The attractions of the region are all set to present special winter offerings during the festival season. Admire the meerkats in their brand new enclosure at the Ballarat Wildlife Park, cheer on your favourite knight during one of Kryal Castle’s fiery jousting clashes, embrace the wintry skies and stars at the Ballarat Observatory, or enter a frozen wonderland at Maze House.
Get the biggest bang out of your buck with the Ballarat Winter Festival’s special deals. Many accommodation providers, restaurants, retailers and attractions will have exclusive specials during July, so head to the winter festival website to find out all the details.
For all the information, visit http://ballaratwinterfestival.com.au