About Me

Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
In 2012 I moved back to my home town of Ballarat in Victoria, Australia. Join me as I re-discover Ballarat, one of Victoria's largest inland cities, famous for the Goldfields. You may be a resident, tourist or new comer to Ballarat. I hope to provide you with useful information about Ballarat as I re-discover my home town. I will also provide information on places which are a short drive from Ballarat. So residents and visitors come and discover Ballarat with me.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ballarat Show - 9th, 10th & 11th November 2012

Location:  Ballarat Showgrounds, Creswick Rd, Wendouree, Ballarat  (on Corner of Howitt Street)

For more info visit:  www.ballaratshow.org.au

Saturday, October 27, 2012

UPDATE - I won a prize at the Baby & Children's Expo. YAY!

Thank-you to the Tulip-Rose Quilt Shoppe for my door prize that I received from the Baby & Children's Expo.  How gorgeous!  I am going to put this one away for my daughter who is now 11months old.

As a thank-you, I offered to help promote Glenda's business through my blog.

You can contact Tulip-Rose Quilt Shoppe via their Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/TulipRose-Quilt-Shoppe/354785348192?ref=ts&fref=ts

or www.tuliprosequiltshoppe.com

Glenda from the Tulip-Rose Quilt Shoppe also organisers 'The Designer Craft Market in Buninyong.  For more info visit the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Designer-Craft-Market-Buninyong/289101954459325?fref=ts

Thanks once again.

A visit to the Baby & Children's Expo (Ballarat)

Today I went to the Baby & Children's Expo in Ballarat which was held at the Ballarat Mining Exchange.  It was great to see many local Ballarat businesses who offer so many products and services for children.  I did some shopping for my daughter Caitlyn and bought her some hair clips, a sleeping bag and wrap.  My son Sean was with me and he had a jump on the Jumping Castle and enjoyed interacting with the various displays.   It was great to spend time there with my friend also, as she has recently had a baby.  We both found useful things there for our children.

The highlight of the visit for Sean and I would have to be visiting The Rookeepers display.  Michael had his pet python out and we both got to have a pat.  Sean was hesitant at first, but got more confident by the end.  The Rookeepers is a mobile zoo that can come to you for a birthday party, school or kindergarten incursion for example.  For more information visit: therookeepers.com.au   The Rookeepers is also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/therookeepers

A visit to the Lakeside Farmers Market

Today the family and I headed over to the Lakeside Farmers Market at Windmill Drive, Lake Wendouree.  This market is held on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month from 9am – 1pm.  We started off by allowing the kids to play on the playground which is right next to the market.  When then took a leisurely stroll through the market, looking at the local produce and listening to the live music being played nearby.  Today there was fruit and vegetables, bread, pet food, sauces, jams, truffles and loose tea, just to name a few of the stall types.  The aroma of coffee from the coffee van was wonderful and there was takeaway food for you to buy. 

My pick of the market was the Handmade Chocolate Truffles.  There are some Gluten Free Truffles available if you require them.  For more information about the truffles, contact Christine & David Hinrichsen on the email: figtreehollow@bigpond.com.  I thoroughly enjoyed a truffle when I arrived at home after a long day, along with my favourite cup of tea.                
(Pictured: Rum & Raisin Chocolate Truffle) 

For more information on the Lakeside Farmers Market visit:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I struck Gold at Sovereign Hill.....

I struck Gold at Sovereign Hill!  Okay I only found a small speck panning for gold.  But it was fun.  I didn’t give up until I saw that sparkle.  A small glisten of gold on the bottom of the pan.  That gold now sits proudly in a little jar.   

It was so fun to dress up with my son, all for a kinder excursion.  We visited many different shops on the Main Street of Sovereign Hill on a quest to do shopping for a Sovereign Hill Character, Grandma Gerty.  We posted a letter at the Post Office and bought smelling salts, soap and a handkerchief among other items for Grandma, who had a sore back and was not feeling well.  

I bought lunch at the cafeteria and the kids ate their home made lunch at the picnic tables.  A highlight of the day was watching the sweets being handmade and then having a taste at the end.
As it was an excursion, we didn’t have the opportunity to visit every part of Sovereign Hill.  However, I highly recommend visiting.  Whether you are a tourist or local resident, it is so fun to step back in time to the Gold rush era and discover the hidden delights that Sovereign Hill has to offer.   

Bring your wallets; there is plenty of shopping to do!  Buy sweets, soap, handmade toys, home wares, jewellery and more.  There is a photography store where you can dress up and have a photo taken.  No smiling, they didn’t do that back then.  There is a bakery which smells delightful whenever you walk past.  Go bowling, take a coach ride or do a gold mine tour.  There is so much to do!

For more information visit:   www.sovereignhill.com.au

Opens at 10am everyday (except Christmas)

Location: Bradshaw Street, Golden Point (Ballarat, Victoria)

PS:  If you dress up as a lady, be prepared to be called ma'am by the gentlemen. 

Pictured above is the main street of Sovereign Hill.  My son is panning for gold.  The horse and carriage ride.  The Sovereign Hill Tower and yes, you guessed it all dressed up as a lady, me! 

Monday, October 22, 2012

It's nice to be home in Ballarat.....

Oh it is so nice to be home in Ballarat after a stay in Melbourne CBD, while a relative has been in hospital there.  One thing I know is that I hate Melbourne traffic!  It reminds me of why I moved to Ballarat back in March (2012).  I love the slower pace of life in Ballarat.  I love the character and heritage that this beautiful city has to offer.  I love all of the activities that you can get up to here.  I love being near family and friends.  Most of all, I love the people.  Everyone is friendly and has time for a chat.   

Whilst back in Melbourne I had to get reacquainted with the Public Transport System.  I was not going to pay astronomical fees for parking at the hospital.  I was not going to struggle with peak hour traffic.  So on the bus we went, back and forth to the hospital.  I even had a tram ride on one occasion.  And we walked!  A much more healthier option.    

We discovered where the best places were to eat out and buy our groceries and we spent time negotiating the corridors of the hospital. As I sat waiting, watching, hoping that everything would be okay in hospital, I often thought of home.  My family,  friends and Ballarat.  How nice it was to see a sign saying ‘Welcome to the Goldfields’.  ‘Welcome to the City of Ballarat’ on the way in on the highway. 

I cannot wait to welcome you home.  Dedicated to your speedy recovery in hospital xo

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ballarat Blue Light Disco - 19th October 12

Calling all Primary School Aged Children...

Thank-you to Karen from Blue Light Disco for sharing this.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Gluten Free Cake at Golden City Hotel (GC's)

Does that picture make you feel hungry or what?  It looks like a photo out of a food magazine.  I took this happy snap while I was on an outing to Golden City Hotel with my friend for a catch up.  Pictured above is a Gluten Free Flourless Orange Cake with an English Breakfast Tea.  It was my dessert following a beautiful Beef with Plum and Oyster Sauce from the wok.  Golden City has an extensive Gluten Free menu which I enjoy.  They even have gluten free pizza bases for their pizza.  So if you are looking for a yummy meal and great evening out, I recommend Golden City Hotel for your next outing.  A favourite with the locals, it is sure to impress, whether you need a gluten free meal or not.

Location:  Golden City Hotel, 427 Sturt Street, Ballarat.

Their menu can be viewed at www.goldencityhotel.com.au

* Always speak to the chef about your individual dietary requirements to make sure the food is suitable for you.

The sun was out today. Summer is coming...

How wonderful it was to feel the warm air and the hot sun on my skin today.  It is a reminder that summer is not far away and I cannot wait!  I love summer in Ballarat.  There is so much to do.  Today, I went for a nice leisurely stroll with my mum and daughter Caitlyn.  Mum pushed the pram containing young Caitlyn and I walked my dog Doogan.  Now that the sun is coming out even more, I have been trying to go on more walks around my neighbourhood or near the Lake Wendouree in my quest for good health.

What do you love about summer?  Where is your favourite place in Ballarat during summer?  Email: discovermyballarat@hotmail.com   I would love to include some of your comments about summer in Ballarat on my blog.  You can remain anonymous if you like or I can write your first name and suburb.  Let me know.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Baby Cygnet's (Swan's) on Display at Lake Wendouree!

Yesterday I was driving along the Sturt Street side of Lake Wendouree and I saw not one, not two, but three groups of baby swans (cygnets) all at different developmental stages. My son Sean was ecstatic to see the cygnets. So I parked the car and slowly ventured over to the first group (shown above), keeping my distance, to take a photo. They were so cute and fluffy. Mum and Dad were very protective and hissed at the other swans to keep their distance (pictured below).

The next group of cygnets were slightly bigger and sitting on the grass right next to the road.  So I parked on the other side and took some more pictures below.


Then, a sight I have never seen before. Large baby swans if you like, that are not black! Can you tell that I am not a bird expert! 

So that was our little swan adventure yesterday.  If you want to see the cygnets, now is the time in Spring. But be warned.  Do not get too close!  The parent swans will hiss and run at you.  They can be quite terrifying when they do that. 

Celebrate the Ballarat Aquatic Centre 18th Birthday - Saturday 13th October 12

The Ballarat Aquatic Centre is celebrating its 18th Birthday.

Featured on this day:
- World Record Attempt Basketball Challenge
- Special Membership Offer
- Free Fun for all the family.  Try gymnastics, free group fitness classes, tours of the centre, outdoor games and activities.
- Sausage Sizzle
- Water activities

Time: 12pm - 5pm

For more information: http://ballarataquatic.ymca.org.au

Location: Prince of Wales Park, Gillies Street North, Ballarat

Ballarat Homexpo Lifestyle and Leisure Roadshow (19 - 21 October 12)

Attention all homeowners, renovators, builders and outdoor enthusiasts. The Homexpo Lifestyle and Leisure Roadshow is visiting Ballarat on the weekend of 19th - 21 October 12. Located at the Wendouree Sports & Events Centre, this expo will feature everything from caravans, campers and camping accessories, boats, 4WD's, decors, home ware, landscaping products and plants, home entertainment equipment, pools and spas, solar green living sustainability solutions, and so much more. Gourmet food and wine from our region will be on display and there are prizes to be given away.

Location: Wendouree Sports & Events Centre, Cnr Norman & Dowling Streets, Wendouree, Ballarat.

Times: Friday 19th (12pm -5pm), Saturday 20th (10am - 5pm) and Sunday 21st (10am - 5pm)

For more information visit: http://www.homeshowexpos.com.au

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A visit to the Visitors Information Centre

Yesterday I took a visit to the Visitors Information Centre in Ballarat. I was greeted by friendly staff members that were more than happy to explain the centre and what it had to offer. Not only can you find a variety of information about Ballarat, but you can also find out more about places to visit in Melbourne and greater Victoria. I came home with a handful of brochures to assist my journey as I 'Discover My Ballarat'. The lady assisting me also gave me a list of places that I can take the kids to which will be useful. They also sell souvenirs and you can obtain maps on Ballarat.  Today I learnt that the Ballarat Visitors Information Centre is not only useful for tourists, but residents as well.  Watch out Ballarat, here I come!

Location:  43 Lydiard Street North Ballarat VIC 3350

Open:        Monday - Sunday, 9am - 5pm

For more information: http://visitballarat.com.au/travel-info/otherstuff/visitor-information/ballarat-visitor-information-centre.aspx

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Soup Bus Ball - Saturday 24th November 12

I found this event on Facebook and it sounds like lot's of fun.  Plus it is for a great cause.
For more information about the Soup Bus, visit: http://soupbus.com.au

Monday, October 8, 2012

New beginnings at Kryal Castle

As a young girl when I lived in Ballarat, I remember stepping back in time to the Medieval era at Kryal Castle.  It was enchanting.  Almost out of a story book you could say.  My biggest memory of all was the stage shows where they used to do mock public hangings. I always wondered how they could actually fake a hanging.  I loved walking over the drawbridge, where the castle was surrounded by a moat.  The medieval torture equipment was eye opening to say the very least.  It was gruesome, but all part of history. 

Over the weekend I told my son about a castle in Ballarat.  We decided to take a drive out to have a peak.  It was very special to see his little eyes light up with excitement.  It was like he was living a little boys dream to see a real castle.   “Can I go in?” No I replied.  “How many sleeps until it opens?” Sean’s understanding of time is always worked out by how many sleeps he has until a particular event.

Kryal Castle’s website states that this tourist attraction will be re-launched in late 2012/early 2013 after a multimillion dollar facelift.   Interactive displays and exhibits, children’s activities and arena shows including jousting tournaments will all be part of the attraction.  There will even be a village market to do some shopping.

A media release from Kryal Castle (27 August 2012) states that the castle will be ‘A land of myth, magic and medieval adventure’ based around myths, legends, wizards, enchantment, chivalry and dragons’.  The ‘Tyrants Tavern’ will reopen at the Castle in the coming weeks; 'catering for weddings, functions, end of year parties and conferences.  The Knights Round Table Chamber function space will be ready shortly after’.

For all of the latest information about Kryal Castle, join the ‘Castle Club’ by using this link http://kryalcastle.com.au/about/new-beginning-for-kryal/

I for one know that there are two people in this household who are very excited about the re-launch.  Sean, my 5 year old son, and of course yours truly. 

Kryal Castle's website:  www.kryalcastle.com.au

Location: 121 Forbes Road, Leigh Creek 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Ballarat Beer Festival - Saturday 19th January 13

Are you into Beer?  Check out the Ballarat Beer Festival on Saturday 19th January 2013 at the City Oval in Sturt Street, Ballarat.  This event will showcase over 150 boutique beers and ciders, gourmet food, wine and entertainment.  Can you bring the kids I hear you ask?  Yes indeed.  There will be face painting, jumping castles and entertainment for the kiddies in the kid’s zone.

You have to book your tickets in advance - www.ticketek.com.au
By Phone: 132 849 or buy them from the Ballarat City Newsagency at 33 Armstrong Street North.

More information can be found on the website:  http://www.ballaratbeerfestival.com.au

Enjoy Beer Lovers!