Family picnics by Lake Wendouree, the kids feeding the ducks lured by the smell of your hot chips. Bike rides out along the Great Dividing trail. Strolling through the botanical gardens admiring the native flora that has just come into bloom. Watching the sun glow red as it falls. Sitting on the edge of Lake Wendouree anticipating a tug on the end of your line.
Summer in Ballarat is jam-packed with little events as locals and visitors to the region make the most of fine weather and busy social calendar.
Whether you live in Ballarat or you’re just visiting, you no longer have to think about what to do while the sun is out with the help of our Summer Calendar of Events.
Ballarat Sebastopol Cycling Club – MTB Dirt Crits
When: Tuesdays 5.30pm
Where: Mt Clear College just off Recreation Road
As the sun is out for longer, the Ballarat Sebastopol Cycling Club holds its regular Dirt Crits in the edge of the Canadian Forest throughout summer. Juniors start racing at 5.30pm, followed by seniors, separated into four grades - A, B, C and novice. Non-club members need to be registered and it’s a five dollar entry.
City of Ballarat – Xmas Ferris Wheel Launch
When: 5 Dec 2015
Where: Camp Street
With only a few weeks to go until everyone’s favourite time of year, Camp Street heralds the beginning of the festive season, with a free event for the whole family.
The launch of the Xmas Ferris Wheel in 2014 was a huge success with over 15,500 people getting a free ride while live bands played below. Those 15,500 people then stepped off to hop from stall to stall sampling regional cuisines, all the while being entertained by roaming performers and street artists.
Ballarat Sebastopol Cycling Club – Road Crits
When: Wednesdays 5:45pm
Where: Victoria Park
Victoria Park has been home to the Sebastopol Cycling Club Road Crits for years now and regularly attracts riders of all abilities – not to mention a few NRS riders to compete in the A grade division. D Grade kicks things off at 5:45pm; a good introduction for anyone looking at getting into road racing, closely followed by C, B, and A grade. BSCC are an awesome club to get involved with, you’re sure to feel welcome, so get down to Vic Park and get involved!
IRONMAN 70.3 Ballarat
When: 13 Dec 2015
Where: Lake Wendouree
The typically calm waters of Lake Wendouree will erupt on December 13 as Ironman athletes from all over crash into the first leg of the Ballarat 70.3 Ironman Endurance Race. Women and men will swim 1.9km, changing over quickly for a 90km bike ride through the undulating surrounds of Ballarat before finishing with a 21.1km run around Lake Wendouree.
Australian Jazz Convention
When: 26-31 Dec 2015
Where: Various Locations
For one week in December, the 70th Australian Jazz Convention is coming to Ballarat to fill the city with complex harmonies of horn, keys and high hats. The Australian Jazz Convention will transform public spaces and private venues into whirling jam sessions between some of Australia’s top jazz musicians.
On New Year’s Eve, the Australian Jazz Convention Executive Task Force will hold a special gala dinner celebrating 70 years of Jazz music appreciation in Australia. Get your tickets early!
Family Fireworks Display at Kryal Castle
When: 31 Dec 2015
Where: Kryal Castle
Celebrate the coming of the New Year by taking a step back to a bygone age. Kryal Castle is Australia’s one and only medieval adventure park and resort. On New Year’s Eve, watch as the skies are illuminated in the tradition of medieval feasts of old.
Before the fireworks display watch jousting tournaments, sword and archery battles, and attend the royal banquet before crashing in a four poster bed fit for a conqueror with a full belly.
Note: Fireworks display is subject to approval from CFA following bushfire risk assessment at the time of the event.
When: 6-10 Jan 2016
Where: Ballarat CBD and Buninyong
For five days Ballarat is home to the best of the best in Australian Cycling. Australia’s elite cyclists will battle it out to be crowned National Champion and earn the right to sport the green and gold stripes for the rest of 2016.
The Cycling Australia Road National Championships draws riders and fans of cycling to Ballarat from across Australia. With racing centred in the beautiful wooded surrounds of Buninyong just south of the CBD, it’s clear that Ballarat is perfectly suited to an event like the Nationals. You can head out for a morning ride through the rolling hills of the region before catching the race.
Summer Sundays at the Botanical Gardens
When: 10, 17, 24, 31 Jan 2016
Where: Botanical Gardens
This is one event that you are going to find yourself at weekend after weekend during the month of January. On the Western shores of Lake Wendouree, the Botanical Gardens are the perfect spot for a picnic while you enjoy the sun and sound of live music surrounded by indigenous flora and beautifully crafted garden landscapes. Food stalls showcase regional dishes at their best, so grab a spot beneath one of the towering native trees and chow down. But don’t forget your sunscreen.
Ballarat Beer Festival
When: 16 Jan 2016
Where: City Oval
With the likes of Red Duck showcasing the best of Ballarat’s beers, the annual Ballarat Beer Festival is your chance to sample some of the best boutique brews in the country right in the heart of the city.
It wouldn’t be a beer festival without tunes and great food. Local eateries and musicians round out the festivities as you stroll the streets and chat with the brewers who are more than happy to explain their unique creations while you taste, one or two, or more.
Wendouree – Ballarat Rowing Regatta
When: 6-7 Feb 2016
Where: Lake Wendouree
Head down to Lake Wendouree to see some of the best rowers in the region race each other for glory in the annual Wendouree Ballarat Rowing Club Regatta. Events cover all age groups and abilities with the school’s categories regularly encouraging the crowd to lose its mind in support of their team.
Ballarat Beat Rockabilly Festival
When: 11-14 Feb 2016
Where: Camp Street, Mining Exchange, Bended Elbow, Craig's Hotel
Get your patent leather shoes out and set that quiff high, the Ballarat Beat Rockabilly Festival brings the music, fashion, food, and culture of the fifties to Ballarat in full-swing. With UK rockabilly legends ‘The Kingcats’, and ‘CC Jerome’ making the long journey from the Netherlands, it’s set to be four days of rock n’ roll fuelled entertainment.
Ballarat Cycle Classic
When: 21 Feb 2016
Where: Various cycling spots
A cycling event for everyone, the Ballarat Cycling Classic offers you a chance to ride in a range of cycling categories that share one goal: to raise funds for The Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute.
Whether you ride road or mountain, you are a newbie or an experienced competitor, there is an event in which you can take part. Road rides are separated into distances of 50, 60, 85, and 100 km while MTB routes will follow 28, 33, 40 and 50 km courses. Get set for a great day on the bike in support of a great cause.
Where: 27-28 Feb 2016
When: Ballarat Turf Club
It’s a war zone like you’ve never seen before. Bright colours and foam fly across the field as competitors slip and slide through slick mud in the challenge that is Miss Muddy.
At the end of Feb, Ballarat sees women from all around the region get together to challenge themselves across 5 km of obstacles covered in mud. Foam will be fired — colour will collide with faces — but it’s all for a laugh and it’s also just a great opportunity for women to support one another in an event designed to test their mettle in a safe, non-threatening environment.