About Ballarat

Region Snapshot

Ballarat was established in 1838, it lies at the foothills of the Great Dividing Range in Central Western Victoria, (which is also known as the Central Highlands).

In terms of population, Ballarat is classed as the third largest inland city in Australia.

In 2016, the population of Ballarat was sitting at 101,588.

The region’s population is around 170,000 and this number is expected to increase by 54,000 to 223,500 by 2031.

Ballarat is 110 km (68 mi) NW of Melbourne, 82 km (51 mi) NW of Geelong and 95 km (59 mi) SW of Bendigo.

Size (km2)

History of Ballarat

Gold was discovered on the 18th of August in 1851.

Many flocked to Ballarat to try their luck at finding gold during the Victorian Gold Rush, transforming Ballarat from a small sheep station to a major settlement.

The huge influx of immigrants included people from Ireland and China.

Ballarat was then nicknamed “The Golden City” in the 1850s and it was proclaimed a city in 1871.

Ballarat is also famous for the Eureka Rebellion (also called the Eureka Stockade), which is the only armed rebellion in Australian history.

The Eureka Rebellion took place in Ballarat on the 3rd of December in 1854, and during this time, 22 miners were killed.

The Eureka Flag was the symbol of the rebellion, and you can see it at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka here in Ballarat.

Ballarat Culture and Lifestyle

Ballarat has a thriving arts, tourism and cultural scene. The city is strongly influenced by its gold rush history, which sets it apart from other regional cities. The Art Gallery of Ballarat, established in 1884, is Australia’s oldest and largest regional gallery, with a comprehensive collection of Australian art.

Ballarat has a diverse offering of entertainment including, local theatrical performances, music at local bars and pubs, larger international acts, and performances at iconic venues like Her Majesty’s Theatre. The city hosts various festivals throughout the year, including the Rockabilly Festival, Begonia Festival and Heritage Weekend. Ballarat also hosts a Chinese Mooncake Food Festival.

Ballarat Industry & Economy

From the late 1860s to the early 20th century, Ballarat made a successful transition from a gold rush town to an industrial-age city.

It is the commercial capital of the Central Highlands and its largest city, as well a significant tourist destination

In 1956, Ballarat hosted the rowing and kayaking events from the Summer Olympics, and now attracts around 2.2 million visitors a year, with many tourists visiting Sovereign Hill, which opened in 1970, and the longest running lyric theatre building, Her Majesty’s Theatre, which was established 1875.

Other attractions include the official Prime Ministers Avenue, the Avenue of Honour, Kryal Castle, the Eureka Centre, The Gold Museum, Ballarat Botanical gardens, Lake Wendouree, the Museum of Australian Democracy the Ballarat Tramway Museum, Ballarat Ghost Tours and Ballarat Wildlife Park.

The Ballarat region has a rapidly growing renewable energy industry, with the largest wind farm being Waubra Wind Farm. It is capable of producing enough electricity to power a city 3 to 4 times the size of Ballarat.

Other wind farms around the region include Mount Mercer, Chepstowe, the Hepburn Wind Project at Leonards Hill, Stockyard Hill Wind Farm, Moorabool Wind Project at Mount Egerton and Ballan and the Lal Lal Wind Farm.

Ballarat is Victoria’s fastest growing regional city, whether it’s in health, education, retail, tourism, construction, freight, logistics, mining technology or food processing, now is the time to ‘discover the city built by Gold’.

Looking for a job in Ballarat?

Browse job listings now and find your next job!