Ballarat is a big country city just an hour away from Melbourne. It is a great city to visit to explore the history of Victoria's gold rush and to see why the population boomed and it became the big country city that it is today. Most of Ballarat's attractions are related to the gold rush -- Sovereign Hill is the one thing you must not miss (its also the reason most people visit Ballarat). Sovereign Hill is a recreated gold-rush town, complete with costumed gun fights, gold mines, and even the opportunity to pan for your own gold in Sovereign Hill creek. It's also your opportunity to dress up in gold rush fancy dress. If you enjoy Sovereign Hill and want to find out more about the history then take a trip to the Eureka Stockade Museum. Or you can just take a walk around the town, as many of the buildings still exist from the 1850s gold rush. If history is not your scene, there are still lots of shopping opportunities or head out to one of the surrounding national parks.
You can easily get to Ballarat by bus, train, or car, so there is no excuse for missing out on the fun. And as the town is so big, there is no problem with finding everything you need here. There are a few options for hostels in Ballarat. Some are located in the downtown area, but if you want a bit of quiet, there are options that are a bit more rural.
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