Time to start planning your next weekend getaway.
Ballarat has put itself firmly on the road trip map, thanks to a new generation of winemakers, beer lovers, superstar chefs and art fans that are beefing up the city’s offering beyond old gold country over the last couple of years.
As if we needed any more proof, the regional town has now taken out Gold in the Victorian Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) 2021 Victorian Top Tourism Town Awards this month. That’s right, Ballarat has been named the state’s BEST tourism destination.
The key takeaways
- Ballarat was named the inaugural winner of Victoria’s Top Tourism Town Award
- Port Fairy took out the Top Small Tourism Town Award
- Ballarat will now represent Victoria in the National Top Tourism Town Awards in Canberra on 2 September.
A VTIC initiative, the inaugural awards recognise towns that deliver amazing visitor experiences and are committed to growing visitation to their destination. The awards are decided through both a judging panel and a public online vote and are a strong indication of Ballarat’s ongoing development as a fantastic tourism destination for the rest of Victoria.
Joining Ballarat on the podium was Lakes Entrance with Silver and Bendigo which was awarded Bronze. Alongside the top award, there was also a ‘Small Town’ category where Port Fairy took out Victoria’s best, with Timboon being awarded Silver and Apollo Bay awarded Bronze.
As the winning town, Ballarat will now represent Victoria in the National Top Tourism Town Awards in Canberra on 2 September.
“Of course that’s no secret to us, and we are so thankful and grateful for our community and visitors getting behind this accolade,” Mayor Cr Daniel Moloney said.
“Tourism has been heavily affected by the pandemic but we know Ballarat is held in the highest possible regard, not only from the tourism professionals that judged this award but by the community here in Ballarat and visitors who have rated their experience in the highest possible way.
“We thank our biggest contributors, the businesses and operators who contribute to making Ballarat Victoria’s top tourism town. We also thank the VTIC for making this award possible.
“We would also like to acknowledge the invaluable support of Ballarat Regional Tourism, Committee for Ballarat and Commerce Ballarat in making this win possible through their strong support of tourism in this region.”
Unbeknown to most, Ballarat is home to some of Australia’s best restaurants, cafes and bars like Aunty Jacks, Hop Temple, Underbar, and Roy Hammond, access to a slew of beautiful art – especially with The Ballarat International Foto Biennale, famed events like Sovereign Hill’s Winter Wonderlights, Lake Wendouree AKA one of the most scenic suburban walking tracks in Victoria, plus so much more.
Whether you’ve never been, visited recently, or haven’t made the journey in a while, there’s always plenty of new experiences and activities to revel in.
For all your weekend guides and recommendation in Ballarat, head here.