Experiences & Exhibitions

Cobb & Co Horse & Carriage Rides

Join Cobb and Co Carriages and enjoy a short ride around the CBD with your family and friends, enjoying the streetscape and architecture that makes Ballarat such an incredibly beautiful city. Let your mind wander back to the days when the streets were once filled with the sounds of clip clopping hooves. New in 2019, see Ballarat’s CBD under the cover of darkness as the horse & carriage rides operate into the evening to provide a unique experience like never before. 

When: Saturday 25 May & Sunday 26 May 

Where: Leaving from the front of the Town Hall, Sturt St 

Times: 10.00am – 5.00pm and then 6.30pm – 9.30pm 

Cost: $8 per person 

Steam Trains

Listen to the whistle of the steam engine, enjoy the click clack of the wheels on the tracks and see Ballarat and the surrounding region from a different point of view. Enjoy a 45minute round journey from Ballarat Railway Station behind a vintage steam locomotive. The iconic Ballarat Y112 looks to celebrate its 130 years of service later in the year and what better way to start than with Ballarat Heritage Weekend! The Red K Class K190 will also be on hand to provide a fantastic and unique experience.  Book online to avoid the queues. 

When: Saturday 25 May & Sunday 26 May 

Where: Ballarat Train Station, Lydiard Street 

Times: 9.25am, 10.45am, 12.45pm, 2.05pm & 3.45pm daily 

Cost: Adult $25, Under 17 $10, Under 3 Free, Family A (2 Adults, 2 Children) $60, Family B (1 adult & 4 children) $60 

Book: https://www.trybooking.com/BAYJP or www.steamrail.com.au 

Wonderful Things Exhibition

Sovereign Hill’s Gold Museum is celebrating 40 years with an exhibition featuring the strange, eclectic and wonderful things amassed over the last four decades. With an eclectic collection ranging from gold, fashion and taxidermy, to art and pharmaceuticals. Explore the stories and hidden collections during a special floor talk of Wonderful Things with our curator, followed by an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of our collection store featuring rarely seen objects. Suitable for ages 15+, limited numbers.

When: Saturday 25 May

Where: Gold Museum, Bradshaw Street (opposite Sovereign Hill)

Time: 3pm

Cost: $15 + booking fee

Book: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/wonderful-things-ballarat-heritage-weekend-tickets-58770782994

Ballaarat Mechanics' Institute Exhibition

In their library spaces, the Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute will host special displays featuring the BMI collection of photographs, books and archives. It will be the first time that our oldest book,  The Holy Bible, dated 1585,  has been on show. It will joined by our next oldest book Britannia, dated 1586. Other very special editions such as A Voyage to Terra Australis 1814, The three voyages of Captain Cook around the World 1821  and the Eureka Stockade by Carboni 1855. We will also have for sale a large quantity of elaborately bound and boxed Folio Society books as well as beautifully bound volumes of Parliamentary Papers all of which would enhance your book shelf or office. Lorayne Branch will be in the Heritage Reading Room to chat about Ballarat inventor Henry Sutton.

When: Saturday 25 May & Sunday 26 May

Where: Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute, 117 Sturt Street

Time: 10am to 4pm. (Talks at 11am and 2pm)

Cost: Gold Coin Donation

Gnarrwirring Ngitj Lecture

Held in Sovereign Hill’s Victoria Theater, this free community event marks National Sorry Day by featuring a talk from a local person working on Aboriginal history. Come along to learn about Ballarat’s fascinating Aboriginal story from experts and take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions.

When: Sunday 26 May

Where: Sovereign Hill, Bradshaw Street

Time: 5.30pm – 7.00pm

Cost: Free (but must book to reserve your place)

Book: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/gnarrwirring-ngitj-lecture-2019-tickets-61281254883


Scribe is a live writing process creating a democratic document of the live event. It is designed and led by Australian artist Leisa Shelton / FRAGMENT31 and a collective of artists assembled in each city and site is invited to attend. Scribes actively enable the reflections we don’t take the time or feel we have the time to make on the work we experience. Our task is to open and hold this space for each individual. On this occasion, Scribes will be in attendance in public spaces around this years Ballarat Heritage Weekend and ask the question “What Heritage will we leave for the future”.

When: Saturday 25 May & Sunday 26 May

Where: Various locations within the Ballarat Heritage Weekend footprint

Time: 10am to 5pm.

Join in this fantastic experience to share your story and shape the engagement!

Heritage Weekend at the Ballarat Library

Engage with the history of Ballarat through events at the Ballarat Library. Reminisce through a Words on Wheels session, discover the concept of ‘Living Books’ and learn about the history of Freemasonry in Ballarat. Libraries of the Past will also be on display during the weekend, and while you’re here, have your photo taken in the photobooth.

When: Saturday 25 May & Sunday 26 May

Where: Ballarat Library, 178 Doveton Street

Time: 10am – 5pm (Displays at the Ballarat Library)

Saturday 25 May: Freemasons of Ballarat 1-2pm, Living Books 2-4pm.

Sunday 26 May: Words on Wheels 2pm 

Cost: Free

Ballarat Foto Walks

The Ballarat International Foto Biennale is excited to announce ‘Ballarat Foto Walks’ in collaboration with Ballarat Heritage Weekend. Guided by local photographer David Bailey, participants of all ages, abilities and levels of experience will learn the art of architecture photography. David has an in depth knowledge of the architectural delights this wonderful city offers and will give eager participants insights into successfully photographing his most cherished sites. Participants need to bring a camera and / or iPhone. Please dress for the weather and wear comfy shoes for walking.

When: Saturday 25 May & Sunday 26 May, 2019

Where: Meeting at National Centre For Photography, 4 Lydiard St South

Time: 4.30pm – 5.30pm (Saturday) & 7am – 8am (Sunday)

Cost: $40 per person

Book: ballaratfoto.org/events/ballarat-foto-walk

You won’t want to miss out on this unique and fantastic experience!

Adjacent photo credit: David Bailey Photography

Sacred Sites, Sacred Meetings - Forum

This forum takes on the issue of how sacred sites in Victoria have fared since the time of white settlement – whether they have been desecrated or revered, ignored or protected. How do we balance keeping sites secret and keeping them protected? What does it mean to build new myths around traditional sites, as Joan Lindsay did in Picnic at Hanging Rock?

When: Saturday 25 May

Where: Art Gallery of Ballarat, Lydiard Street

Time: 2pm – 3pm

Cost: Free

Playing the Ghost: A guided tour of Hoaxers & Guisers of the Goldfielders

Come with us to explore Ballarat’s rich heritage of ghostly rituals, beliefs and hoaxes through the winding alleys of Camp and Lydiard St this Heritage Weekend.  Guisers who created spectres to scare away ill fortune and evil spirits, the wassailing rituals to protect against misfortune and the hoaxers who challenged the authority of the scientific anti-superstitious crusade by ‘playing the ghost’ in elaborate hoaxes.  Also see the steps taken by 19th century police, clergy and vigilantes to stamp out what was known as the “ghost nuisance”. Featuring Fauvel the Australian Mari Lwyd, a traditional spectral ‘Grey Mare’, come on a guided theatrical tour of activations and Victorian artworks through Camp and Lydiard Street to revisit Ballarat’s subversive and spectral past.

When: Saturday 25 May, 2019

Where: Post Office Gallery (Coaches Entrance), Lydiard St

Time: 7pm, 7.45pm & 8.30pm

Cost: Free

Ballarat's Frankenstein: The Galvanisation of James Johnston

The 1800’s saw a great interest in scientists attempting to use electricity to raise people from the dead, inspiring Mary Shelley to pen the famous gothic horror novel Frankenstein. Ballarat had its own attempt: James Johnston, convicted of murdering his whole family in 1891, was galvanised after his execution. Come watch us attempt to raise James Johnston from the dead in this entertaining and slightly disturbing historical reenactment.

When: Saturday 25 May & Sunday 26 May

Where: Craig’s Royal Hotel Cellar, Lydiard St Sth

Time: 12.30pm & 3.30pm daily

Cost: $5

Book: www.eerietours.com.au

CAFS: 'Stories'

Dive into a unique audio visual experience in CAFS Legacy and Research Centre. Watch amazing history come to life and discover how this remarkable organisation has supported our region’s most vulnerable people over the past 154 years.

When: Saturday 25 May & Sunday 26 May

Where: Ludbrook House (enter via Market Street)

Time: 11am, 12pm (Sat & Sun) & 1pm (Sat only)

– audio guided sessions , running time approx. 45 mins

Cost: Gold Coin Donation

Book: https://cafs.org.au/tours/

For more info contact Seb Claassen (Community Engagement Coordinator) 0427 668 576 or seb.claassen@cafs.org.au

Guirguis New Art Prize 2019

This prestigious bi-annual exhibition showcases work by 16 leading contemporary artists from around Australia.

When: Saturday 25 May & Sunday 26 May

Where: Art Gallery of Ballarat (Ground Floor), Lydiard St Nth

Time: 10am – 5pm daily

Cost: Free

Becoming Modern: Australian women artists 1920 - 1950

Becoming Modern is a celebration of the tenacity and innovation of Australian women artists. It features works by over forty artists, including Margaret Preston, Grace Crowley, Thea Proctor and Grace Cossington Smith. This stunning exhibition is an opportunity to view rarely-seen works from the Gallery’s collection, including paintings, prints, drawings and ceramics.

When: Saturday 25 May & Sunday 26 May

Where: The Art Gallery of Ballarat, Lydiard Street Nth, Ballarat

Time: 10am – 5pm daily

Cost: FREE

Ochre Painting Workshop & Short Film Session: Deanne Gilson

Deanne Gilson is a proud Wadawurrung woman. She has completed a Master of Arts (Visual Art) by research and is currently a PhD Candidate at the Institute of Koorie Education Deakin University. Deanne is an award-winning artist whose work focuses on reclaiming traditional knowledge by reflecting the colonial gaze back and challenging Western portrayals of Aboriginal people.

Come along and learn the traditional art of ochre painting, while also engaging in Deanne’s short film.

When: Sunday 26 May, 2019

Where: The Minerva Space, Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute, Sturt St

Time: 10am – 1pm

Cost: Free

Music & Poetry Workshop: Barry Gilson

BJ Gilson is a proud Wathaurung man .

He has been a performer since he was 13 and has  been involved in movies, advertisements and performances including singing, storytelling and poetry .

His work includes Mountain to Mouth, opened for the 2019 Golden Plains festival,  National Celtic folk festival, Geelong’s After Dark festival, and starring in two asahi beer commercials.

BJ has been the face of bonza burger for 18 years and more recently wrote 1/3 of the new show at Soveriegn Hill “ AURA” where he is a storyteller, narrates and sings .

Bringing together a three hour story telling event at the BMI that encompasses singing, poetry and the true history of Ballaarat from a traditional custodian perspective.

Guaranteed to be informative with a touch of larrikin… to make you relax and enjoy the show from a true character from Ballaarat and surroundings .

Passionately bringing back the language of the Wathaurung people and their stories.

When: Sunday 26 May

Where: The Minerva Space, Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute, Sturt St

Time: 1.30pm – 5pm

Sir Charles Hotham and his extraordinary monument at Melbourne General Cemetery

Presented by Celestina Sagazio, Historian & Manager of Cultural Heritage, Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust, this illustrated presentation will tell the fascinating story of Governor Sir Charles Hotham, his role in the Eureka Rebellion and his extraordinary grave.

The 1854 Eureka Stockade Rebellion in Ballarat is an important event in our history which contributed to political reforms, and Sir Charles Hotham was pivotal in triggering the rebellion. The splendid craftsmanship of the monument reflects the determined vision of his widow, Jane Lady Hotham, to have the biggest and best monument in the Australian colonies to ensure that her husband would receive proper recognition for his service. The monument is the only known work in Australia of English architect George Gilbert Scott and sculptor John Birnie Philip.

The monument is currently being restored to its former glory.

When: Sunday 26 May, 2019

Where: The Eureka Centre, Stawell Street, Ballarat East

Time: 11am

Cost: Free (bookings essential)

Book: Call 5333 0333 to reserve your place

Buninyong Film Festival

The 27th annual Buninyong Film Festival on 24-26 May 2019 will present another sparkling array of arthouse films, from Spain, Lebanon, and Italy, in addition to Australian documentaries and short films. There will also be two guided heritage walks around Buninyong showing historical and geological landmarks.

There will also be free screenings of the heritage film ‘Mooramong – Private Hollywood’ about silent film actress Claire Adams and her husband Donald ‘Scobie’ MacKinnon, who made the Mooramong Homestead at Skipton, Victoria, their home in 1938.

When: Friday 24 May, Saturday 25 May & Sunday 26 May

Where: Buninyong Town Hall

Time: Varied – see www.buninyongfilmfestival.com.au for details

Book: www.buninyongfilmfestival.com.au

Interesting cemetery tales and humourous epitaphs

Presented by Celestina Sagazio, Historian & Manager of Cultural Heritage, Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust, Celestina Sagazio will regale you with interesting cemetery stories and funny inscriptions from Australia and around the world.

Stories include the reasons behind the construction of the famous Walter Lindrum billiard table monument and the only authorized Elvis Presley Memorial outside of America – both iconic attractions within the Melbourne General Cemetery.

When: Sunday 26 May, 2019

Where: The Eureka Centre, Stawell Street, Ballarat East

Time: 3pm

Cost: Free (bookings essential)

Book: Call 5333 0333 to reserve your place

Viba La Vintage: Ruby Lane & Kitty La Vie

Ruby Lane, Vintage hair wizard and 1940s fashion icon along with her partner in crime, pageant queen Kitty La Vie, multidisciplinary Hair and makeup artists and vintage glamour photographer are on tour to Ballarat Heritage weekend lending you their expertise for 3 days of vintage glamour. Including private one on one tutorials and vintage haircuts, Viba La Vintage 3 decades of vintage glamour class and a day of vintage makeovers and photo shoots

When: Friday 24 May, Saturday 25 May & Sunday 26 May

Where: To be advised

Time: Varied – contact event organiser via booking link for details

Book: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=495290&

Open House: Lynn's Chambers

Designed in Victorian Renaissance Revival style, Lynn’s Chambers on Lydiard Street was once the workplace of the first solicitor to practice on the Ballarat goldfields, Adam Loftus Lynn. Irish-born Mr. Lynn, who originally mined from a tent in the goldfields, appeared for the Scobie family at the inquest of James Scobie’s murder, which was an important event in the lead-up to the Eureka Stockade.

Built in 1870 the building features Renaissance Revival detailing, including a low pitch roof, balustrading, classically ornamented eaves and stuccoed walls.

Come along and be inspired by an incredible building while enjoying some Devonshire Tea.

When: Saturday 25 May & Sunday 26 May, 2019

Where: Lynn’s Chambers, 26 Lydiard Street South, Ballarat

Time: 10am – 5pm daily

Cost: Gold Coin donation

Ballarat Municipal Observatory and Museum

Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences and is part of every culture’s history and roots. Activities will include some of the oldest stories about the night sky in the Southern Hemisphere. Viewing the night sky with the historical telescopes including the Baker Telescope on Saturday evening.

The Mt Pleasant Historical group will have an exhibition about Mt Pleasant and members of the group will be present on Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 2pm.

When: Saturday 25 May & Sunday 26 May

Where: Ballarat Municipal Observatory & Museum, 439 Cobden Street

Time: Observatory open from 2pm. Talks at 3pm about the Boorong Night Sky Stories. Evening viewing program begins at 5.30pm.

Cost: Talks – FREE. Evening viewing programs – Adults $25, Concession $18, Students $12, Family (2 adult, 2 children / student) $60.

Book: https://www.trybooking.com/489256

Hankies and their stories

We will be holding our annual exhibition “Handkerchiefs & their Stories”. It will be a showcase of Handkerchiefs from Hankie lovers in our community. Handkerchiefs will be on display along with their stories of how they were acquired, loved and the journeys they have had.

When: Saturday 25 May & Sunday 26 May

Where: 81A Humffray St Nth

Time: 10am – 4pm

Cost: Free