Central Highlands

The Central Highlands, which include the towns of Ballarat and Ararat, is steeped in history. Gold Mining in the area brought wealth, missery, characters, and events. Ballarat was the scene of Australia's most famous civil insurrection, the Eureka Stockade. In the early morning of 3 December 1854, miners clashed with police and Government soldiers. In all, 28 men were killed and a large number wounded.



Average summer day temperature: 26.6°C
Average winter day temperature: 10.8°C
Average annual rainfall: 615.7mm
Average clear days: 72.3

Ararat is approximately 210 kilometres north west of Melbourne, at the junction of the Western and Pyrenees Highways, and is the centre of a large grain growing and sheep grazing area.

Many buildings in Ararat have been classified by the National Trust because of their historic and architectural importance; among these are the former office of the Warden of the Goldfields (1857), Aradale Mental Hospital (1866), Post Office (1861), and the Old Wool Store (pre-1876).

Beautiful buildings abound in Ararat.
Beautiful buildings abound in Ararat.


Average summer day temperature: 24.9°C
Average winter day temperature: 10.0°C
Average annual rainfall: 705.3mm
Average clear days: 60.1

Ballarat is approximately 110km north west of Melbourne in the rolling hill country south of the Great Dividing Range. The district was first settled by graziers in the late 1830s, but it was the discovery of gold in 1851 that made it a boom town.

Ballarat is famous in Australian history because it was here, in 1854, that the Eureka Stockade too place. The Eureka Stockade Memorial diorama provides visitors with a graphic portrayal of the incident.