Settle in for an intimate dinner in heritage surrounds, unbottle some passion at an acclaimed vineyard or soak luxuriously in a mineral spring. If you’re looking for one of the best romantic getaways in Victoria, you can’t beat a three-night stay in Ballarat’s gold rush country. Take an extra two days for your very own long weekend to make it extra special (we’ve product-tested Thursday and Friday for you) and give yourself time to explore the many attractions within reach. July to September in Ballarat is also a great time for local events.
Get cosy over dinner
Nurtured by rich surrounding farmland, Ballarat delivers plenty of culinary experiences perfect for a romantic getaway. Dressed in intimate red and black themes, Red Peppa’s delicious seasonal Asian fusion cuisine will tempt any palette. Nestled in the historic heart of Ballarat, Harry Lime’s also brings worlds together with expertly crafted Mediterranean Vietnamese. For modern Asian, Mr Jones is unmissable. What romantic getaway would be complete without a quality-crafted gin? Ballarat distils some of the best in the country – drop into Kilderkin Distillery for a taste.
Explore wineries around Ballarat
Known for its pinot noir and chardonnay, Ballarat’s cool-climate Pyrenee’s Wine Region is only half an hour from town. Tour the rolling hills and visit the many cellar doors lauded by Australia’s Best Cellar Door Awards 2022. Sip a charming Pinot Taché at Eastern Peake Vineyard overlooking the Creswick Valley. Mount Avoca is another star of the region – and Australia’s most highly awarded organic winery. Set in a 140-year-old produce store, Mitchell Harris also showcases some of the region’s best reds and whites.
Daytrip to historic Daylesford
Settled by Italian Swiss immigrants during the gold rush against the spectacular backdrop of the Macedon Ranges, historic Daylesford is a must-do for any romantic outing. Just over half an hour from Ballarat, one of the best things to do in Daylesford is a soak in its heated mineral springs. For those eager to explore Daylesford’s spa country, Mineral Spa offers experiences for couples, while Hepburn Bathhouse has been providing wellness bathing since 1895. Enjoy a boutique spa experience at the Daylesford Day Spa or slip into a geisha-styled tub at Lake House.
Get festive at a Ballarat event
Romantic things to do in Ballarat flourish during the cooler months with seasonal events that warm the heart. The Ballarat Winter Festival is a signature event held every July, featuring the dazzling Winter Wonderlights light show. Make sure to also pull on the skates for the pop-up ice rink. You can also fire the senses at the Taste of Truffles Experience throughout August – meet growers and sample some of this aromatic delight. For a touch of culture, Light + Shade explores the evocative tonalist work of 20th-century painter Max Meldrum.
Explore Gold Rush heritage and nature
Embrace the beauty of the surrounding countryside by taking a tour of Ballarat’s golden heritage and nature. Only a 20-minute drive from Ballarat, Lal Lal Falls is a picturesque waterfall that tumbles into a rocky gorge – enjoy a picnic overlooking the scenery. You can also step back in time at the nearby Sovereign Hill which covers 15 hectares of a former gold mining site.
Where to stay in Ballarat
Looking for one of the most romantic places to stay in Victoria? Ballarat is ready to welcome you to a range of romantic accommodation options that suit all tastes and budgets. For a taste of class and style the Quality Inn Heritage on Lydiard offers distinct heritage character with log fires, and Quality Inn The George Hotel presents another stylish and historic location – it was here the Eureka Stockade siege was planned in 1854.