Why not load the car up, head to Ballarat early and make the most your of AusCycling road National Championships experience this February.
From the best places to grab a coffee, to our favourite cycle-friendly places to stay, here’s our ultimate weekend of cycling in Ballarat itinerary.
Breakfast at Europa
A local favourite amongst cyclists, fuel up at Europa with a wholesome breakfast and coffee to kick start your day.
Take in the ever-changing weather Ballarat is famous for by pulling up a spot on their front terrace and chat with other cyclists along this busy stretch of bitumen.
Hire a bike and explore the city
Hire a bike (or the electric version) for a half day and discover Ballarat at your own pace.
Or start in the city centre, then head north and enjoy the scenery through the Creswick State Forest during the popular one-hour coffee ride.
Or, take your time along the Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail
Enjoy a ride without having to worry about cars on the Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail.
This trail follows the line of the former Ballarat to Skipton railway line, which operated between 1883 and 1985.
Grab a local brew at Aunty Jacks
Check out Ballarat’s new brewpub Aunty Jacks, which recently opened in Mair Street.
Aunty Jacks combines quality craft beer and deliciously snackable food with hands-on workshops run by Ballarat’s Dr Beer.
Or, relax at Ballarat’s Sanctuary Day Spa
Time to unwind, indulge and enjoy complete bliss.
Leave your stresses at the door and let the Sanctuary Day Spa team take you on a journey of relaxation.
Dinner at The Red Lion
Enjoy a delicious meal in the relaxing atmosphere of Leo’s Restaurant at The Red Lion, or catch all of the sports action in the Simba Sports Bar.
Built in the 1850s at the beginning of the gold rush, the hotel was home to many miners who struck it rich on the goldfields.
Join a ghost tour
Discover the mystery and stories of the gold rush era with Eerie Tours’ Ballarat Ghost Tour.
This tour travels through underground buildings, back alleyways and through the remains of the old Ballarat Gaol, the site of the highest number of executions in regional Victoria.
Discover your spirit at 18th Amendment Bar
Sit down in the speakeasy-style bar and have your phone at the ready to capture the theatrics of the cocktails being prepared. Did someone say Instagrammable?
Stay at Sovereign Park Motor Inn
Featured on Bike Exchange as a cycle-friendly accommodation provider, Sovereign Park Motor Inn offers a bicycle concierge service, secure storage plus two maintenance and bike wash areas.
It is a regular Ballarat base for cycling teams.
Take the scenic route along the Ballarat Parkland Ride
Ride around two of Ballarat’s most iconic outdoor spaces, Lake Wendouree and Victoria Park.
The total ride length (including both parks and back again) is about 15km — perfect for a Sunday morning.
Breakfast at Racers
This revamped 1930s corner stop is the perfect place to fill a hungry belly. All-day breakfast and daily specials ensure options for everyone.
Soak up the city’s charm during the Ballarat Heritage Ride
Admire some of Ballarat’s most significant historical sites and streetscapes on this 9km ride.
Delight in the charming buildings with their iconic facades and soak up a city built on gold.
Lunch at Yellow Espresso
Rest and replenish for your afternoon ahead at the delicious Yellow Espresso at the bottom of Sturt Street.
Hike up Mount Buninyong
Get out and get active with a hike up the picturesque Mount Buninyong. Be sure to take in the stunning views of Ballarat on your way to the top.
There are three walks on Mt Buninyong, the 1km Crater Walk with a viewing platform (accessible to people with a disability), the 3km Summit walk (a zigzag track) and the steep 3.5km Southern Walk.
Looking for something a little longer, and on two wheels? Why not attempt the 100km Ballarat to Mount Buninyong Road Loop.
Or, check out Ballarat’s favourite attractions with the family
Step back in time at Sovereign Hill, get up close and feed the free-roaming kangaroos at the Ballarat Wildlife Park, or watch jousting at Kryal Castle.
Refuel with a treat from 1816 Bakehouse
Pick up some baked treats at the delicious 1816 Bakehouse. With sourdough, baguettes, French croissants and donuts bakes on-site, your biggest decision will be deciding what not to try!