Ballarat Begonia Festival

Ballarat’s most defining aspect is its long standing association with gold, being once the thriving heart of Australia’s goldfields. Today, the historic facades greet travellers in search of another beautiful commodity at the annual Begonia Festival. This festival has run since 1953 offering gardening experts and DIY demonstrations, comedy and circus events and other floral delights. This year, the Ballarat Begonia Festival features celebrity gardener Jason Hodges who will share his horticultural and landscaping expertise in an inspiring series of garden talks and DIY demonstrations. A Festival favourite will no doubt be The Alkazar – a comedy and circus show tent featuring some seriously hilarious talent. Wander through the Tunnel of Floral Delights or visit The Conservatory and enjoy the vibrance and colour of the city’s famous Begonias.

This tour highlights much more than just a flower festival. Explore the region that was instrumental to Australia’s Democracy including the nearby town of Eureka, home to the infamous Eureka Stockade in 1854. Here, visit the Museum of Australian Democracy and Australia’s best early settlement museum at Sovereign Hill. Enjoy a stunning “Blood on the Southern Cross” show. Explore Hepburn Mineral Springs, ride the vintage first class Goldfields Railway at Maldon and discover the story of Bendigo Tramways Workshop. Learn about the Chinese contribution to Bendigo at the Golden Dragon Museum before flying to Brisbane from Melbourne Airport.

Tour Highlights

  • Locally Guided Sightseeing Tour of Ballarat
  • Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka
  • Sovereign Hill day entry
  • Blood on the Southern Cross Dinner and Light & Sound Show
  • Ballarat Begonia Festival
  • Hepburn Springs
  • Goldfields Historic Tourist Railway – Maldon to Castlemaine
  • Bendigo Tramways Depot/Workshop Tour
  • Return ride on Bendigo Talking Trams
  • Golden Dragon Chinese Museum, Bendigo
Departing
09/03/2018
Duration
5 Days
Physical Rating
Moderate Fitness. Some walking, stairs, walking on uneven ground.
Transport
Luxury Coach

Brochure Downloads

Ballarat Begonia Festival (Ballarat_Begonia_Festival.pdf, 1,577 Kb) [Download]

Day 1: Friday 9 March 2018 - Toowoomba to Ballarat

Mid-morning, depart Toowoomba and transfer to Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport to join Air North for a direct flight to Melbourne. On arrival, board a luxury Stonestreets Travel coach and head to Ballarat for 3 nights. Meals: LD

Day 2: Saturday 10 March 2018 - Ballarat & Sovereign Hill

After breakfast a local guide will join the coach and guide the group around the rural city of Ballarat. Hear about Ballarat’s most defining aspect, its association with gold. Being the heart of Australia’s goldfields, the city was a bustling and thriving centre of activity in the 19th century and has maintained its historic appeal ever since. Next, head to the Museum of Australian Democracy, located on the historic site of the 1854 Eureka Stockade, a failed gold miners rebelion against colonial authority in 1854. The museum explores the powerful story of Eureka as a significant part of the struggle for peoples’ rights in Australia and around the world. Later, visit one of Australia’s foremost outdoor museums, Sovereign Hill, which re-creates Ballarat’s first ten years after the discovery of gold in 1851 when thousands of international adventurers rushed to the Australian goldfields in search of fortune. At Sovereign Hill, you can see a spectacular $100,000 gold pour, venture underground on a fully-guided gold mine tour or catch a horse-drawn coach and tour the town. Go shopping 1850s-style and visit hotels, schools and a theatre with goldfields entertainers. Return to the motel and have a well-earned break before heading back to Sovereign Hill for dinner and “Blood on the Southern Cross” - an explosive multi-million dollar sound-and-light show like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The story of the Eureka Rebellion, a dramatic battle between gold miners and Government forces at Ballarat is retold in an acclaimed sound-and-light spectacular. Meals: BD                                                                                                  

Day 3: Sunday 11 March 2018 - Ballarat Begonia Festival

After a leisurely start to the day head to the Ballarat Begonia Festival. Explore the gardens, stop off and have a coffee whist listening to the Garden experts or explore the Farmers Markets. The festival has six different food zones, each with their own live entertainment. Naturally the highlight will be the annual Begonia Display, the centrepiece of the Ballarat Begonia Festival. Featuring a mass of more than 700 Begonia plants, every year the Gardens team curates the most spectacular display of Begonias set in the beautiful surrounds of the Robert Clark Conservatory. A Festival favourite will no doubt be The Alkazar – a comedy and circus show tent featuring some seriously hilarious talent. After a great day at the festival, return to the motel for the dinner. Meals: BD

Day 4: Monday 12 March 2018 - Ballarat to Bendigo   

Travel north to Hepburn Springs in the middle of Australia's largest concentration of mineral springs, which are full of health-giving minerals. Then visit the National Trust town of Maldon, board the Goldfields Railway where you’ll leave behind the modern world and become immersed in the charming atmosphere of yesteryear. Step back in time into the Golden Age of rail travel, when the journey was just as important as the destination. The first class carriages offer a unique rail experience; complete with cozy compartments, open lounges and fully equipped bar. Late morning the steam train will arrive in Castlemaine, the site of the famous Mt Alexander Diggings which was the location of the richest alluvial goldfields in the world. From here, head north to Bendigo Tramways Workshop where you'll enjoy lunch before a guided tour through the depot and workshops. Hear the colourful story of how Bendigo Tramways has survived to the present day and see first-hand the craftsmanship and techniques that are involved in restoring each tram to its former glory. In the afternoon, discover the wide streetscapes and grand architecture of Bendigo as the tram conductor tells entertaining stories about a city founded on one of the world’s richest goldfields, explaining key historic landmarks en-route. Meals: BLD                                                                                                              

Day 5: Tuesday 13 March 2018 - Bendigo - Melbourne - Toowoomba

The last day of this short escape starts at the Golden Dragon Chinese Museum. Take a guided tour to hear about the highlights of the collection as well as learn about the history of the Chinese in Bendigo. Depart for Melbourne  and the mid-afternoon Qantas flight to Brisbane. Upon arrival into Brisbane a Stonestreets Coach and driver will be awaiting to return the group to Toowoomba. Meals: BL

Linked Tours:  Holiday not long enough?  Why not stay with us a while and spend a couple of free days in Melbourne before joining our Overland from the Golden Princes tour that includes a cruise from Melbourne to Adelaide and the Overland train back to Melbourne. You might even like to hang around for our Must do Melbourne tour featuring the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. Alternatively, you may like to leave a bit earlier and join our 6 day Mystic Mountains of Marysville Tour.  Ask us for a package and price to combine tours.  

Meals: 4 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 4 Dinners

Transport: Luxury Coach

Flights: Brisbane West Wellcamp / Melbourne / Brisbane West Wellcamp  (Or alternate on arrangement)

Accommodation: 4 Nights Motel Accommodation

Activities:

  • Locally Guided Sightseeing Tour of Ballarat
  • Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka
  • Sovereign Hill day entry
  • Blood on the Southern Cross Dinner and Light & Sound Show
  • Ballarat Begonia Festival
  • Hepburn Springs
  • Goldfields Historic Tourist Railway – Maldon to Castlemaine
  • Bendigo Tramways Depot/Workshop Tour
  • Return ride on Bendigo Talking Trams
  • Golden Dragon Chinese Museum, Bendigo

Other Inclusions:

  • All Airport Transfers
  • Tour escorted from Toowoomba
Departing
09/03/2018
Duration
5 Days
Physical Rating
Moderate Fitness. Some walking, stairs, walking on uneven ground.
Transport
Luxury Coach
Price
AUD $2,375.00
Ballarat Begonia Festival
In stock
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