Travel

Unmissable New Openings To Check Out This Year In Ballarat

By Sophie Oddo
23rd Feb 2022

With 2022 in full swing and our monotonous work routines well and truly making summer holidays a distant memory, naturally, we’re already scrolling our feeds in search of our next dreamy escape. 

If the hustle and bustle of Melbourne city life has got you craving a different kind of cultural wonderland, we’re here to let you know we’ve got just what the doctor ordered.

Ballarat is putting itself firmly on the top of our list thanks to a slew of new openings, from incredible restaurants to cosy accommodation and even a brand new cellar door for the vino lovers amongst us.

Here’s everything new you need to check out in Ballarat this year.

Hotel Vera

Due to open in May of this year, Hotel Vera is no ordinary hotel. It’s the latest enterprise from Ballarat’s own David Cook-Doulton and Martin Shew and is a tribute to David’s maternal grandmother, Vera. It’s why as soon as you walk through the hotel doors you’ll instantly feel a change of pace, an unmistakable warmth and ultimate seclusion. Boasting seven personalised suites laden with curated art, design, lighting, products and decor, it’s safe to say you’re never going to want to check out. 

Ellington’s Wine Bar

Nothing beats a rooftop bar, and lucky for us, Ellington’s Wine Bar will be opening its door to us very soon. Serving epic views, the bar will overlook Ballarat’s main drag right next door to the new Midtown Cellars & Bar. Here, you can expect the vibe of a small European neighbourhood wine bar paired with warm and generous regional hospitality. Those looking to indulge in the atmosphere with a glass of vino can look forward to both locally sourced and international wines. To stay up to date with the opening, you can follow their Instagram here.

Jean-Claude (Van On A Dam)

If you’re on the lookout for unique accommodation, the team behind boutique Lexton church conversion Grayling’s Gift has just launched their newest dreamy pad, Jean-Claude. Even though this lush caravan is located a mere 10 minutes from Ballarat, you’ll feel a million miles away tucked away in the beautiful bushland. If you’re feeling apprehensive at the thought of staying in a caravan, you’ll be pleased to know this 1970s York caravan has been lovingly restored with creature comforts like a king-size bed and luxurious French linen, a cosy reading nook, a selection of games and even an amenities shack. Here, you can fully embrace nature and reset surrounded by towering gums, wildlife and bird song — pure bliss.

Kilderkin Distillery Cellar Door

Kilderkin Distillery is a local institution in Ballarat with its Mount Pleasant location bringing in high quality spirits produced in small batches, enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. With a focus on the very best premium gin and whisky, Kilderkin’s most popular ranges include the Scoundrel (London Dry Gin) and their Original Australian Gin that uses a range of carefully selected native botanicals. Just when you thought the experience couldn’t get any better, plans are underway for a new cellar door experience with their famous gin tastings paired with grazing plates and even masterclasses soon to be on offer. 

Unyoked Tiny House At Peerick Vineyard

Peerick Vineyard located in the Pyrenees is now home to a new tiny house from the eco-warriors at Unyoked. There are three separate tiny houses available that are located on different parts of the estate and are all perfect for those wanting to swap bustling Melbourne life for stillness and relaxation. All three cabins (Frankie, Jude and Orla) have comfortable beds and everything else you need for an off-the-grid sustainable stay. And let’s not forget, a delicious glass of wine is only a hop, skip and a jump away.

Monterey Eco Stay

Sustainable accommodation is not in short supply in Ballarat with Monterey Eco Stays opening at Captains Creek Organic Wines. Inspired by the need to live smaller and more sustainably, this secluded and intimate luxury escape has been thoughtfully designed to lessen your environmental footprint and reduce our reliance on natural resources. Nestled among 35 acres of native forest at Blampied, the tiny house is built from salvaged Monterey cypress timber and can sleep up to four people with a king bed downstairs and cosy double bed located in the upstairs loft. Enjoy the best of both worlds with quality bed linen, baker’s oven wood heater, floor to ceiling forest views from the shower and the serene sounds of nature from the surrounding forest.

The Goods Shed

Having recently opened in January, The Goods Shed is Ballarat’s new social, cultural and hospitality hub, all housed within a meticulously conserved and restored heritage building. Boasting a state-of-the-art Events Hall, 240-person Lydiard Hall, 308-seat Terminus Theatre, Carriage Conference Rooms, and drinking and dining experiences (including a soon-to-be-opened distillery from the team behind Little Lon) — The Goods Shed serves as a world-class destination to meet, share ideas or enjoy memorable experiences. If you’re keen to discover more about the beautifully refurbished heritage space you can catch two permanent exhibitions on display — ‘Slow Order’ by artist Robbie Rowlands, who was awarded the Ballarat Railway Station Public Art commission, or you can read a curated tale of the site’s history told on interpretive signage throughout the grounds.

The Granger Cabin

Hailing from soon-to-be architecture graduate Almo Troup, The Granger Cabin will be located adjacent to the truffiere at Black Cat Truffles. The cabin will be made from sustainable materials including Australian hardwoods, hempcrete and terracotta — serving as the perfect eco retreat set upon prime real estate. The exterior will be clad in corten to emulate the older agricultural structure that has stood the test of time on the windy hill for decades and the cabin’s thick walls and abundant glazing will provide a cosy escape while still providing sweeping views of the forest below. The best part? An outdoor spa bath set amongst the lush green backdrop.

With food, wine, natural surroundings, art, culture and so much more to experience — it doesn’t get much better than an escape to Ballarat. Check out our favourite things to do in Ballarat here or click here to start planning your dream escape.

Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by Visit Ballarat and proudly endorsed by Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

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