Ballarat has emerged as one of regional Australia's best known food and wine hotspots, with autumn being the perfect time to discover the city's gastronomic offerings. The city is also fast becoming known as the craft beer capital of Australia and is home to several small batch breweries and gastro pubs. For those who like a sweeter drop, the Pyrenees wine region is just a stone's throw away.
Experience Ballarat's food and wine scene for yourself this autumn as part of the Plate Up Ballarat food festival. The month-long event showcases the region's delectable offerings and is devoted to unearthing all the city has to offer in food, drink, produce and regional fare.
Autumn will also see Ballarat play host to a number of festivals and events, putting the city's best visitor offerings in the spotlight. Discover the much-loved Ballarat Begonia Festival in March and relish in the grand floral displays, entertainment, children's activities and on-site food vendors. Or travel back to another era as part of May's Ballarat Heritage Weekend, a festival showcasing the city's rich history and heritage.
For a full and up-to-date listing of Visit Ballarat events and information on travelling to Ballarat, visit www.visitballarat.com.au.
PICASSO: THE VOLLARD SUITE
What: Regarded as one of the greatest print suites of the 20th century, The Vollard Suite comprises of 100 intaglio prints that were made by Picasso between 1930 and 1937. Ballarat is the only Victorian venue on this national tour.
When: February 23 – April 28
Where: Art Gallery of Ballarat
BALLARAT BEGONIA FESTIVAL
What: A free family event with an exciting line up of entertainment, activities, talks, culinary delights and celebrity guests. There is something for everyone, from children's activities, gardening tips and displays, to live comedy, craft and garden markets, food and beverage outlets, floral demonstrations, displays and more.
When: March 9-11
Where: Ballarat Botanical Gardens
THE BALLARAT INTERNATIONAL FOTO BIENNALE - INAUGURAL EXHIBITION
What: This free exhibition showcases the work of Melbourne-based interdisciplinary artist Robbie Rowlands, whose art is a sculptural site intervention intricately woven from the building's internal walls and remnant furnishings.
When: February 23 – March 9
Where: National Centre for Photography, 4 Lydiard St Sth, Ballarat
What: Bridge Mall Farmers Market (first Saturday of the month), Ballarat Farmers Market (second Saturday of the month), Creswick Market (third Saturday of the month), Talbot Farmers Market (third Sunday of the month), and Avoca Riverside Market (fourth Sunday of the month).
When: Throughout March, April and May
Where: Ballarat and surrounding villages
TALBOT PROVEDORE SEASONAL DINNER
What: Talbot Provedore and Eatery will collaborate with Taltarni Vineyards to present a seven-course degustation dinner with matched wines. This event celebrates regional food and wine of the season.
When: Saturday, March 23 at 6:30pm
Where: Talbot Provedore and Eatery
MADE OF BALLARAT POP-UP SHOP
What: Made of Ballarat is bringing the best of Ballarat to Melbourne, with an eclectic collection of products, events, stories and activations.
When: Mid-March to mid-April
PYRENEES UNEARTHED FESTIVAL
What: Located along the banks of the Avoca River, the festival will have plenty to drink, eat and do with live music all day, free kids' activities and masterclasses and so much more.
When: April 6
Where: Avoca Riverflats, Dundas Street, Avoca
AVOCA ART SHOW AND SALE
What The fourth annual Avoca Art Show and Sale is held at the Avoca Town Hall and features over 150 works by local and regional artists.
When: April 27 and 28
Where: Avoca Town Hall
CLUNES BOOKTOWN FESTIVAL
What: More than 50 visiting book traders join with the town's seven permanent bookshops to offer up an unprecedented weekend of book browsing, with tens of thousands of secondhand, collectable, small press and out-of-print books on sale.
When May 4-5
Where: Clunes Town Centre
PLATE UP BALLARAT
What: An exciting month-long event celebrating Ballarat's wonderful food offerings, craft beers, boutique wines and a whole lot more. Taking place throughout the entire month, Plate Up Ballarat will showcase local producers whilst also promoting successful and supportive connections between producers, restaurants and cafes.
When: May 1-31
Where: Various locations
WESTERN BULLDOGS VS BRISBANE LIONS
What: The Western Bulldogs will play the first of their two 2019 AFL games for premiership points in Ballarat when they take on the Brisbane Lions.
When: Saturday, May 11
Where: Mars Stadium
BALLARAT HERITAGE WEEKEND
What: Showcasing the rich heritage history of Ballarat – think horse and carriages, grand old buildings, steam trains, vintage fashion and much more – Ballarat Heritage Weekend will give you a glimpse of yesteryear and explore the stories and tales of this iconic city.
When May 25-26
Where: Various Locations