Hahndorf, South Australia

Five great tourist towns of regional Australia

REGIONAL AUSTRALIA

We talk a lot about what there is to do and see in the main tourist destinations in Australia, such as Sydney, Melbourne and the Great Barrier Reef.
If you have time to spare there’s plenty of things to do in regional Australia, and here’s some you may have never come across.

BALLARAT

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Regional Australia: Sovereign Hill, Ballarat
Gold mine tour at Sovereign Hill, Ballarat

Ballarat is a city that lies just over 100km almost west of Melbourne and is connected to it by freeway. Ballarat owes its existence to the 1851 Australian gold rush. Originally established as a sheep station by a Scottish squatter, It boomed after gold was discovered. In 1854 it was the scene of the Battle of the Eureka Stockade, an armed rebellion against the goldfields authorities. It became the closest thing to a civil war that Australia has ever had. Historians call it the time when democracy first really took root in Australia.

Ballarat became a very wealthy town, and its Victorian heritage has been well preserved. It is an impressive and beautiful city.

Apart from the city iteslf, Ballarat is the home to one of Australia’s most impressive tourist attractions, Sovereign Hill. This is a reconstructed gold mining town. It lives and breathes as a town in its own right. Order some custom-made wrought iron hardware from the blacksmith. Buy some bread from the bakery or some plates from the pottery. Get yourself on a Wanted poster from the printery. Pan for gold in the stream. Ride a stage coach. Go down a real gold mine.

One of the odder attractions in Ballarat is Kryal Castle, a replica medieval castle and theme park.

BENDIGO

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Regional Australia: Bendigo - Shamrock Hotel
“BendigoShamrockHotel” by Mattinbgn – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

A similar distance from Melbourne but more northerly is the town of Bendigo. Again it is a town the was born and prospered in the gold rush era, and its rich Victorian built heritage has been preserved. Take trip down the main street of Bendigo, preferably in the “Talking Tram” that give a history along the route. You will see many fine buildings that reveal how wealthy a part of the world this became.

Other things to see in Bendigo are the old gold mine, a Chinese Joss House, and the Sacred Heart Cathedral. It it one of the few fully complete cathedrals in Australia. The construction was finalised in the 1970s using modern techniques and materials. The gargoyles, for example, are made from aluminium.

ROBE

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Regional Australia: Robe, South Australia
Robe, South Australia

Robe is a coastal town in South Australia that began in the 1840s as a port where wool from the surrounding areas was shipped off to to the world. It now functions mainly as a fishing village. It is a quaint town with a harbour that takes on the most spectacular blue colour. Stop for a seafood lunch at a harbourside restaurant and soak it up. Robe is on the coastal road from Melbourne to Adelaide. It is near the start of the southern end of the Coorong, a spectacular coastal wilderness that was the setting for the great 1976 film Storm Boy.

HAHNDORF

Hahndorf is in the hills outside Adelaide and it’s a little piece of Germany. It was established by Lutheran immigrants in 1838. It was named after the Danish captain of the ship that brought a lot of the settlers. The German influence is seen in many of the buildings, the old windmill and the food served in many of the restaurants. It is well worth a visit.

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Regional Australia: Hahndorf, South Australia
Hahndorf, South Australia

PEMBERTON

Pemberton is a town in the south-west of Western Australia, 335km south of Perth. It is worth a visit as part of an extended trip aound the area over several days. It is situated amongst majestic forests of tall and straight karri and jarrah trees, some 60 metres in height or more. In the national parks there are some that you can climb and suspension bridges that give you a chance to walk high above the ground in the tree canopy. Shops in the town sell the most beautiful timber products made from fallen jarrah trees that display the rich reds of the wood. See it as part of a trip to Albany, Cape Leeuwin, Bunbury, and the Margaret River with its famous wine region.

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Regional Australia: Pemberton, Western Australia
Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk, Tim Acker / Auscape International

As usual, talk to us if you’d like to do some exploring of regional Australia.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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