Tuesday, 8 May 2012

BALLARAT, VICTORIA

Ballarat is a city in the state of Victoria, Australia, approximately 105 kilometres west-north-west of the state capital Melbourne situated on the lower plains of the Great Dividing Range and the Yarrowee River catchment. It is the largest inland centre and third most populous city in the state and the fifth most populated inland city in Australia. The estimated urban area population is close to 100,000 inhabitants.

It was named by Scottish settler Archibald Yuille who established the sheep run called Ballaarat in 1837 with the name derived from local Wathaurong Aboriginal words for the area, balla arat, thought to mean "resting place". The present spelling was officially adopted in 1996. It is one of the most significant Victorian era boomtowns in Australia. Just months after Victoria was granted separation from New South Wales, the Victorian gold rush transformed Ballarat from a small sheep station to a major settlement. Gold was discovered at Poverty Point on 18 August 1851 and news quickly spread of rich alluvial fields where gold could easily be extracted.

Within months, approximately 20,000 migrants had rushed the district. Unlike many other gold rush boom towns, the Ballarat fields experienced sustained yields. It was the site of the Eureka Rebellion, the only armed civil uprising in Australian history, which took place on 3 December 1854 at the Eureka Mining Lead, and the event is controversially identified with the birth of democracy in Australia. Many significant Australian cultural icons are also a legacy of Ballarat's gold rush boom. The rebellion's symbol, the Eureka Flag has become a national symbol and is held at the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Australia's oldest and largest regional gallery.

Other nationally significant heritage structures include the Ballarat Botanical Gardens, established 1857, the best example of a regional botanic gardens in Australia with the greatest concentration of public statuary including the official Prime Ministers Avenue; the longest running lyric theatre building, Her Majesty's, established 1875; the first municipal observatory, established 1886; and the earliest and longest memorial avenue, the Avenue of Honour, established between 1917 and 1919.

Several Australian mining innovations were made at the Ballarat diggings including the first use of a Chilean mill in 1851 and the first use of a safety cage in 1861. Proclaimed a city in 1871, its prosperity continued until late in the 19th century, after which its importance relative to both Melbourne and Geelong rapidly faded with the slowing of gold extraction. It has endured as a major regional centre hosting the rowing and kayaking events from the 1956 Summer Olympics. It is the commercial capital of the Central Highlands and the largest city in the Goldfields region of Victoria—a significant tourist destination. Ballarat is known for its history, culture and its well preserved Victorian era heritage.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme.










23 comments:

  1. Lovely city and a gorgeous park!! I love the black swans! Terrific captures, Nick! Interesting history, too, nothing like a little gold to draw the masses!!! Hope your week is off to a great start!

    Sylvia

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  2. Great shots from the beautiful city.
    Love to see the black swans. We have 2 of them here.
    What a lovely park.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Wish you a wonderful day.
    Mette

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  3. Thanks for the introduction to this lovely city.

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  4. Wonderful details of the city with such beautiful images.

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  5. Beautiful pics. My pictures this week are of the beach.

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  6. I loved the old clock from that first photo and the structure of the green house is so superb. Thanks for taking us there through your beautiful photos Nix.

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  7. Ballarat, Black Swans and Begonias go so well together.

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  8. Wonderful shots of a wonderful city. I like the details of the building and the swans and that flower looks like an artificial one, made of silk!

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  9. Hi there - the amount of money that flowed through these towns in the gold rush must have been stupendous. The buildings are remarkable, especially given the location of the towns and their status today.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  10. So nice to see the lake recovered after the big drought when it was dried up. I love Ballarat and its Botanical Gardens lined with prime ministers.

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  11. Looks like a trip to the Begonia Festival is overdue!! I wonder can the sculptors keep up with the current PM revolving door?!?!

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  12. Do you ever worry that you will run out of photographic material? I am amazed by all these wonderful neighborhoods and parks you have in Melbourne. This one is another great example!

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  13. What a wonderful place. The images of the conservatory remind me of the Krohn Conservatory we have here in Cincinnati. I love the architecture of the rows of older buildings.

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  14. Interesting history and terrific shots! The swans are gorgeous.

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  15. It was fascinating to learn about Ballarat. Gold rushes really change the face of a place. Here, in British Columbia, the yield wasn't so successful and I have just begun to learn of the shameful way we treated Asian immigrants and First Nations people. A very different experience in Ballarat, with the architecture of the time just stunning. Thank you for your thoughtful and beautifully photographed description of Ballarat.

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  16. Such wonderful buildings. And the black swans!! Nice post Nick.

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  17. I love the swans, the flowers, and the architecture. Thanks for sharing such interesting photos!

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  18. One continues to be impressed by the huge beauty your city owns. Please have a good Wednesday.

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  19. What a neat old town and interesting history, of which I had not a clue until reading your post. As always your bird and flower shots are magnificent. And I never cease to be impressed that you do a wonderful post like this every single day, always with wonderful pictures and information. Also your country has the best place names anywhere!

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  20. This town looks so beautiful with old-style houses. I love them. Thank you for sharing, Nick.

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  21. Would love to visit Ballarat one day!

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  22. The black swans and the garden with such exotic flowers,: Amazing place.

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  23. Beautiful architecture and lovely nature shots!

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