Great Southern Touring Route Leg 4
Leg 4: Halls Gap to Melbourne
248 km / 154 miles, about 3.5 hr
Leaving the Grampians, the Great Southern Touring Route heads north towards the Goldfields. First stop is the township of Stawell, home to Australia's most famous foot race – the Stawell Gift. The event has been held every Easter for over 100 years and attracts competitors from around the world.
South-east of Stawell is Ararat, a thriving community settled during the gold rush of the 1800s. Visit the former gaol for the criminally insane, J Ward, explore the Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre and the Langi Morgala Museum, which commemorate the history and culture of the Chinese immigrants who settled in the region to seek their fortune.
From here the route turns east to Ballarat, one of Victoria's largest cities. Built with the wealth of the gold rush, much of the opulence of the era is still on display in the grand public buildings, hotels and historic streetscapes. Ballarat was the site of the world's largest deposit of alluvial gold and also of the Eureka Stockade – the famous uprising of miners against the government licensing system.
Sovereign Hill is an outdoor museum that re-creates a nineteenth-century gold rush town. Mingle with the volunteers in period costume who 'inhabit' the town as townspeople, soldiers and miners. Ballarat is your final stop on the Great Southern Touring Route before heading east back to the bright lights and high culture of Melbourne.
Head off down the trail and explore the fresh produce, specialty foods and fine wines that showcase the very best of the Goldfields region.
Discover the rich and varied harvest of Central Victoria. Catch your own trout, sample traditional game meats, or buy freshly-picked apples and pears.
The legacy of the gold rush that shaped Victoria lives on in the boomtown architecture and rich history of the Goldfields region.
Visit the famous site that has come to represent popular struggle and has been called the birthplace of Australian democracy.
Discover the rich history and remarkable legacy of the Chinese miners who came to Victoria during the goldrush.