Travel back in time to Australia's golden era and experience the gold rush from a fresh angle. Ararat's rich gold rush history was set apart by being the only town in Australia founded and developed by Chinese migrants.
Discover the Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre and relive the experiences of Chinese miners, who literally struck gold in 1857 on their way to the established goldfields. Ararat as we know it today was born when the resulting gold rush drew more people to the town.
Grab a guide from the Ararat & Grampians Visitor Information Centre and take a self-guided tour around the town's iconic landmarks. Continue your historic trip and learn about the haunting past of J Ward, a bluestone jail which once housed Victoria's criminally insane. Extend your stay with a spooky tour of Aradale, the country's largest abandoned psychiatric asylum.
Get creative, get on your feet
Stop by the Ararat Regional Art Gallery and see the extensive range of contemporary textile and fibre art collections. After checking out the artworks, take a stroll and marvel at the art deco building, complemented by the surrounding Victorian architecture.
Time your visit to coincide with the annual Jailhouse Rock Festival. The rock and roll festival attracts acts from around Australia and visitors flock in each year to celebrate all things 50s and 60s, from vintage cars to rockabilly music and fashion.