Heritage Homes and
Homesteads in the Region
Many historic homes can be found within Ballarat and
homesteads only a short drive from Ballarat. Many homes and
homesteads were founded in the 1700's, made by skilled
craftsmen out of classic stone or brick and are surrounded
with gracious Victorian style gardens. Some of these buildings
are privately owned residences whilst others are open to the
public by appointment. Many homes are on historical properties
located within an hours drive from Ballarat, through some of
the most enchanting countryside ever seen. You will be amazed
with what you find!
There are also heritage associated tours and walks of Ballarat
Walking Ballarat's Heritage - A self guided tour of Ballarat's
history and heritage buildings
In the rolling hill country east of Ballarat lies Lal Lal
the home of the Fisken family for over a century. The
Fisken family offers tours of the property and gardens. You
can share a day with them on this 5000 acre sheep and cattle
station experiencing the daily farm work.
Enjoy the beautiful rambling gardens and wander along a stone
path to the granite stables built in 1858. This is where
Archibald Fisken housed Akbar, a great thoroughbred on whom he
outrode the bushranger, Captain Starlight. On a walk beside
the lake you will see koalas in the eucalyptus trees and
perhaps glimpse a wedgetail eagle soaring overhead.
The charming homestead overlooks the lake near where
Archibald's original cottage stood. There are a variety of
tours are available for a minimum of 10 people.
For more information on tour options phone: (03) 5341 7530 or
visit the website - Cick Here
Mooramong also hosts a unique Nature Reserve and
wetlands. (Now about 100 hectares, eventually will be 200
hectares.) The area is being returned to its native state and
as very little left of the native plant and animal communities
this is of great importance. Already Mooramong holds most of
the world's population of some rare plant species, and has
four breeding pens for the endangered Eastern Barred
For further information call Sandra on 5340 6556.
a most generous gift, Sovereign Hill recently acquired the
4,800-acre pastoral property, Narmbool, near Elaine — just 20
minutes from Ballarat and 30 minutes from Geelong.
Narmbool is quintessentially Australian. The property carries
20,000 Merino sheep. There are several hundred acres of
pristine bush providing habitat for kangaroos, koalas and
Australian native birds. There are even platypus in the
The bluestone homestead houses a significant collection of
early Australian formal furniture and Australian art. The
house is surrounded by delightful gardens.
Narmbool is an ideal venue for weddings, special functions and
conferences. The Garden Room — an elegant purpose-built
restaurant — has French doors opening onto the elm lawn.
Narmbool is available for group tours, large and small. These
may be centred around the homestead and garden, but can extend
to guided eco-walks from the outstations on the property.
For more information contact Sovereign Hill on: +613 5331 1944
One of the first bluestone residences built on the Ballarat
goldfields, Montrose Cottage dates back 150 years to the
city’s golden era.
Built of basalt, quarried from less than a mile away, and
handmade bricks, Montrose stands today as a tribute to the
craftsmanship of Scottish stonemason John Alexander. John
Alexander, his wife Annie, daughter Jane and orphaned grandson
James left Montrose, Scotland, on the trail of gold in January
of 1853. John discovered enough gold to pay cash for a small
plot of land in Eureka Street which was then the main
thoroughfare between Ballarat and Melbourne. It was also at
the centre of the chaotic thriving city that was Ballarat
during the height of its golden era.
Here, with the help of Jane and her husband George Carnegie,
he built the simple four-roomed Georgian dwelling which still
Montrose’s unusual façade of patterned bluestone and brick
rises from the road behind a simple cast-iron fence with
bluestone steps leading to the solid, wooden door.
John Alexander lived in his cottage until his death at the age
of 99 in 1891.
Successive families followed, with the Peglar family occupying
the cottage for more than 40 years until Mr and Mrs E.J.
Millett acquired the property in 1963 to save it from
threatened demolition. They restored the cottage to its
original condition with help and information provided by John
Alexander’s great grandchildren.
This period also saw the building of a museum at the
north-east corner of the cottage. The museum was built of
local basalt taken from the Old Ballarat Gaol and the Ballarat
East Railway Station, both of which were demolished in the
Graeme and Laurel Johnson purchased the entire complex in 1985
and for almost 20 years Montrose Cottage and the Eureka Museum
were must-see attractions for locals and visitors alike.
During this time the cottage was furnished with original
family pieces while the museum housed comprehensive
exhibitions on the Ballarat Goldfields, the Women of Eureka
and the Chinese on the Goldfields.
During this period Montrose Cottage won numerous tourism
awards and entered the Tourism Hall of Fame. Montrose Cottage
is classified “A” by the National Trust, is on the Australian
Heritage Listing and is listed 108 of more than 2000 by the
Historic Buildings Council.
Narelle and Michael Kaufmann bought the property in October
2005 and developed it into luxury, boutique accommodation
known as Montrose of Ballarat.
The Memorabilia Wall in Montrose of Ballarat pays tribute to
its rich and colourful history.
Montrose of Ballarat was recently featured on Channel 9's
For more information phone: 0429 439448 or visit the website -
Snuggled amongst a fine country garden stands the Mount
Mitchell homestead. Made of gracious blue stone,
ten hectare property contains magnificent stables, a coach
house, a dairy and enchanting cottages, all surrounded by
There are graveled areas edged with clipped box, laurel and
beds of shrubs and perennials. There is a large picking garden
which provides flowers, vegetables and berries, and also an
orchard bordered by an avenue of Malus ioensis 'Plena'.
From the house, a vista through tall cypresses and oaks to the
lake completes the picture of complete perfection, restraint
and style. Mount Mitchell Estate is located near Lexton -
Melway reference 526:J2.
Built in the early 1870s and remodelled in 1938 to reflect
the Hollywood style, this property elegantly echoes the
lifestyle of the former owners, D.J.S. (Scobie) Mackinnon and
his Hollywood screen star wife Claire Adams. The homestead
feels like a lived in home with the photographs, furniture,
curios and objects d'art as they were left by the Mackinnons
invoking many memories of the 1930's, 40's 50's and 60's.
Two walled gardens, one with a swimming pool enhance this
beautiful homestead. Extensive parklands adjacent to the
homestead add a feeling of spaciousness to the property.
The Mackinnon legacy included the establishment of a 600acre
nature reserve to maintain a sample of the native grasslands,
vegetation and habitats of the western basalt plains. Blacks
Creek and the Horseshoe Lagoon are also part of the nature
reserve and provide a wetlands environment.
The reserve is also home to kangaroos, swamp wallabies and
numerous birds. Many birds of prey including wedge tailed
eagles can be seen.
The Mackinnon Nature Reserve has become one of the leading
centres for the reestablishment of the endangered Eastern
There are self-guided walks of the reserve for visitors.
Mooramong is a working farm of 3,854 acres in total and
carries 5,000 merino sheep and produces a range of crops
including wheat, barley, canola, lucerne and field peas.
It is the only working farm owned by the National Trust.
First settled in 1839, the property had several owners
before Rear Admiral Bridges acquired it in 1887, through the
marriage of the owners daughter, Annie Wilson. He then set
about building Trawalla House and creating the magnificence
which surrounds it today. He fenced
28 acres of land to provide a treed background and shelter for
approximately 8 acres of cultivated garden.
It was based on a typical Victorian country garden design,
with palms, grotto, rose garden, conservatory, tennis court,
croquet lawns and cypress hedging. Many of these original
features still exist, but unfortunately most of the cypress
hedges were cut down when labour became short in World War II.
During early times the property was a fully self sufficient
community, with its own orchard, vegetable garden, chicken and
duck pen, dairy and propagation shed, all maintained by six
There are many interesting and historic features of the
property including breathtaking views from the surrounding
hills and pastures, garden tours and reservoir and pond walks.
There are also many enchanting outbuildings such as, the
summer house and fire spotting building, the old homestead,
stables, church and shearer's quarters.
Visitors are most welcome to stroll and admire the beautiful
garden, which is particularly spectacular at various times of
the year. Spring brings us a magnificent bulb display, Autumn,
a riot of color and Winter the graceful hanging skeletons of
the deciduous trees.
Admission is available by appointment only for tours of 15 or
more. Refreshments or lunch is also available on request.
Contact Shane Alexander on 0448 522 490 for further