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 heritage buildings:

Walking Ballarat's Heritage - A self guided tour of Ballarat's history and heritage buildings

Lal Lal Estate

In the rolling hill country east of Ballarat lies Lal Lal Estate, 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 Bandicoot. 
For further information call Sandra on 5340 6556.

Narmbool

Through 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 streams.
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

Montrose Cottage

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 stands today.

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 early 1960s.

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 "Postcards".
For more information phone: 0429 439448 or visit the website - Click Here

Mount Mitchell.

Snuggled amongst a fine country garden stands the Mount Mitchell homestead. Made of gracious blue stone, the ten hectare property contains magnificent stables, a coach house, a dairy and enchanting cottages, all surrounded by unbelievable gardens.
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.

Mooramong.

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 Barred Bandicoot.
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.

Trawalla Homestead.

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 off 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 outside staff.
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 information.