Ararat Visitor Information
Formerly a gold-mining town, Ararat is a city in the state of Victoria located about 208 kilometres west-north-west of Melbourne, the state capital. Established in 1857 after a group of Chinese miners struck gold in the area, the city was named after Mount Ararat, a nearby hill (which itself was named after the Biblical mountain range by Horatio Wills in 1841). It has a land area of 12.6 square kilometres.
Ararat's estimated population of 8,220 residents makes it the largest settlement in its Local Government Area, the Rural City of Ararat. At the same time, the city serves as administrative centre for its LGA. The gold rush of 1857 brought about quick progress, which allowed for the community to gain municipality status within a year of its founding. However, it was not until May 1950 that it was proclaimed a city.
Recreation and tourism thrive in Ararat in view of what the city has to offer. Thanks to its rich artistic, cultural, and historical heritage, local and visiting tourists can experience the very heart of the city. As for its residents, the city's numerous facilities allow for a very hospitable community living.
People who want to experience Ararat can visit some of the city's select locations or participate in some of its regular events. These include the Ararat Performing Arts Centre, Ararat Regional Art Gallery, Ararat Seasonal Farmers Market, Golden Gateway Festival, Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre, J Ward Museum, Jailhouse Rock Festival, and Langi Morgala Museum.
Those who enjoy spending time outdoors can explore some of Ararat's gardens, parks, and other natural sights. These include Alexandra Botanical Gardens, Ararat Hills Regional Park, Elmhurst Recreation Reserve, Grampians National Park, Langi Ghiran State Park, Mount Buangor State Park, Moyston Recreation Reserve, One Tree Hill Lookout, Pomonal Recreation Reserve, Toronto Reserve, Wickliffe Recreation Reserve, and Willaura Recreation Reserve.
Children can enjoy hours of playtime in some of Ararat's playgrounds. These include the Carey Street Playground, Grevillea Court Playground, Hewitt Street Playground, Information Centre Playground, Kokoda Park Playground, Recreation Reserve Playground, and Speed Street Playground.
Swimmers of varying skill levels can take advantage of the facilities provided by the Ararat Rural City Council. These are the Ararat Rural City Recreation and Aquatics Centre, Ararat Solar Olympic Swimming Pool, Lake Bolac Swimming Pool, and Willaura Swimming Pool.
The city of Ararat also has provisions for its hiking and bicycling enthusiasts. Some of the city's tracks and trails include the Alexandra Gardens Lake Walk, Cemetery Creek Walking Track, Golf Links Road Track, Greenhill Lake Walking/Riding Path, and The Great Dividing Trail.