Slow, self-guided and all inclusive Ballarat tour shows off the best art, food and hidden gems

Words by Anthea Riskas
Images supplied

If the idea of group tours gives you the ick, then sign up for this self-guided, slow travel offering in Ballarat, from local company Hidden Lanes.

The Ballarat Art and Culinary Journey being hosted on Saturday, 4th March, is a hybrid experience combining a hands-on art class, 2 hours of solo walking time with a podcast and digital guidebook for company and lunch at one of The ‘Rat’s best beer barns.

Your day begins at The Lost Ones Makers Studio where you’ll join local artist Pauline O’Shannessy-Dowling for a one-hour creative workshop titled “I Can’t Draw” which leaves no wiggle room for anyone who believes they aren’t creative.

An hour later you begin your meander around some of the town’s more secret spots, with stops of historical and cultural significance and scenic beauty mapped out along your virtual itinerary.
Pop your earbuds in and listen to the tales only locals would know about at each landmark and really lean into the concept of not needing to jam in all the “sights”.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, it’s time to search for the literal hidden lane that houses Hop Temple, where your lunch and a refreshing beverage are all included in your ticket price.

Tour Ballarat

This venue is the perfect pairing for this style of touring, it’s a welcoming, relaxed, light-filled space, with no pretensions but high standards when it comes to food and drink.

Take your time to enjoy your meal and when you’re refuelled and ready, head back onto the Ballarat streets to tick off the rest of your walking list and figure out the treasure hunt to locate a little culinary treat!

Not so keen on such a prescribed outing or can’t make this particular date? No problem!

Hidden Lanes offer their standard, self-guided tours Wednesday-Saturday, 11am-4pm, which take 3-5 hours to help you discover hidden laneways, art galleries and studios, antique and local gift stores, quirky cafes and beautiful scenery.

There’s no need to rush, when you’ve got a curated, virtual local in your pocket, you’re guaranteed not to miss a thing.


Who: Hidden Lanes
What: Ballarat Art and Culinary Journey Self-guided Tour
When: Saturday 4th March
Tickets: Book Here

We wish to acknowledge the Wadawurrung people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.