Make your way to the foothills of the Grampians and discover a vibrant town surrounded by inspiring natural attractions, rolling plains and wineries. From the Grampians and Pyrenees wine regions and vast Grampians National Park to Mount Langi Ghiran and Mount Cole, Ararat's surrounding region is a wonderland for nature lovers, foodies and adventurers alike.
Get back to nature
Pack a picnic lunch and hit the walking trails at one of the many nearby parks and reserves. See wildlife in their natural habitat, visit Indigenous rock art sites and savour views across the plains from the top of cliffs and rocky outcrops. Keep the adventure going by camping out for a night or two and watch the stars light up the clear night sky.
A taste of things to come
A gateway to the Grampians and Pyrenees wine regions, Ararat is the perfect base from which to take a winery road trip. Cruise from cellar door to cellar door and while you're on the road be sure to check out the many cafes, provedores and restaurants serving up fresh local produce and gourmet treats.
Travel back in time to Australia's golden era and learn about the experiences of Chinese miners at the Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre. Ararat's rich gold rush history was unique in that it was the only town in Australia founded and developed by Chinese migrants.
Peruse displays from the goldfields, squatters and farming estates, as well as an extensive collection of Aboriginal artefacts at the Langi Morgala Museum. Grab a guide from the Ararat & Grampians Visitor Information Centre and take a self-guided tour around the town's iconic landmarks.
Delve into the haunting past of J Ward, a bluestone jail which once housed Victoria's criminally insane and extend your stay with a spooky tour of Aradale, the country's largest abandoned psychiatric asylum.
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.
Renowned Ararat Regional Art Gallery, with its celebrated range of contemporary textile and fibre art collections, is currently undergoing a major redevelopment. Due to reopen in June 2018, the gallery will form part of an exciting architecturally designed arts and culture precinct.