Thursday 10 December 2015

Our Holiday In Ballarat

Last Thursday,  Darren,  myself and our girls went to Ballarat for a four day mini holiday.  We've been really busy lately with our church's community toy and hamper giveaway,  Jessica finishing her high school exams and Megan completing Year 10 exams.  I've had extra cleaning work while two of my clients sell their homes.

It was wonderful to get away and Ballarat holds a special place in my heart.  My grandparents lived there and my Mum grew up there until she married my Dad.  As a child I made many trips to Ballarat to see my relatives.

Ballarat is approximately 105 kilometres (65 miles) west-north-west of Melbourne or just under two hours from our home.  Ballarat was named after an Aboriginal word " Balla arat " and thought to mean ' resting place ".  Gold was discovered in the area on 18th August 1851 and the population swelled as it became known as a gold mining town.  Ballarat is also the site of the Eureka Rebellion ( Eureka Stockade ) and is the only armed rebellion in Australian history.  My grandparent's place is on Eureka Street, only two or three blocks away from the Eureka Stockade site.

Our accomodation was a miner's cottage called Glazebrook Cottage Bed and Breakfast.  It dates back to the 1890's and has been restored beautifully with many period features kept.  It really is the best accomodation we've stayed in.  This was our third visit to Glazebrook Cottage.  Darren found it on the internet a few years ago.  The first time we stayed there,  as soon as I walked in the door I felt like I was home. I was so happy there were tears in my eyes.  Darren had struck " gold ".  Glazebrook is just a couple of streets away from my grandparent's home and it feels good to be near where they lived.  They probably knew of the cottage or previous occupants long ago.

Glazebrook Cottage

Darren relaxing

The view from the veranda over towards my grandparents place.

Jo Casey is the owner of Glazebrook Cottage.  She does a wonderful job of looking after anyone who stays there.  Jo loves to personally let her clients in to make sure everything is perfect.  We've come to know Jo over the last few years and she loves to have a chat with us.  When I emailed her to confirm our booking I asked if I could take photos of the cottage for my blog.  Guess what ?  She has been aware of my blog for a while and remembers ( and recognised ) me from my tv stories.  We had a good giggle over that

Eating area and fireplace
Our bedroom
Looking towards the lounge room.
The girl's bedroom
Bathroom with spa
Lounge room and front door
We had lunch at the Beechworth Bakery ( the Ballarat one ) and enjoyed some time relaxing there.  After lunch we drove around Lake Wendouree which is a few kilometres away.  This is where the 1956 Olympic rowing was held.  The lake area is peaceful and pretty to look at.  The botanic gardens are across the road with it's famous flower clock and Begonia Festival ( held in March ).

Botanic gardens

Lake Wendouree
The gardens at Lake Wendouree

We made a trip to the SPC cannery outlet and picked up a few grocery bargains.  While we did that,  Megan had fun looking in the near by op shops.

Friday was a big day for us.  We spent many hours at the Hepburn Springs and surrounding Daylesford area.  Jessica bought empty drink bottles so she could fill them up with mineral water straight from the ground.  The taste is not to my liking but it is fresh and good for you.  My Mum told me she went out there as a child with her parents to do the exact same thing.

Hepburn Springs
Jessica filling up her drink bottles
Darren and I
Jessica and Megan

We spent a couple of hours at an antique shed called " The Mill' Markets ".As a family we just love to look at all the different types and eras of antiques.  Darren looks at the records.  Jessica looks at the old books and general viewing. Megan loves the vintage china.  As for me,  I just love looking at everything.  My favourite items are vintage kitchen wares and china.  It's like going on a trip down memory lane.  I recognised many of the kitchen wares that my Mum and Grandmas had in their homes.  On this trip I purchased a couple of tall Fowlers Vacola bottles that I'll use as vases.

Jessica having fun

Around tea time that night we went to Sovereign Hill for their once a year free entry for night shopping.  Sovereign Hill is a recreated historical mining town attraction.  We bought some of their famous raspberry drop lollies and scented soap.  Both these items were very popular that night.  I also caught up with one of my blog readers,  fellow Cheapskate member and lovely friend Maureen.  She happened to be in the area that day with her family so we met up for a chat.  When Maureen and I get together,  we always has lots to talk about.

Children's choir at Sovereign Hill

A Miner's hut
Crowds in the main street.
The gold mine
Pretties in a shop
Lots to buy.
My dessert of lemon tart
With my lovely friend Maureen
A shop window
On Saturday Darren,  Jessica and myself went shopping while Megan enjoyed the cottage by herself.  We went to a Kaisercraft clearance shop where Darren and Jessica bought some Christmas presents for me.  For those who are not familiar with Kaisercraft,  they make all sort of stamps,  card stock and craft supplies to make cards and for scrap booking.

We caught up with my cousin later that day and had a wonderful visit.

Sunday we checked out of Glazebrook and headed over to " The Mill Markets " outside of Ballarat on our way home.  We spent another couple of hours " just looking ".  It makes us happy.  We had lunch in the cafe there.  They serve up homemade meat pies with slow cooked beef inside.  Very yummy and I must say,  the best meat pie I've ever eaten.

After lunch we headed over to Altona for a family Christmas gathering.  We finally made it home just on tea time.

We had a wonderful four days away relaxing,  shopping,  watching dvds each night and eating plenty of good food.

I hope you enjoyed the photos.


  1. What a wonderful post Wendy. This demonstrates how a delightful quality holiday can be had and that living frugally is not drudgery or hard-yards like some think. That cottage is exactly how I would love to live...the colours and furniture etc - wow!

    1. Phil, we might be frugal but we still live a great life because of it.

      I could imagine your vintage kitchen scales in the kitchen of the cottage.

  2. Ballarat and Daylesford are great areas to explore and the weather certainly looked like it was in your favour. I have bookmarked Glazebrook Cottage in case we ever need a little trip away. Lovely looking at all your pics!
    Cheers - Joolz xx

  3. What a lovely holiday! This is my kind of holiday! I'm glad you did this.
    I love the pic with the cups and saucers and tea post. I saw pink teapots and creamers to die for!
    The cottage is gorgeous. I always dreamed of a cottage and cottage garden from when I was about ten. Holidays don't have to be hugely expensive. I hate airports, I hate plane travel. We go to little beach places and the best one is a cabin right on the beach at Gumby Bay. It is total peace! We are saving up to do this in about April next year. Lovely post Wendy. Xxx

  4. I have just stumbled across your blog - what a lovely holiday! It looks just like the kind of thing we like to do with our little family.

    The cottage looks just beautiful.


  5. Hi Wendy,

    What a wonderful holiday you had!!!!
    I love Ballarat also. Glazebrook Cottage looks beautiful and so relaxing. The Mill markets are wonderful to rummage around in. It was lovely to meet you and your beautiful family at Sovereign Hill, it felt like we had known them forever. The raspberry drops are wonderful and I'm not a lolly eater(thanks Jessica for the recommendation).

    I'm glad you had a break as the next couple of weeks will be busy no doubt.

    Blessings, xxx

  6. A great post Wendy with some gorgeous pics, glad you all had a great time. I love all those teapots and cups to. The cottage looks absolutely beautiful xoxo

  7. Wonderful.. wonderful... wonderful! Thank-you so much for sharing your mini break. I love Ballarat but never get to spend enough time there.
    The pictures are just gorgeous! Thanks again..... looks and sounds like you all had a brilliant time. Cheers

  8. thanks for sharing your frugal break Wendy. It shows that you can have a good time, spending little if you plan well. I am another lover of the teapots.

  9. That cottage is too cute for words! I'd love to move right in. The shops look like fun.

  10. Dear Wendy, What a gorgeous holiday you had! Thank you for sharing it with us. I feel like I've been on a little trip just looking at the photos. This is my kind of get-away as well. Comfortable, beautiful accommodations, surrounded by quaint "pretties" to adore, (I've used that word for years:), spending time with the people you love. It doesn't get better than that. Your family is beautiful and so are you. Such a generous post. Love, Colette xxx

  11. Wendy, Ballarat looks like my kind of place too. I adore the little cottage and stayed in one similar called Sophies Cottage in the Barossa on our honeymoon. It was gorgeous. I'm glad you all managed to escape and enjoy some time together. So precious. Mimi xxx

  12. Hi wendy
    such lovely pics!!
    My family and i have great memories of sovereign hill.
    Your little cottage looks amazing.
    Just my kind of holiday!!thank you for sharing that with us
    Kathleen perth

  13. Hi Wendy,love all the pictures,and the little cottage,what a wonderful little holiday you had, with you and your family,thanks for sharing.


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