Ballarat is one of my favourite day trips from Melbourne whenever I want a fascinating trip into the past with a healthy dose of beautiful architecture and nature. However if you can spare a little longer, I would absolutely recommend you to make at least a weekend of it to allow you to fully explore all that this charming ex-gold mining town offers.
If you’re wondering where to stay during your trip and are looking for unique accomodation in Ballarat that is a little unusual and special, take a look at this list of the very best unique rentals both in the town and surrounding serene countryside.
Whether it’s for a special occasion, a romantic weekend, a trip with the whole family or a solo getaway, I’m confident you’ll find somewhere out of the ordinary to sleep from this hand-picked selection of Ballarat homes.
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Location: Lake Wendouree
Price per night: from $280 per night
Sleeps: 1-12 (6 individual rooms sleeping 2 or whole property available)
If you’re looking for an exceptionally grand and VIP accommodation option, look no further than a room in this stunning gothic mansion, one of the most imposing buildings in the whole of Ballarat. All six rooms at Bishops Palace can also be booked out for an event or special occasion (sleeping up to 12).
A one minute walk from Lake Wendouree, this stunning privately owned property set within 4 acres of heritage listed gardens, is a luxuriously tranquil getaway.
Inside, guests have access to a library/billiard room, dining room, parlour, spa pavilion, kitchen and laundry.
The sleeping quarters within the mansion are as glamorous as you would expect from the exterior, complete with either King or Queen sized beds and decadent provincial French-inspired furnishings. And just look at those incredibly high ceilings and glorious windows!
Waking up in one of these rooms is guaranteed to make guests feel like a true king or queen!
The Railway Carriage
Only 15 minutes away from the centre of Ballarat is this truly unique accommodation option – a stunningly opulent railway carriage!
Located within peaceful farm land, this unusual rental with a fantastic blend of mod cons and original features is sure to wow guests who stay here.
With 1920s furnishings and finishings you may well think you’re on the set of a Hercule Poirot film! For train buffs or just anyone who likes something a bit fun and quirky, this train carriage is the perfect special occasion treat.
St James Converted Church
Price per night: from $379 per night
Sleeps: 4 (2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms)
With stunningly high ceilings and an abundance of ambient lighting, this converted church accommodation from 1859 has all the ethereal atmosphere you would expect from an old religious building.
The fresh white interior and beautiful arched windows in this spacious property are an absolute treat.
With 2 acres of gardens and outdoor seating within a sun-trap courtyard which you have exclusively to yourself, St James Church is a unique but comfortable rental for a peaceful getaway to Ballarat.
Ruby the Cubby House
One of the cheaper and cutest rentals on this unique accommodation list is Ruby, this wooden tiny house.
Ideal for a solo traveller looking for some lone time, or couple after a quiet retreat, Ruby is only a 10 minute walk away from Ballarat city centre for a day of exploring.
With its own entrance into the property and a cute cottage garden shaded by tall trees (and even a goldfish pond), you’ll be left to come and go as you please or sit in your private garden without disturbing anyone.
The interior is thoughtfully organised and for such a modest property, offers surprisingly generous space and light.
Small dogs and cats are also allowed into the property so long as you give advance notice.
Location: Leigh Creek
Price per night: from $92
Sleeps: 1-4 per room, depending on type
If you’re staying with kids or just want something totally fun and quirky, the Medieval adventure park and resort of Kryal Castle should be your top unique accommodation pick in Ballarat!
By staying at the castle, guests will gain access to the fortress to explore after hours. During weekends and public and school holidays, kids can take part in the various activities at The Kryal Castle Adventure Park such as Jester’s Theatre shows, the Dragon’s Labyrinth, jousting shows, events at the Torture Dungeon & Museum and more!
Inside the accommodation, Medieval-style arched doorways lead through to bright and cleanly designed modern rooms finished with hand-woven French and Belgium tapestry interior decoration. The rooms have all the staple hotel mod-cons essential for a comfortable stay but the room is made unique by the quirky architecture inspired by the Middle Ages.
Location: Ballarat North
Price per night: from $142
Sleeps: 8 (3 private bedrooms and one sofa bed)
Nestled amongst a tree-lined garden you will find the gorgeous rustic retreat of Stonehenge. With 3 bedrooms sleeping up to 8 guests, this self-contained property is ideal for a small group or special occasion.
Beautiful interior wood and a loft-style master bedroom with a fantastic A frame roof almost makes this property feel like a luxury treehouse.
The Rocks Tiny House
Set in the serene surrounds of stunning wild fields near the small town Creswick, (a 20 minute drive from Ballarat), is this rather unique accommodation option – an off-grid stone tiny house.
The metal-clad building is an ideal wallet-friendly unusual accommodation getaway near Ballarat. For adventurous guests, there’s even a private outdoor shower and bath to enjoy the fresh air and nature’s elements!
Inside, unlike most tiny houses, this property sleeps up to four people: there’s 1 queen bed with skylight stargazing views, 1 single bed and a 3/4 single bed. Ideal for a couple and a small child or two.
This stunning property is flexible for your guest numbers whether it’s a large group of up to 12 people, or a small group of 4. How? Well, the 2 storey townhouse can be either rented upstairs (with 6 bedrooms) or just the ground floor for a maximum of 4 people.
Lascelles is luxury bespoke accommodation blending history with total opulent comfort – and all within walking distance to Ballarat’s amenities.
Luxury Warehouse Conversion
Location: Ballarat East
Price per night: from $500
Sleeps: 11 (3 bedrooms, 6 beds)
For inner city chic, look no further than this beautifully converted warehouse with sleek interior design accentuating some of the original features (like that gorgeous brick!).
Split across multiple levels, this old biscuit factory is ideal for a large group, with plenty of space for people to mingle around the house together, or own their own on the outdoor deck, living areas and dining room.
In the evening, you can pull out the projector and have a cosy movie night with your guests.
A 15 minute drive away from Ballarat and a 10 minute drive away from the popular outdoor Museum of Sovereign Hill is Tintin, an adorable tiny house complete with outdoor hot tub!
Located at the back of an existing property, this tiny house has been built with the comfort of travellers in mind and is an ideal base for your adventures around Ballarat whether solo or with a partner.
Tintin offers a queen bed, a living area with armchairs and Netflix, a fully-equipped kitchen, outdoor deck and generously sized bathroom with toiletries.
Dunwoody Miners Cottage
Ballarat oozes history of a bygone era to when thousands fled to the area in search of gold, and consequently enjoyed the economic boom that came with their success.
For an insight into what life was like for one such gold miner, have a look at staying in this characterful historic cottage.
Dunwoody is a period home from the 1800s situated only 1.5km away from the centre of Ballarat.
With modern conveniences such as a BBQ and air con, this property still retains much of its original quirky old world charm such as a hand carved 4-poster bed in the master room, and antique furniture in the living room.
There are a huge range of unique and unusual accommodation options in Ballarat, from the very modern to historic jewels that show off the glittering, rich past of this ex-gold mining town. Have you found somewhere you’d love to stay? Let me know by leaving a comment below!
All images are copyright of Airbnb and their prospective photographers.
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*This post may contain affiliate links meaning should you purchase a product via this link, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. These are still products I use or believe in regardless. See my privacy and disclosure policy for more.*