Inglis Street, the main street
|Elevation||442 m (1,450 ft)|
|LGA(s)||Shire of Moorabool|
|State electorate(s)||Ballarat East|
During the Victorian Gold Rush, it became an important staging point for coaches travelling to the Ballarat goldfields.
The area around Ballan was part of the tribal area of the Wautharong people, part of the Kulin nation. The area was rich in fauna, including kangaroo, kangaroo rats, bandicoots, dingos, and two species of native cat. Many species had vanished by the end of the 19th century, with European settlement.
The first European settlers crossed Bass Strait landing near Geelong and worked their way up the Moorabool River with their sheep flocks. Robert von Steiglitz first settled the area in 1838; he named the area after Ballan in Ireland. Other early settler names included Covvie, Stead, Wallace and Egerton.
There were clashes between indigenous Australians and white settlers during settlement. Robert von Steiglitz stated in his journal
"… it may be questioned by some feather-bed philanthropist whether we had the right to take the country from the blacks but I believe the general rule is that if people cultivate or graze the land they have a claim to it. These creatures did neither …".
Gold was found in the area in 1851, which brought an influx of prospectors during the Victorian Gold Rush. The Ballan Hotel dates from the gold rush period in 1851. The town became an important staging point for coaches travelling to the Ballarat goldfields. The post office in the township opened around September 1853, although two earlier offices in the area were named Ballan.
Ballan Primary School was established on 8 January 1855.
The first Mechanics' Institute in Ballan was built in 1861, with the current Mechanics' Institute built on land purchased in 1881, although the façade was demolished and rebuilt in 1922. The building houses the library for the town and a hall.
The main form of transport in Ballan is the automobile. The Western Freeway bypasses the town, but is located nearby and connects Ballan to Melbourne in the east and Ballarat to the west. The main road into town, the Old Melbourne Road (Old Inglis Street), is also the main street. Another main road is the Geelong Ballan Road, which connects Ballan to Geelong.
Ballan Railway Station is a passenger-only station and the Ballarat V/Line rail service VLocity trains stop approximately hourly with a 55-59 minute journey to the state's regional railway hub Southern Cross Station in Melbourne - or 20-25 minute journey to Ballarat. Being on the Serviceton railway line trains stopping at the station give Ballan access via Ballarat to regional services including the Ararat V/Line rail service, the Mildura railway line as far as Maryborough and connecting bus services. The town centre is only a three-block walk from the station.
VLine coaches also regularly stop in Ballan en route from Ballarat to Melbourne, and shuttle buses run from the post office to Tullamarine Airport. Ballan Bus Lines also a weekday bus service to Daylesford.
The Ballan Cricket Club currently has 2 Senior and 3 Junior teams competing in the Ballarat Cricket Association. The seniors in Divisions 1 & 3 whilst the Juniors are U14 Red & Blue and U16. The club has been back with the BCA since the 2005/06 season after 14 years in the Daylesford & District Cricket Association.
The Ballan Bowling Club currently fields three pennant teams in the Ballarat District Bowls Division.
Golfers play at the Ballan Golf Club on Blow Court.
Festivals and attractions
- A Vintage Machinery and Vehicle Rally is held in February, well known for its vintage tractor pull.
- An Autumn Festival is held in Ballan every year in late March.
- Although there is a mineral spring at Ballan, it does not have the high profile of the towns of Hepburn Springs and Daylesford further to the north.
- To the south of Ballan are the Brisbane Ranges National Park and the You Yangs Forest Park.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Ballan (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 21 March 2010.
- Macquarie Dictionary, Fourth Edition (2005). Melbourne, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. ISBN 1-876429-14-3
- Ballan - Walkabout Travel Guide Accessed 20 June 2006
- History of Ballan. Accessed 20 June 2006
- History of Greendale Accessed 20 June 2006
- Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 2008-04-11
- History of Ballan Primary School. Accessed 20 June 2006.
- Ballan Mechanic's Institute and Free Library Accessed 20 June 2006
- Disasters Database — Ballan / Gordon Vic: Train derailment
- Full Points Footy, Ballan, archived from the original on 20 August 2008, retrieved 2008-07-25[dead link]
- Golf Select, Ballan, retrieved 2009-05-11
- Edwards, Paul (March 2009), "I can't quite place it...", Royal Auto (RACV) 77 (2): 40–41.
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