Ballarat Winter Festival 2023: Discover the Magic in the Heart of Victoria

Events, Melbourne / 23 June 2023

As the winter chill sweeps Melbourne, it’s time for Victorians to mark their calendars for a trip to Ballarat.

From the 24th of June to the 16th of July, Ballarat’s annual Winter Festival is back in full swing, promising to transform the historic city into an enchanting winter paradise.

The Winter Festival is a cherished tradition that embraces the frosty season, dishing out an irresistible array of family-friendly activities, events, and entertainment that infuses the city with warmth and charm. The eclectic mix of offerings scattered across the city includes ice-skating, disco anthems, fire jousting, up-close wildlife encounters, and a Christmas in July event unlike any other. Truly, a winter visit to Ballarat is incomplete without immersing in this festive revelry.

A major attraction sure to stir excitement is the Ballarat Ice Skating Rink, conveniently located in the city centre next to the Town Hall. From the 24th of June till the 16th of July, it invites everyone, regardless of age, to enjoy child-friendly, sensory, and disco-themed skating sessions. Detailed information about the sessions and ticket availability can be found here.

However, the magic doesn’t stop there. The iconic Winter Wonderlights at Sovereign Hill is returning with a mesmerising light and projection show. From the 24th of June to the 16th of July, attendees can delight in falling snow, sip warm mulled wine, sample delicious gingerbread treats, and even greet St. Nick. Information about this enchanted spectacle is available at

Join the battle against the cold at Kryal Castle with their ‘Knights of Fire’ event. Here, you can watch a spectacular fire joust, craft magical potions, and even learn how to sword fight! The event runs from the 24th of June till the 8th of July and tickets can be booked here.

Ballarat Wildlife Park is also celebrating winter with the arrival of Akasha, Ballarat’s newest tiger. This Sumatran/Siberian cross promises an exotic and unforgettable wildlife experience. Detailed visiting hours and ticket booking can be found here.

Further highlights include The Design Exchange, a market that showcases talented independent designers, artists, and creators, and Be_Hear/Now 2023, a live music festival featuring some of Ballarat’s biggest artists.

To add to the merriment, the festival will feature food and drink experiences, performances, workshops, and demonstrations that are bound to make your visit memorable. To see the full Festival program, visit