I found another excuse for a holiday!
Cadel Evans is retiring 🙁 . This may not be earth-shattering news in some households, but in this one he is greatly admired. I watch my share of road cycling thanks to hubster’s MAMIL (Middle Aged Man In Lycra) status and we were beside ourselves with excitement when he was the first Australian (and only the second non-European) to win the Tour de France in 2011. Such a humble and inspirational athlete. Besides that, his mum apparently lives in Eltham like my parents do and he went to Eltham High as I did for a couple of years. So we’re practically best friends.
In January, the 2015 Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships (#roadnats) will be held in Ballarat, Victoria and, as well as it being Cadel’s (yes we’re on a first name basis) third last race, there will also be Richie Porte, Simon Gerrans and Michael Rogers riding. It’s pretty much an all-star line-up.
Hubster was keen to go, but I wouldn’t be a supportive wife if I didn’t tag along too, would I? Such a good excuse for a trip and I haven’t been to Ballarat in such a long time.
I’m thinking the kids and I will watch as much cycling as interests us and then head to –
- Sovereign Hill – One of those essential places to visit when I was growing up in Melbourne. It’s an open-air museum, which recreates a gold-rush town from the 1850s.
- Lark – I adore their online store and would love to see all those lovely goodies in person at their brand spanking new bricks and mortar shop.
- Kryal Castle – I don’t think I’ve ever been to this kitsch replica medieval castle. Is it worth a visit?
- Art Gallery of Ballarat – Not sure this will be high on the kids’ wish list, but it is the oldest and largest regional art gallery in Australia and I believe will be showing the Archibald Prize next year.
- Ballarat Wildlife Park – an animal park is always a popular activity with the kids
I tossed around a couple of lovely airbnb houses, but I couldn’t go past all the activities on offer at the Big 4 Ballarat Goldfields Holiday Park. Perfect family-friendly fun like a pool, jumping pillow, go-karts and a kids club. The accommodation is basic, but the kids go mad for a bunk bed.
Any more Ballarat suggestions? Have you ever created a holiday around a sporting event?