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Getting There -- From Melbourne, Ballarat is a 1 1/2-hour drive on the Great Western Highway. V/Line (tel. 13 61 96 in Victoria, or 03/8608 5011; www.vline.com.au) runs trains between the cities every day; the trip takes about 90 minutes. The return fare is A$30 for adults and A$15 for children. Ask about off-peak and family-saver fares.

Several companies offer day trips from Melbourne. They include AAT Kings (tel. 1300/228 546 in Australia; www.aatkings.com). A full-day tour costs A$141 for adults and A$71 for children.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.