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Ballarat Tramway Museum

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Published March 16th 2020
Where old and new technology combine
Down beside Lake Wendouree, you'll find this fascinating little museum packed with lots of local history.

It is run by volunteers to retain the old tramway experience that once existed on the streets of Ballarat from 1887 to 1971. To do this, they preserve and maintain the old trams that once ran along the roads and run them on the part of the original tramway track that goes through the botanic gardens beside Lake Wendouree. They try to give a bit of an authentic experience with the use of paper tickets, conductors and other staff in uniforms and stops along the way.

Their collection contains over 20 trams which include Ballarat Horse Tram No1 and many other historical trams that they have acquired over the years, with members faithfully restoring them so that future generations can enjoy them.

The museum is the first in Australia to use solar power to run its trams with 18kw being generated by 72 panels that were installed in 2014 the excess energy being put back into the grid. Since doing this, the Melbourne tram system has become powered by solar showing how old and new technology can integrate to create sustainable transport.

A visit to the museum is free, but they ask those that can to give gold coin donation to help with maintenance and future projects.

In addition to regular running times throughout the year, trams operate during special events which include

Ballarat Begonia Festival
Horse Tram Running Day
Night Tram
Tramcar Showcase
Santa Tram
Christmas Day

Details of running times and days can be found out their website.

You can also hire a tram for your event with rates starting from $40 plus a per person cost of Adult $5 and Children $2 with several different trams available.

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Why? Hop on a tram and get a feel of old Ballarat
When: Every Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday 11.30am and 4.30pm
Phone: 61 3 5334 1580
Where: South Gardens Reserve, Wendouree Parade, Lake Wendouree VIC 3350
Cost: Free museum(gold coin donation), Tram Fares: Adult $5, Children $2. Also (Hop-on /Hop-off) ticket: Adult $8, Children $4
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