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A Trip to Smythesdale

Home > Melbourne > Cafes | Day Trips | Escape the City | Family | Long Weekend
by Geoff Edlund (subscribe)
Always on the hunt for creative, fun, and interesting places, events, and experiences.
Published May 24th 2020
Escape to Scenic Smythesdale
Smythesdale is a town on the Glenelg Highway, only 9 kilometres west of Ballarat and 135 kilometres from Melbourne. This semi-rural setting offers a range of activities, local businesses, and sights to explore, within easy reach of Ballarat.

Food and Drink

The main street of Smythedale offers several cafes, a pub, and a supermarket.

Thru the Gate Café is at 42 Brooke Street Symthesdale, and sell a range of sandwiches, salads, and cakes. They are open from 9.30am every day except Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The café can be contacted on 04 90 145 364.

Thru the Gate Cafe Burger Smythesdale
Thru the Gate Cafe's delicious burgers, Credits: cafe's facebook page

The Court House Hotel is in the heart of Smythesdale at 63 Brooke Street. The menu is extensive and includes lunch, dinner, and a range of cakes and beverages. The full menu is here. The bar is also a great place to chat and meet the lovely locals. The hotel is open from 11am Wednesday to Sundays, and closes at 10pm on weekdays, and 11.30pm on weekends.

Courthouse Hotel Pub Smythesdale
Courthouse Hotel in Symthesdale. Credits: Wikipedia, User: Mattinbgn

Foodworks is at 40 Brooke Street Smythesdale, and serves as a supermarket for the local area. They are open from 7.30am to 8.30pm everyday and can be contacted on (03) 5342 8778.


The main street of Smythesdale has a range of antique and homeware stores nestled between some of the historic buildings and laneways.

Rustic Boutique is at 42 Brooke Street Smythesale. Rustic Boutique is open from 10.30am to 4.30pm from Thursday to Sundays. The owners can be contacted on 0434 840 145 and offer a range of vintage wares, farmhouse furniture and other household goods.

Ruth Howlett Collectables - Ruth Howlett Collectables is at 44 Brooke Street Smythesale. They are open from 10am to 5pm Thursdays to Mondays, and can be contacted on (03) 5342 8186. The store sells antiques and a range of interesting collectables.


There are limited options for overnight stays, but there are some private and camping accommodation options in the town.

Woolmunda Park Cottages includes two guestrooms, plenty of outdoor space, and plenty of guest facilities.

Smythesdale Gardens Camp Ground is at 35 Gardens Road Smythesdale, and offers basic camping facilities for visitors to the area.

Smythesdale Camp
Camping at Smythesdale Gardens, Credits: facebook page, B. Robinson

Activities and Sightseeing

The Symthesdale Market is held at 65 Glenelg Highway Smythesdale, and offers a variety of goods, plants, and crafts. It is held on the third Saturday of every month (except January) - email for further information, and to confirm when it is next running.

There are a range of historic buildings around the market, a seating area, statues, and historical plaques.

Getting to Smythesdale

It is just over an hour by train from Melbourne (or by car) to Ballarat, and there are buses throughout the city.

For those who enjoy a more active holiday, the Skipton Rail Trail runs from Ballarat to Skipton and passes through Smythesdale.

Ballarat Skipton Ride Rail
Ballarat Skipton Rail Trail passes through Smythesdale, credits

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Why? A gold rush town full of history
Where: Smythesdale
Your Comment
There's limited public transport to Smythesdale so it would be best to visit in a car.
by Belinda Nolan-Price (score: 2|446) 391 days ago
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