Enjoy regional Australian dining at the restaurants in Ballarat. Ballarat lies about 60 miles northwest of Melbourne on the main road to Adelaide. Situated in the Central Highlands on the Yarrowee River, it enjoys a fine natural setting that attracts many visitors. That natural beauty, however, was not the first reason for the city's popularity. Instead, it was the gold rush in the mid-19th century that led to the huge growth of a small cattle station into the major inland city we see today. Mining still plays a significant, albeit smaller role in the city's economy, although it provides the background for one of the world's leading outdoor museums – the Sovereign Hill mining settlement museum. Top that off with a local winery and a beautiful countryside that surrounds the city, and it’s not hard to see why Ballarat’s restaurants keeps packing them in.