Global Travel Media » Blog Archive » Secret Photography Locations, Behind the Door Tours and more come to Ballarat for the 2013 Ballarat International Foto Biennale

Home » DESTINATION » Currently Reading:

Secret Photography Locations, Behind the Door Tours and more come to Ballarat for the 2013 Ballarat International Foto Biennale

July 23, 2013 DESTINATION No Comments Email Email

With its striking heritage buildings, movie-set looks and classic Victorian feel, Ballarat is a photographer’s and filmmaker’s haven, recently starring as the set of popular television drama, The Dr Blake Mysteries.

This August, the township will once again play host to the Ballarat International Foto Biennale (17 August to 15 September) – Australia’s internationally acclaimed and premier photographic festival, and the only one of its kind still running in Australia.

To celebrate the Biennale, Ballarat Regional Tourism has put together two tours in the city’s Art & Heritage precinct. Run by Craig Holloway, a board member of the Biennale and a professional photographer himself, the Behind The Doors Tour will take visitors to seven of the eight core venues featured in BIFB, including some quirky hidden spaces rarely seen by the public. Together with Craig, Ballarat Regional Tourism has also pulled together a list of secret photography locations in Ballarat, where hidden gems and striking architectural features wait to be found. Ideal for visitors, amateur photographers and professionals, the secret photography locations are a great way to see another side of Ballarat.

BEHIND THE DOORS TOURS -18 August & 1 September

Led by local photographer and BIFB board member, Craig Holloway, the Behind The Doors Tour runs for two hours, visiting six of the seven core venues featured in the Biennale, including the Mining Exchange, Art Gallery of Ballarat, Post Office Gallery, Trades Hall, B1 Gallery and Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute. The A-Hall in the Town Hall will also feature as part of the tour.

Follow Craig into some quirky hidden spaces rarely seen by the public, hear the fascinating stories behind the buildings, and be guided by Craig as he provides an insider’s view on the various BIFB exhibitions; including interesting artworks featured and the stories behind them. The tours are great for visitors interested in Ballarat’s architecture and heritage and who want to find out more about Ballarat and the BIFB from a photographer’s perspective. Tours are capped at 22 people, and cameras are welcome.

When: Sunday 18 August (opening weekend) and Sunday 1 September at 11am

How: Tickets are $20 per person (flat rate) or two tickets for $35 and can be booked from the Ballarat Visitor Information Centre by calling 1800 44 66 33 or 03 5324 2888 or emailing

Meet at: The Ballarat Mining Exchange, 12 Lydiard St Nth Ballarat 


With its history as one of Victoria’s richest towns during the boom of the gold rush, Ballarat is a treasure trove of grand Victorian-era buildings, luxe interiors, statues, and more. While destinations such as Lydiard Street, Lake Wendouree and the Botanical Gardens make great photographic spots, lots of oft-overlooked details can also be found if one knows where to look. Here, photographer and BIFB board member, Craig Holloway, shares his favourite photographic locations.

  • Look up! Photographers casting their eyes to the facades and balconies of old buildings will find rich architectural details. Craig’s favourite spots include the Provincial Hotel (121 Lydiard Street), the Mining Exchange (8 Lydiard Street North), old Colonists’ Club (20 Lydiard Street North), 23 Sturt Street and the façade of the Stockade Cellars (Mair Street)
  • Interiors: The BIFB is a great way for visitors to see the interiors of some of the rarely-opened grand buildings in the city, with many of the exhibition venues offering interesting details and some vistas over Ballarat. Craig’s favourites are the Ballarat Mechanics’ Institute (117 Sturt Street), the Ballarat Town Hall (225 Sturt Street), Craig’s Royal Hotel (10 Lydiard Street South) and Her Majesty’s Theatre (17 Lydiard Street South)
  • Behind Buildings: Wander behind Lydiard Street (East side) to step back into history. Here visitors will find
    stairways and doors – usually service entries – that have been around for decades.
  • Laneways: Many cobble stoned laneways lined with bluestone walls or windows and doors can be found in the city, such as along Police Lane, Wigton Place and a laneway off Grenville Street North
  • Ballarat Railway Station & Signal Box: The Ballarat Railway Station (Lydiard Street North) was built in 1862, with grand extensions added in 1891. While the site was badly damaged in a fire in 1981, many of the original features were restored. The footbridge, pillar details and signal are part of the original structure and worth a look.
  • Old Ballarat Cemetery: Given the wealth of Ballarat’s citizens in the city’s heyday, the cemetery (1250 Doveton Street North, 1.5 kilometres from the city centre) is the place to uncover some of Ballarat’s grandest headstones, alongside two important monuments – the Eureka diggers’ monument erected in 1856, and a second monument erected in 1879 by the government of Victoria in memory of the officers and soldiers who died in the uprising. The Old Ballarat Cemetery also houses a rotunda built in 1892.
  • Statues: The abundance of statues dotted around Ballarat city makes for great photographic subjects in contrast to the urban background. Craig’s favourites include the marble statue of Persues (Camp Street), the statue of Queen Victoria in front of the Ballarat Town Hall (225 Sturt Street), and the statue of Robbie Burns on Sturt Street
  • Street Scenes: And finally, as a parting shot of Ballarat, a panoramic view of Sturt Street can be found from
    the top of the Bridge Mall, looking up the hill towards the Town Hall andformer Post Office

When: 17 August to 15 September

How: Collect your self guided tour brochure from the Ballarat Visitor Information Centre located at 43 Lydiard St Nth or download from 17 August via

For more information about what’s on in Ballarat visit
For more information on the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, visit

Comment on this Article:

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Platinium Partnership


Elite Partnership Sponsors


Premier Partnership Sponsors


Official Media Event Partner


Global Travel media endorses the following travel publication