The Grampians region captures a physically stunning slab of Victoria steeped in historical significance. A life here can offer all the city mod cons with a great escape only a short drive away, or you can make a true change of pace by living in a small town or on a farm.
A fortunate life
If the cosmopolitan option sounds up your alley, then Ballarat marks the spot. A quick brush-up on history for you: about 170 years ago, news that the Ballarat region was home to the richest alluvial goldfield in the world resulted in a population explosion. Wannabe prospectors sailed from all over the world praying they’d find a fortune in their pans, and many did. The nuggets dried up eventually, though, but the rich heritage remained – the gold rush bankrolled the creation of the opulent buildings, fountains and gardens that give the city its famed old world charm today.
For the current Ballarat community, the perks of life here are slightly more humble. Reasonably priced property; great schools; lots of open space for sport, rest and play; and quick and easy transport to the city make this a perfect place to raise a family.
If you want a radical change from the big smoke, perhaps bunking down in a smaller regional centre might be for you. Ararat, Stawell, St. Arnaud and Horsham all offer something a little different while still capturing the country hospitality and close community ties so revered by tree-changers. Move into one of these towns and you’ll meet a lot of interesting people doing different things – popular industries include agriculture, tourism, wine production, brick manufacturing and meat production. You’ll likely find many folks have spirited opinions too. If you’re up for it, there’s never a spirited debate far away in small towns, be it at the pub or footy club, and it can be a stack of fun to say your piece on the issue of the day.
Room to breathe
Maybe wanderlust is more your mode, in which case, head straight for the Grampians National Park. ‘The Grampians’ are famed for stellar granite formations, gorgeous lakes and breathtaking panoramic views – just search ‘Grampians lookouts’ and you’ll get an idea of what we’re talking about. Many hotspots are accessible by car, and are a great place to clear your head, while others might challenge you to get your compass out and find your own way. The Grampians are so expansive and varied that it doesn’t matter whether you love to camp, ride, fish or swim; you’ll be able to find your own corner of the park to cherish.
The same goes for the area at large. Sprawling and diverse, just about everyone could find a place to call home in the Grampians region – where’s yours?
In the Grampians region, the Department of Justice and Community Safety manages the Hopkins and Langi Kal Kal prison precincts. The department's Community Correctional Services program is run out of offices in Horsham, Bacchus Marsh, Ballarat, Ararat, Stawell and St Arnaud.