New tour highlights hidden history

April 16, 2024 BY

Era appropriate: Hidden Lanes co-founder Jarrod Hall (centre) is hosting the tour experience's latest offering, Ballarat City Tales and Hidden Lanes. Photos: SUPPLIED

A NEW guided tour from the founders of Hidden Lanes is aiming to give attendees a blast from the past and an insight into the city’s historic tales.

The tour provider’s Ballarat City Tales and Hidden Lanes launched over the Easter holidays with a focus on the city circa the 1800s.

“This is a new two-and-a-half-hour tour experience we’ve developed and this time it’s actually guided by our tour guide Jarrod Hall, who’ll be in a top hat and easy to follow around,” said Hidden Lanes co-founder Emma Hall.

“It will start from Main Road and go through lots of different stories and historic tales and hidden gems most people won’t know about.

“It’ll reveal where some fascinating stories happened like Lola Montez, a famous dancer who toured Ballarat and her fight with the editor of The Ballarat Times.

“We also discover the point where Peter Lalor made his first speech, and we discuss things like Gideon Morgan, the female bushranger who used to disguise herself as a blind woman and rob people in alleyways.”

Stops include the Ballarat Imaginarium, Kank Wolverang Records, Antiques Goods and Chattels, and the Titanic bandstand.

The two-and-a-half-hour Ballarat City Tales and Hidden Lanes tour also includes a hot drink and a small Ballarat print.


In researching for the tour, the organisers consulted with the owners of featured small businesses familiar with the history of their buildings, as well as with Ballarat historians.

Ms Hall said the new offering has been a well-received one.

“The response has been good,” she said. “Even history fanatics who’ve come on the tour have discovered stuff they didn’t know.

“We started this with our half day slow travel experience whereas this one is a two-and-a-half-hour experience because people were looking for something shorter and guided where they could still discover interesting things within Ballarat.”

The scheduled tours run from 10.30am and 1.30pm and are an ongoing offering.

Tickets are $59 and include a hot drink and a Ballarat print designed by Mr Hall.

Both regular tours and private group bookings for up to nine people can be made via the Hidden Lanes website.