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A Western United getaway in Ballarat beckons this weekend

Western United Mars Stadium Ballarat

Western United is poised to return to Ballarat for the first time in nearly a year, and the town is ready to host as many Green and Black fans as possible.

With an early kick-off time of 3:05pm AEDT on Saturday, Western United’s supporters can make a day or a weekend out of watching the Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s best team battle it out for another big three points.

Ballarat is one of the biggest country towns in Victoria, with only Geelong having a bigger population outside of Melbourne, and as such there is plenty to do to make it a great trip.

Only just over 100km outside of Melbourne and little over an hours drive from Tarneit and the Wyndham area, there is much to be discovered in the The Golden City.

And that nickname is where it begins – The Golden City of course a nod to where the Gold Rush in the 1850s really took off.

Sovereign Hill remains one of the biggest attractions across the whole of Victoria, offering visitors the chance to strike lucky by panning for some gold and learning about one of the biggest periods in Australia’s history.

Right around the corner by Lake Wendouree is the beautiful Ballarat Botanical Gardens, planted and preserved since the 1860s.

The Gardens are not only famous for the trees, flowers and serene nature, but also for some stunning artwork displays and key hotspots throughout the venue.

Avenue of Prime Ministers is a gorgeous walkway surrounded by large, overhanging trees that features busts of Australian Prime Ministers.

There is also the spectacular Ex Prisoners of War memorial and Tramways Museum amongst of course all of the open nature that would be perfect for setting up a picnic and having a kick of the football before heading over to the match.

For families there is the highlight of the Ballarat Family Entertainment Centre which houses indoor go-karting, laser tag and arcade games. Laserforce Ballarat is the fifth-longest running laser tag arena in the world with futuristic suits and a massive playing space.

The Ballarat Wildlife Park, the Art Gallery of Ballarat and countless cinemas and theatres might also take your fancy, with so many options for entertainment for people of all ages and interests.

But, the main attraction this weekend is of course the big A-League Men clash between Western United and Newcastle Jets.

The Green and Black is riding a seven-game unbeaten run, the last three of which have all been wins, and is sitting pretty atop the table.

The side will have confidence knowing it has beaten Newcastle on each of the last three occasions in all competitions, but the Jets will no doubt provide stiff competition.

For the perfect weekend out, look no further than Ballarat and the chance to watch elite men’s football in the region.

Tickets are on sale now, or sign-up with the Ballarat Superpass for access to both matches in Ballarat in the coming weeks