Real-life tour guided by an online book


A NEW self-guided walking tour and guidebook launched on Friday May 20 and highlights twenty-two Ballarat shops, galleries, cafes and venues across the CBD.

The tour and accompanying e-book were developed by Jarrod and Emma Hall, who said they were inspired by the slow nine-year journey they undertook in South Korea.

“It was all about slowing down and enjoying the scenery, walking or biking a slow, beautiful route,” she said.

“It’s not like the more extreme walking sports you might associate with traveling to Australia. It’s quieter and we really liked the concept, so we wanted to bring it here.

“We love supporting small businesses and artists, and we also love nature, so we wanted to create something that we could share with people here that would showcase Ballarat.”

Scheduled to release with the Ballarat Heritage Festival, the digital guide includes interactive links for each location, with stories through history podcasts alongside photos and videos created by Mr Hall.

A hard copy is due to launch in June with QR code links to additional information, and plans are underway to release a second route later in the year.

The guide will remain available until July, and Mr Hall said part of its aim is to get people to “appreciate what’s local” while also generating support for the businesses featured.

“There’s some really cool stuff in Ballarat, and there’s some really cool people doing awesome things, and a lot of them are still struggling with COVID,” he said.

“Places in this guide like The Known World Bookstore deserve to be huge, it’s just awesome, and at least half of the businesses in this guide have actually told us they’re struggling a bit.

“It’s sort of a secondary goal, getting people who actually live here to understand what they’ve been missing the whole time they’ve been here.”

The Hidden Lanes guide can be purchased for $8.50 at


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