Buninyong Bowling Club

Buninyong Bowling Club
708 Inglis Street
Buninyong, Victoria, 3357
Phone: (03) 5341 3577


Buninyong Bowling Club is one of the oldest bowling clubs in existence, being the third oldest in the Ballarat region. In 1872, Mr Thomas Purves, a chemist in Learmonth St, Buninyong, penned a letter to the Buninyong Borough Council, asking permission to establish a bowling green in the Botanical Gardens. This was a very strange request at the time, not thought to be in keeping with the purposes of a Botanical Garden. However the request was approved, probably because there were some keen bowlers amongst the Council members.

The Buninyong Borough Council minutes record the request as being approved and the club was formed. A leading citizen of the borough and the mayor of the time, Robert Allan, was an inaugural member of the club.

The council minutes of 11th February, 1873 record a request from Mr E Newman (another chemist) for a portion of land to be marked off around the bowling rink for planting and that a lease be granted to the club, all of which was approved.

The original green ran east and west and was two rinks wide, which was extended late in 1873 to make a perfectly square green. This allowed for more bowlers and games, but the end rinks proved impossible to get a good draw when allowing for the bias, particularly on the ditch side where the bowl would virtually stay straight, if it did not go into the ditch.

In 1874 the club’s Secretary, Mr Tunbridge wrote to the council requesting an additional piece of land for the purpose of erecting a pavilion. This request was also approved. This pavilion was duly built and stood the test of time, serving as the cub’s clubrooms right up until the early-mid 1950s when a larger building was required.

The club purchased the last disposal hut from the RAAF camp at Ballarat Aerodrome, but when it arrived it was in a shocking state of disrepair, with pieces everywhere. After many working bees the building was restored and painted and a cool room installed, (complete with cork lining procured from the local brewery).

This building remained in use until 2011 when the City of Ballarat supported the club to establish the larger, modern facility that is the club’s home today.

The original green developed throughout the years to become one of the best natural bowling surfaces in the Ballarat region. This green was added to in 1975 when the club installed a second grass green at the western end of the main green.

Unfortunately the main green, whilst still being a great bowling surface, deteriorated each year from wear and tear and in March 2017, it was fully redeveloped, including all drainage and ditch surrounds, a project fully funded by the club and its members.

The club’s membership has grown steadily over the years, with an increase of over 30% over the last five years. The club has increased its pennant competition presence with four weekend teams (Premier Division, Divisions 3, 5, & 8) and three Midweek teams (Divisions 1, 3 & 5). The club won the Division 1 premiership in 2015-16, moving up into the Premier division and competing against the best bowlers in Ballarat and Geelong. Again the club was to receive many comments about the excellent standard of its facilities and bowling green.

Buninyong Bowling Club provides a wonderful bowling experience – great facilities in a magnificent setting amidst beautiful botanical gardens. Come and visit and enjoy our greens – and our afternoon teas are legendary!