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Ararat lies east of the rugged Grampians Ranges, surrounded by a rich farming and grape-growing region noted for producing top Merino wool. Nature lovers will appreciate that Ararat is the ideal base for exploring the Mt Cole Forest Ranges and the Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park. Visitors can relax in the Alexandra Gardens, a tranquil spot located in the centre of town. Close to the Alexandra Gardens is the old bluestone gaol; once used as a mental asylum, it is now a museum.