Sovereign Hill in Ballarat

August 07, 2014


Sovereign Hill, a 90 minute drive from Melbourne CBD in the regional city of Ballarat, has achieved recognition as one of the major tourist attractions of Victoria, employing 350 people and welcoming 450,000 visitors each year.

Sovereign Hill
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As an active open-air living museum and historical park, Sovereign Hill presents a town in the midst of the Gold Rush Era (1850s), with costumed characters, horse drawn carriages and cobbled streets setting the scene for a historical time when our lives were so much different from what they once were.

Sovereign Hill
Image is c/o

Horses and Carraiges at Sovereign Hill

After a gold discovery at Poverty Point on 18 August 1851, word spread of potential wealth earning from the earths most sought after metal, and soon 20,000 migrants arrived in Victoria's regional town, which at the time held nothing more than a small sheep station.  Sovereign Hill plays out the scene of what soon became a major settlement due to the Victorian Gold Rush, with a chance for visitors to experience what life was like back in the Australian 'Olden Days'.


Sovereign Hill's Main Street

Along Sovereign Hill's Main Street there are various businesses demonstrating how things were done back in 1850s, with a bank, two hotels, theatre and a post office, a bowling saloon, candle maker, blacksmith and a library.  Shops include a photography studio, a sweet shop selling old fashioned hard-boiled lollies, an apothecary, a bakery, jeweller's shop, grocer, tentmaker and tinsmith.  

Panning for gold

Panning for gold appears to be the obvious favourite activity (you get to keep the gold if you find it!), as well as horse-drawn coach rides and mine shaft tours.  Spend the whole day here and feast in one of the traditional licensed restaurants or grab a take-away from a cafe or bakery.  At night, the ‘Blood on the Southern Cross’ sound and light spectacular re-enacts a dramatic battle between gold miners and Government forces at Ballarat in 1854.

Snow at Sovereign Hill
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Rug up and take a visit in winter, and you can take advantage of Sovereign Hill's 'Christmas in July'  spectacular, with Christmas dinners served in traditional restaurants, Christmas shop displays, Christmas lights and even snow!

Sovereign Hill proves to be an extremely well maintained, fun and educational day out, with lots of activities to keep the whole family busy.  Being an outdoor museum, it is advisable to wear weather-appropriate clothing and don't forget your sunscreen in summer.



Where: Sovereign Hill, Bradshaw Street, Ballarat
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 10am-5pm
Entry costs: (at time of writing) Adult: $49.50, Child (5-15) $22, Concession: $39.60

Online: Website and Facebook

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