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Sovereign Hill, Ballarat

(4.4/5 based on 2,200+ reviews on the web)
Ever wondered what it's like to be a miner in a gold rush? Sovereign Hill recreates the experience for you. This open-air museum in Golden Point presents the area as it was after prospectors discovered gold there in 1851. As you stroll down Main Street, stop into the historically rendered metal workshops, schools, apothecary, bank, saloon, and post office and speak with historical interpreters dressed as townsfolk and prospectors from long ago. Tents and buildings invoking this past era surround the creek, where you can pan for real gold. See how to melt gold into bullion bars at the Gold Pour. You might even strike it rich, paying for your entire vacation! Plan your visit to Sovereign Hill and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Ballarat vacation builder.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Village-Museum of the gold rush, which occurred in Australia in the 19th century. One is immersed in a village of American westerns, with great fronts-facades tacked on houses or barns or Lucky Luke, the hotel of the United States to the Australia-Asia Bank that is expected to see out the Dalton brothers! A few houses, Church, school, the Commissioner of gold who buys the nuggets and the first manufacturers who provide the material, lighting, Bowl and plates, especially tools for miners, carriages and carts. Gold seekers are housed in tents appointed summarily a straw mat, a candle light, and a table to do everything. A few general stores where everything, and we still see on the "Great Ocean Road" who did the tour of Australia (40000 km), and a fairly succinct field hospital. The mine is visitable, all machinery in the State, with the arrival of the steam that moves all pieces. The mine shaft is very impressive. The Chinese are in the majority in this gold rush, a complete area is reserved for them, with tents, tea house and place of prayers. The Chinese are single men, while other nationalities can be family, as evidenced by the coffins of children. Sovereign Hill must mean a lot to the Chinese today, that sound very likely to visit and photograph. The former shops sell the productions of the time, including finished mechanical turn plates, the "saloon" offers refreshments and snacks. For Europeans, this dive in the 19th century Australian gold rush has a somewhat episodic character. For the Australians it's their story, and for the Chinese history is probably painful.
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  • If you enjoy history you will love this attraction - so much to see and do! Be sure to plan your day (or two days) so you get the most out of your visit. The entry price might seem steep but definitel...  more »
  • This is so well done, the buildings, the staff in their period costumes , the genuine craftsmen-still kicking ourselves that we didn't buy an omelet pan.We saw the molten gold,panned for gold,laughed ...  more »
Google
  • I've visited Sovereign Hill four times over the past 30 years, including escorting interstate and overseas visitors. It's not cheap and would be expensive for a family but it's nevertheless value for money, considering the expense of maintaining and expanding the site. My visit this week was an overcast weekday so there weren't many visitors other than groups of school children. Students are on specialised tours away from the general crowd and aren't any trouble. I spent four hours and that was enough to see everything at an easy walking pace. Allow extra time if you want to visit the mines or take a coach ride. The souvenir and craft shops are well stocked and reasonably priced. Cards are taken. Included in the entry price is the Gold Museum, a separate site a short walk away. That comprises mostly static displays: no action and much to read. It would be tedious for children and most teenagers. There were just half a dozen visitors when I went in mid-afternoon. Thirty minutes gives a good overview, an hour or more if you're keen. One section showed how the designs and signage of the Sovereign Hill buildings are accurate replicas from photos and illustration made in the past. Pity they didn't always get the spelling correct. I was amused to see one shop sign advertising "coache's" to Melbourne. There is a souvenir shop with toilets between the two sites so you can buy something without paying for entry. There is a shuttle bus to the train station late in the afternoon. All in all, an entertaining if somewhat expensive day out. Well worth a visit.
  • Ever since I was a child I've loved going here! Looking for gold was so fun and I really enjoyed it, and my favourite was always looking into the lolly store and getting a taster of whatever it was we saw them making! Theres really SO much to do here and you can literally have hours of amusement!!!!
  • Travel Back in Time!! No DeLorean required! The most awesome fun you will ever have while learning history. So much to do you will need 2 days to experience Park to the fullest. Fun and Learning for all ages.
  • We visited Sovereign Hill during the 'Chirstmas in July' event and we loved it. This place is great for adults and kids alike. Worth visiting.
  • I went there for school camp it was amazing. Only thing I am complaining about is the food. We went to costume school and had a taste of the 1850s. Blood on the soverign cross was amazing i got scared a few times. Over all 9/10