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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
  • A look at history of the late 1800s gold rush times and how the early settlers lived. Live demonstrations seemed very realistic and the costumes were interesting. 
  • This experience is a must do for not only visitors but also every Australian. Pity not every school child in Australia can't visit as part of their educaton. It is so well done. A living museum includ...  more »
  • Great look at history. Pity you have to pay for some things when you're there - the entry price is quite expensive. However the option of returning the next day for free is good. 
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