Stroll along the main street—where staff are dressed in period costume—and pop in and out of carefully recreated buildings, such as a blacksmith’s workshop, photography studio, apothecary, and bakery. Look for the replica of the 152-pound (69-kilogram) Welcome Nugget, which was found in the Red Hill Mine and was almost 99 percent pure gold. You can also experience the thrill of panning for gold—or catch a live theater performance, musket-firing show, or horse-harnessing demonstration.
Things to Know Before You Go
Sovereign Hill is suitable for all ages and a must for history buffs.
Most visitors spend about half a day at Sovereign Hill.
The site is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers, and free wheelchair rentals are available.
There are on-site dining and accommodation options.
Smoking isn’t permitted.
Many shops sell replica items from the gold rush era.
How to Get There
Sovereign Hill is located in Ballarat, Victoria, about a 90-minute drive west of Melbourne. Free parking is available on-site. Alternatively, take the V/Line train from Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station to Ballarat Railway Station, then hop on bus route 21.
When to Get There
Sovereign Hill is typically open every day except Christmas.
The Gold Museum
Your ticket to Sovereign Hill includes entry to the Gold Museum, which displays gold nuggets, coins, and samples from the old mining areas, as well as exhibits on Ballarat history. And in case you don’t get lucky panning for gold, the museum also has an excellent gift shop specializing in nuggets and Australian-made gold jewelry.
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