Summary of The Day: Discover the bygone gold rush days of Australia with a day trip from Melbourne to Ballarat, Sovereign Hill, Red Hill Mine, and more!
Departing at 8:20am from Melbourne, we'll travel back int time to the Victorian gold rush era. First you’ll head out over the West Gate Bridge, en route to the beautiful town of Ballarat. Sit back and relax with DVD entertainment introducing you to Sovereign Hill, a wonderful outdoor museum exhibiting in ‘real life’ the story of Australia’s gold rush history.
First up, we'll arrive in Ballarat where you'll discover the historical significance of this town. In its centre the lush tree-lined streets are filled with grand homes of the Victorian era, many the result of prosperity from the gold fields of the 1850s. Today, Ballarat is a major regional centre and the commercial capital of the Central Highlands with a population of almost 100,000.
Next, we'll head to Sovereign Hill. It’s just like stepping into a working town of the time, with period-style homes, shops and retailers, blacksmiths, hotels and costumed characters that bring the exhibition to life. You can wander through the town to get a feel for the lifestyle as it was then.
The first thing that you'll experience at Sovereign Hill is the amazing story of the Eureka Stockade, an event that was fueled by government taxes that were being imposed on miners at the time. The first armed rebellion of its kind in Australia, it led to the deaths of twenty-two diggers and five troopers, and changed Australia’s history forever with the birth of democracy.
From here we'll go down into the depths of a real underground gold mine with a Red Hill Mine tour and discover the dark and dangerous world of deep lead mining. Here you'll also witness the discovery of the famous ‘Welcome Nugget.’ Afterwards you can explore the Gold Museum with its impressive collection.
You'll have some free time in Sovereign Hill, where you can pan for gold. There are diggers on hand to show you the tricks and techniques used to strike it rich, and then you can have a go and try your own luck.
You’ll be entertained by the many performances each day illustrating the exciting and colorful life on the gold fields. With wonderful costumes of the day and many stories to share, the characters will sweep you up in the fun of it all.
You can also visit a number of operational workshops and witness demonstrations of blacksmithing, wheel wrighting, gold pouring, candle making and many more.
Afterwards we'll return to Melbourne around 5:00pm.
For animal lovers, we'll also take you to Ballarat Wildlife Park before spending time at Sovereign Hill. A guided tour of the park will introduce you to many of our native animals...wombats, koalas, Tasmanian Devils and more. You'll even have the opportunity to hand feed kangaroos!
* Adult: 13 and up
* Child: 2 - 12 years of age
* Children under 2 years of age join the tour for free provided they do not occupy a seat on the bus.
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