Ballarat & Goldfields
A day trip to Ballarat and Sovereign Hill is more like a journey back in time to the fabulous Victorian Goldrush era. In a little over an hour, you are transported back to the 1850s, where you can learn all about life on the mines with a visit to Sovereign Hill. Meanwhile, a stroll through town is an opportunity to admire the beautiful heritage buildings constructed with the goldrush wealth in Ballarat. But there is much more to Ballarat than its fascinating history. Victoria’s largest inland city is home to a thriving food and wine scene, flourishing contemporary art community and stacks of activities to get you out and enjoying nature. Its proximity to Melbourne makes it perfect for a day trip or long weekend getaway.
Best Ballarat Day Trips and Tours from Melbourne
Our Ballarat and Sovereign Hill day tour offers travellers a wonderful opportunity to explore and admire all the history and character of the region. Departing from Melbourne, we’ll head straight to Ballarat to explore the historical city. Once home to the Wathaurong people, Ballarat underwent significant change with the discovery of gold in 1851. A tour through town will take you past many of the city’s impressive historical buildings built during the goldrush including St Patricks Cathedral, Mechanics Institute and Town Hall. Ballarat is often considered the origin of Australian democracy after an uprising of miners over gold licences culminated in the Eureka Stockage and resulted in men’s suffrage in Australia. You can view the symbol of the uprising, the Eureka Flag, and learn more about the rebellion at the Eureka Centre Ballarat.
Sovereign Hill Tours – Step Back in Time
Wandering through Ballarat will offer you a peek into the life of 19th century Victoria, but for a full immersion we journey to Sovereign Hill. Here Ballarat has been accurately recreated to offer a thorough understanding of life on the mines and in the town during the goldrush. From the shops along main street to the residential houses, Sovereign Hill has meticulously reconstructed the town and offers stacks of activities for travellers to experience life during the goldrush.
There are heaps of opportunities to get involved on a day trip to Sovereign Hill, with interactive displays and demonstrations throughout the day. Take a tour through Red Hill mine, try your luck at panning for gold or enjoy a ride through town on a traditional horse drawn carriage. Adding to the atmosphere are the townsfolk dressed in authentic 19th century attire. If you like what you see, head over to the Red Hill Photographic Room where you can dress up in Victorian costumes for a traditional 1850s style portrait. Enjoy demonstrations of traditional jobs and activities such as candle making, musket firing and coach wheel making. You’ll learn about Australian history while having fun!