The town of Ballarat, north west of Melbourne, was founded during the gold rush era of the 1850s. As word spread that the Ballarat region was home to one of the largest deposits of alluvial gold ever discovered, thousands came from all over the world seeking their fortune.

The gold rush transformed Ballarat from a small sheep station to a major settlement and now the largest inland city in Victoria.

You can witness the legacy of this historic time in the Victorian and Edwardian architecture scattered throughout the town centre but the best place to learn about the gold rush era is at Sovereign Hill, an interactive outdoor museum that recreates the 1850s gold mining town.

Step back in time to experience the hustle and bustle of Main Street as costumed characters parade their new-found wealth, venture underground on a fully –guided gold mine tour and even try your luck panning for gold.