Sovereign Hill Gold Rush
Today you’ll step back in time to the era of the Victorian gold rush. First you’ll head out over the West Gate Bridge, en route to the beautiful town of Ballarat. Sit back and relax with entertainment introducing you to Sovereign Hill, a wonderful outdoor museum exhibiting in ‘real life’ the story of Australia’s gold rush history.
As you arrive in Ballarat you’ll come to understand 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.
When you arrive at Sovereign Hill you’ll be placed back in time to the great gold rush era of the 1850s. 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 fuelled 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.
Red Hill Mine Tour
Go down into the depths of a real underground gold mine and discover the dark and dangerous world of deep lead mining. Here you’ll also witness the discovery of the famous ‘Welcome Nugget’.
One of the many fun things you can do at Sovereign Hill is pan for gold. There are diggers on hand to show you the tricks 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 colourful 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.
Full Day Tour
Approximately 9 hours
Mon, Tues, Thu & Sat 8.20am
from Federation Square, Corner Flinders & Russell Streets or earlier from your hotel
Our special discounted rates make booking accommodation with us during your holiday both easy and affordable at selected AAT Kings hotels and resorts.
Find out more
- Entry to Sovereign Hill
- Experienced Driver Guide
- Comprehensive commentary
- Travel in an air-conditioned coach
What to bring
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Sunglasses, sunscreen and hat
- Water bottle
- Jacket in the cooler months
Low level of fitness required.
|8.20am||Depart Federation Square|
|10.45am||Ballarat Wildlife Park drop off|
Ballarat Wildlife Park (+W)
Visit the Ballarat Wildlife Park, where you’ll see a unique selection of wildlife in their natural habitats. You’ll see saltwater and freshwater crocodiles, Tasmanian Devils, kangaroos, koalas, echidnas and so many more. You can wander through the park taking in the many exhibits, join guided tours and participate in interactive shows. Feeding times can be a lot of fun – particularly with the crocs!
Free hotel pick-ups
Hotel pick-ups are available free of charge if you do not wish to meet at the main departure point. Hotel pick up times vary so please use the tool below to find your hotel and pick up time. Hotel pick-ups must be requested with your booking.
Pickup times listed below are valid for departures between 1st April 2016 – 31st March 2017. If your travel date is outside this period, please enquire at time of booking for hotel pick-up details.
Find your hotel pick up time
The Eureka Stockade Rebellion took place at the Eureka goldfields in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, on the 3rd of December, 1854.
Ballarat has enjoyed a rich and prosperous heritage thanks to the Gold Rush which began in 1851.
Eureka Stockade is a key event in the development of Australian democracy and Australian identity, with some people arguing that ‘Australian democracy was born at Eureka’.
The population of the Victorian goldfields peaked in 1858 at 150,000. More than half of these were British immigrants, 40,000 were Chinese, as well as other nationalities.