Sovereignhills (Melbourne) – The Best of Ballarat

Step back in time into the gold rush era where it showcases the re-creation of events of the past. Ballarat’s best, family friendly attraction is in Sovereignhills, Northwest of Melbourne. This several time winner of Melbourne’s best attraction is a living open air interactive museum to ensure that you enjoy every moment.

Get lost in a world of Sovereignhills brought to life with costumed characters mounted on over 40 horses that trot by you.

Explore this thriving town of 1850’s filled with its own shops (where you can physically buy goods), hotels with traditional dining experience, fully licensed bar, bakery,  live music, musket firing, candy making, candle making & dipping, metal spinning, 19th century bowling, post office, theater shows and schools. It doesn’t stop there. There are also  Studio-photo taken with your chosen costume, horse ride in a carriage around the museum, factories where you can participate in the manufacturing process, observing a blacksmith smelting gold, women churning butter, the Apothecaries, library and much much more.

Sovereignhills even has the 1930 armour from World War II.

Sovereignhills’ most famous multi-million dollar sound and light show run every night where the ‘Blood on the Southern Cross’, 1854 story of Eureka Uprising emerges into reality.

Some of the real highlights of your experience could be the underground Redhill mine, where you venture underground to see the period machinery, mining conditions and to gaze at the 69kg of the welcome gold nugget.

In the one of a kind Sovereignhills, Redhill mine you can take a peek at the dangers and the processes used by the miners to extract the gold from underground gold fields.

This re-created town is famous because of the real time activities ranging from the vintage bowling alley to horse-riding. While in town you might very frequently catch actors performing typical gold rush events like police officers chasing after an unlicensed gold digger.

Find out about the thousands of foreign gold diggers looking for the luck in Ballarat like the Chinese. There is a Chinese village with tents for different members of the community such as the scribe or the veggie seller. In the Chinese temple, there are shows which led you to take a look at the history of Chinese culture in the gold era.

Wander through the nooks and crannies of old style homes preserved to its original conditions with farm animals in their pens. Join in one of the numerous activities where you go to school and learn how to write calligraphy with the quill.

Experience once in a lifetime opportunity to pan real gold, and once you get it, it is yours to keep.

Book now to get the best out of gold field adventure at Sovereignhills, where you’ll only get the top handpicked tours recommended by us.

  • 2.Gold smelting process
  • 3.Learn how to write calligraphy with the quill
  • 5.Re-enactment of the past
  • 6.Road signs to the interactive live museum
  • 10. Hotels with traditional dining experience....
  • Pan real gold and it is yours to keep
  • Gold smelting process
  • Learn how to write calligraphy with the quill
  • Locally made goods are for sale
  • Re-enactment of the past
  • Road signs to the interactive live museum
  • Candle dipping in action
  • Real time activity at the vintage bowling alley...
  • Explore this thriving town of 1850’s
  • Hotels with traditional dining experience....


Museum (Heritage/Historical site Museum)

Distance and Location from Melbourne CBD 

Sovereign Hills is located at Golden point, Ballarat, Northwest of Melbourne approximately 115km or 90 minutes away from Melbourne.

The best way to get to this attraction is by car or hire car(Uber).

Planning to drive? You can instantly rent a car suited to your personal needs filtered by price, availability, time and pickup/dropoff locations, by major car service providers.

If using Public transport visit Public Transport Victoria’s Journey Planner to plan your trip.


Car Park 

Free car park available at the entrance of Sovereign Hill


Bradshaw St, Ballarat, VIC 3350


Phone no.

(03) 5337 1199



Opening Times

The opening times at Sovereign Hill is 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (until 5.30p.m during daylight savings). The Gold Museum is open from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm (until 6p.m during daylight savings).

The admission to Sovereign Hill includes Gold Museum which is located just across the street from Sovereign Hills.

Both are open every day except Christmas day.

Click here to download the visitor map.

Age group

The attraction is for everyone and of every age.



There are many different things you can see and do at Sovereign Hills as mentioned above.

Underground mine adventure, Journey through the Labyrinth of Gold on the mine train, The Secret Chamber, Night time spectacular multimillion dollar Sound & Light show are the highlights.

Have a look at the Daily activity schedule.

Visit Duration 

One to two days, comfortably two days.


Best time to visit  

All year round is great; it might get hot in summer as it is an open museum and you will not enjoy on a rainy day too.

Food & Drink 

There are many restaurants that offer a traditional dining experience along with ice creameries, bakeries, and cafés dotted around the attraction.

Services & Retail 

Toilets are available throughout the museum.

Limited Wi-Fi is available.

There are numerous gift shops offering a wide array of souvenirs.

The award-winning gift shop at the Gold Museum is a must visit for fine giftware, gold jewellery and nuggets.

Near by sites 

Things to do near Ballarat are Gold Museum, Lake Esmond Botanical Gardens, Ballarat wild life park, Art Gallery of Ballarat, Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka, Lake Wendouree(5km), Arch of Victory(7km), Kryal Castle(12km).

Things to note and safety tips

  • There is so much to cover in Sovereign Hill, ideal for two days, make sure to go early and segment your time accordingly; if you try to do it in a day to maximise the trip and save some time for the Gold Museum.
  • Pre-booking is essential for the Sound and Light show which runs for 90min every night and remember it takes another 90min to return to Melbourne. Packages are available to stay at Sovereign Hill hotel.
  • This is an outdoor museum and needs quite a bit of walk on the dirt and gravel road.
  • Take all your necessities in your back-pack.
  • Different activities happen at different times, finish the activities that are on set times before you do the ones that are open until closing time.
  • Comfortable shoes is a must.

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