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Sovereign Hill

Strike gold at this open-air museum, which tells the story of Ballarat’s first decade as a gold rush town with recreated buildings, goldmine tours and workshops.

Sovereign Hill is an interactive heritage landmark that brings Ballarat’s gold rush to life. Walk through history and discover a city built on gold when you explore Sovereign Hill’s recreated 19th-century village and delve into its underground mines. Like the thousands of prospectors who flocked here after the 1851 discovery of gold, you can pan in the complex’s meandering creek and the glittering minerals you unearth will be yours to keep.

Stroll down Sovereign Hill’s Main Street and chat with costumed goldfields villagers and workers plying their trades. See blacksmiths, candle makers, confectioners and coach-builders working in recreated shops and buildings from the 19th century. Join them for a hands-on workshop and learn about the restored steam-driven machinery. Stop by the theater to experience period entertainment or find out about the Victorian-era classroom at Sovereign Hill’s school.

The Sovereign Quartz Mine can be explored with a guided tour, which follows a trail through fascinating underground displays. Check out the Red Hill Mine and learn the story of the Welcome Nugget, the second-largest gold nugget ever found.

Make your way to the creek’s edge to see the lines of tents that depict what the fledgling settlement of Ballarat looked like when the rich alluvial gold was first found. Grab a pan and try your luck searching for flecks of the precious metal. Don’t miss seeing molten gold being transferred into a bullion bar at the Gold Pour.

Sovereign Hill’s Gold Museum showcases gold displays and Ballarat’s fascinating history. In the evening, be sure to experience a presentation of Blood on the Southern Cross, a magnificent sound-and-light show that tells the story of the Eureka Uprising in 1854.

Sovereign Hill is located in Golden Point, southeastern Ballarat. Reach the open-air complex via car or direct coach service from Ballarat’s train station. Children under 15 years of age receive half-price admission and family ticket deals are available. Entry to the Gold Museum is included in the price of admission. The museum is open daily, except for Christmas Day. Free parking is available on site.

Popular Activities at Sovereign Hill

Like to make your visit to Sovereign Hill even more unique? Remember to try a few of these activities:

If you're chasing more activities, check out our Golden Point things to do page.


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Top Hotel Deals

See all 118 properties near Sovereign Hill
Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre AU$133
Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre

Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre

613 Main Road, Golden Point (Ballarat), VIC
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in a rural location, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Gold Museum and Sovereign Hill. Lake Esmond Botanical Garden and Lake Esmond are also within 1 mi (2 km).

    Best Western Plus Ballarat Suites AU$142
    Best Western Plus Ballarat Suites

    Best Western Plus Ballarat Suites

    525 Main Road, Golden Point (Ballarat), VIC
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in the heart of Golden Point, this motel is within a 10-minute walk of Gold Museum and Sovereign Hill. Lake Esmond Botanical Garden and Lake Esmond are also within 15 minutes.

      Sovereign Hill Hotel AU$130
      Sovereign Hill Hotel

      Sovereign Hill Hotel

      39-41 Magpie Street, Golden Point (Ballarat), VIC
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Golden Point, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Gold Museum and Sovereign Hill. Lake Esmond and Lake Esmond Botanical Garden are also within 1 mi (2 km).

        BIG4 Ballarat Goldfields Holiday Park AU$105
        BIG4 Ballarat Goldfields Holiday Park

        BIG4 Ballarat Goldfields Holiday Park

        108 Clayton Street, Golden Point (Ballarat), VIC
           
          4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Golden Point, this campground is within a 15-minute walk of Lake Esmond and Sovereign Hill. Gold Museum and Lake Esmond Botanical Garden are also within 15 minutes.

          Bakery Hill Motel AU$116
          Bakery Hill Motel

          Bakery Hill Motel

          1 Humffray Street South, Bakery Hill, VIC
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in the heart of Bakery Hill, this motel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Ballarat Town Hall and Sovereign Hill. Art Gallery of Ballarat and St Patrick's Cathedral are also within 15 minutes. Ballarat Station is 13 minutes by foot.

            Quality Inn & Suites The Menzies AU$115
            Quality Inn & Suites The Menzies

            Quality Inn & Suites The Menzies

            5-7 Humffray Street North, Bakery Hill, VIC
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Bakery Hill, this motel is 0.5 mi (0.9 km) from Art Gallery of Ballarat and 1.3 mi (2.1 km) from Sovereign Hill. Ballarat Town Hall and St Patrick's Cathedral are also within 1 mi (2 km). Ballarat Station is 10 minutes by foot.

              Mid City Ballarat AU$109
              Mid City Ballarat

              Mid City Ballarat

              19 Doveton St North, Ballarat Central, VIC
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Ballarat Central, this motel is within a 15-minute walk of St John of God Hospital Ballarat and Ballarat Base Hospital. Gold Museum and Sovereign Hill are also within 2 mi (3 km). Ballarat Station is 6 minutes by foot.

                Barkly Motorlodge AU$125
                Barkly Motorlodge

                Barkly Motorlodge

                43 Main Road, Bakery Hill, VIC
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Bakery Hill, this motel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Ballarat Town Hall and Sovereign Hill. Art Gallery of Ballarat and St Patrick's Cathedral are also within 1 mi (2 km). Ballarat Station is 15 minutes by foot.