In my usual fascination of history, I found out about the gold rush that happened in Victoria, and went in search of the its past…
Sovereign Hill is an open-air museum that recreates life at Ballarat during the years of gold discovery in 1851. Mining camps, huge poppet heads, 19th century hotels, schools, blacksmiths and printing houses stood within Sovereign Hill; and an awesome bakery and confectionery offered old-styled pastries and boiled sweets. PS: those stuff they have at the Hope Bakery were so good you could smell it from miles away when someone opened the door!
Immersed in what seemed like a blast to the past, I loved every minute I was at Sovereign Hill. I was like a kid in a theme-park, reading every detail and entering each establishment to relive the 1850s. You’ll see costumed ladies and gentlemen going about their daily lives as you walk amongst them to check out the town. I happened to be there at a good hour, fortunately in time to see the Redcoats fire their muskets!
There were also horse-drawn carriage rides, which I skipped; but I took the time to pan for some gold at the Red Hill Gully Diggings and took a tour in the underground mines. Unfortunately it was too dark for decent photos, but I’ll suggest you pop in and have a feel of getting lowered deep into the mines; a highly educational and intriguing experience not to be missed.
Despite this being a re-creation of the past, you might be interested to know that the Post Office is real and in operation here at Sovereign Hill! I bought a postcard for myself and mailed it home, and now it has a beautiful stamp of Ballarat’s Sovereign Hill on it! Do that too if you visit!
For those who are keen to read more about Ballarat and its people, history, rise and fall – be sure to check out the Gold Museum that stands right opposite Sovereign Hill’s entrance.