|Location:||Sovereign Hill, Ballarat.|
|Open:||Winter daily 10-17. Summer (daylight savings) daily 10-17:30. Closed 25-DEC. |
Adults AUD 32.50, Concession AUD 24.50, Children (5-15) AUD 15.50, Family (1+3) AUD 59, Family (2+4) AUD 83.
|Guided tours:||Sovereign Quartz Mine: D=40min.|
|Address:||Sovereign Hill Post Office, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia 3350, Tel: +61-3-5337-1100, Fax: +61-3-5331-1528. E-mail:|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|1850s||first Australian gold rush to Ballarat.|
Sovereign Hill at Ballarat is a replica mining village of the 1850s. It is one of Australia's major tourist attractions, and less a museum than a sort of historical Disney Land. Nevertheless, if you are interested, there is a lot to see and learn.
Red Hill Alluvial Mine is as faked as the whole town, but it is representing the typical local mines, which do not exist any more. The ten minute slef guided tour explains the discovery of the 69kg Welcome Nugget, the second largest gold nugget ever found. The Gold Mine Tour is fully guided and includes surface installations and the underground workings of the Sovereign Quartz Mine. And to make it complete, at the Gold Smelting Works is a show of the smelting of gold, which is turned into a gold bar worth AUD 50.000. If it was not - you guessed it - faked.
Our impression was expensive, often crowded, all faked. But still we enjoyed it very much, as it was always informative, well organized and entertaining. Given the high fee it is more or less something you should plan a whole day for, and exploit all the installations.