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Autumn Series


1 March - 31 May

SH Autumn Daily Activities Header

This Autumn, discover artisanal arts, culture, trades and food at Sovereign Hill. 

Download our visitor map.

What’s on daily

The Diggings
10am – 12pm

The start of the day is always a bustling time on the diggings. Miners are waking up ready to start their day’s work. New arrivals are trying to find their bearings in a strange land. Is today the day you could find your fortune?

Gold-panning
Get your Gold Licence, grab a pan and head to the diggings to find some buried treasure of your own. Our friendly diggers are on hand to offer handy, gold-panning tips.
Where: The Diggings, Map no. 8
Time: 10am - 5pm
Cost: Included in your ticket

Red Hill Mine
Venture underground into our deep lead mine to witness the discovery of the 'Welcome Nugget' found in 1858. This is a free self-guided tour. Duration 15 minutes. 
Where: Red Hill Mine, Map no. 6
Time: 10am - 4.30pm
Cost: Included in your ticket

Meet the Butcher
A diet of damper and mutton might keep you alive but it wasn’t a varied diet. Head down to the Butcher’s Shambles and meet one of the richest people on the Diggings.
Where: Butcher’s Shambles (near the Diggings), Map no. 8
Time: 10am - 12pm
Cost: Included in your ticket

Pol the Sly Grog Seller
Life wasn’t easy on the goldfields for a woman. Take a seat out the front of Pol’s tent and find out how she survives on the diggings. Make sure you keep an eye out for the trooper.
Where: Pol’s tent (near the Diggings), Map no. 8
Time: 10am - 12pm
Cost: Included in your ticket

Trooper musket-firing
Cover your ears! See our troopers in action with their weapons in a musket-firing demonstration.
Where: Government Camp, Map no. 3 and Post Office, Map no.16
Time: 11am (Government Camp) 1pm (Post Office)
Cost: Included in your ticket

Diggings Tour
The early days of the goldfields were a chaotic time. Learn what life was like during this tumultuous time on our diggings tour.
Where: Government Camp, Map no. 3
Time: 10.30am, 11.30am
Cost: Included in your ticket



Main Street
12pm – 2pm

Gold wasn’t the only way to find your fortune. Perhaps becoming a shop keeper would be a better fit for you? Head up to Main Street to experience the establishment of life in Ballarat.

Confectionery Demonstration
Meet Sovereign Hill confectioners and see them make our world-famous boiled lollies from scratch.
Where: Brown's Confectionery Factory, Map no. 27
Time: Demonstrations occur throughout the day
Cost: Included in your ticket

Photography experience
If you could be anyone on the goldfields, who would it be?Discover your gold rush alter ego when you step inside our photography studio for an 1850s-style portrait. Dress up in beautiful Victorian-era costumes and be instantly transported to the Ballarat goldfields
Where: Red Hill Photographic Rooms, Map no. 12
Time: 10am - 5pm
Cost: Starting from $38 (single) | $79 (family)
Booking details: Places limited, bookings essential. Book upon arrival at the Photographic Rooms.

Meet the horses
Meet some of the hardest workers on the goldfields and find out why it takes ten strong men to do the work of one horse
Where: Alex Kelly Stables, map no 65
Time: 11am - 1pm
Cost: Included in your ticket

Blacksmithing Demonstration
Watch our blacksmith beat red hot metal to shape ironware like they did during the gold rush. Find out why the blacksmith was one of the most important people on the goldfields.
Where: Dilge’s Blacksmiths, Map no. 9
Time: 11.45am, 1pm and 2pm
Cost: Included in your ticket

Camera obscura
Learn how our romance with the captured image began. Step up and peer through an 1850s camera while our expert photographers show you how images were first created and then evolved into what we use today.
Where: Alex Kelly Stables, map no 65
Time: 12.15pm
Cost: Included in your ticket

Become an apprentice tour
Gold mining was one way to get rich but it wasn’t the only way. By becoming an apprentice, you were guaranteed ongoing work and wages but which is the best trade to pick? Come along with our tour guide to find out.
Where: Meet outside the Post Office, map no 16
Time: 12.30pm
Cost: Included in your ticket

Printing Demonstration
Before social media, there was the humble print maker producing and plastering posters with the latest news across the goldfields. See our talented printers make a variety of printed materials using original machinery from the gold rush era.
While you are here, get your own souvenir poster made up on the spot.
Where: Ballarat Times Office, Map no. 13
Time: 12.30pm, 1.30pm and 2.30pm
Cost: Included in your ticket

Coach Rides
Experience the sights and sounds of Sovereign Hill from the comfort of a horse-drawn coach. Wave to the visitors, sway with the gentle rocking of the coach and wonder how long it would take you to travel to Melbourne or Geelong.
Where: Departs from the Horse Bazaar, Map no. 32
Time: 1pm - 4pm
Cost: Adults $6 | Children $4.50 | Family $19

Sabre drill
Muskets are not the only weapon in a trooper's arsenal and they weren’t the most reliable either. See if you have the skills and swordsmanship of a goldfields trooper.
Where: Parade Showground, map no 34
Time: 2.15pm
Cost: Included in your ticket

Redcoat Soldiers
Do you hear the sound of drums?
That’s our Redcoats marching their way up the street. Follow the soldiers and see them drill and fire their rifles. Don’t let the pomp and ceremony fool you, our Redcoat soldiers are more than happy to accept your photo requests!
Where: Victoria Theatre balcony, map no. 26
Time: 1.30pm
Cost: Included in your ticket

Blackbeard the Pirate
It’s show time! Our Victoria Theatre comes to life with our new special autumn show, Blackbeard the Pirate. Boo, cheer and hiss as our hero Captain Really Brave takes on the nasty Blackbeard.
Where: Victoria Theatre balcony, map no. 26
Time: Weekends only. Check blackboard in Victoria Theatre
Cost: Included in your ticket



Speedwell Street
2pm – 3pm

Domestic life is flourishing in Speedwell Street. Explore the different living conditions of the residents of the township. Take the time to wander the gardens, discover the kitchens and decide whether you and your family would be comfortable with 1850s life.

The Nightman
Things haven't been the same since the virus hit Speedwell Street.
The poor Nightman has been woken up by a medical emergency. Follow him up to Speedwell Street to see if he can be of any help.
Where: Speedwell Street, Map no. 55
Time: 2pm
Cost: Included in your ticket

Pull-a-part wheel
Do you have what it takes to become a wheelwright? It's harder than it looks. Put your skills to the test by assembling a wheel. We've supplied the parts, now it’s your turn to put it together.
Where: Proctor’s Wheelwrights & Coachbuilder, map no. 44
Time: 10am - 5pm
Cost: Included in your ticket

Cottage crafts
Head along Speedwell Street and join in the crafts going on inside and outside the cottages.
Where: Speedwell Street, Map no. 55
Time: 2pm – 3pm
Cost: Included in your ticket

Speedwell Street Cottages
Step inside our cottages and meet the residents of Speedwell Street.
Where: Speedwell Street, Map no. 55
Time:
2pm – 3pm
Cost: Included in your ticket

Wheel-making Demonstration
Step inside a real wheelwrights’ workshop and see how our team make our horse-drawn vehicles and accessories. They’ll even show you how they make a wheel from scratch
Where:
Proctor’s Wheelwrights & Coachbuilder, Map no. 44
Time: 1.50pm and 2.30pm
Cost: Included in your ticket

Back to school
Head back to a typical 1850s class to write with pen and ink whilst trying to remember the sixteen multiplication tables.
Are you ready?
Where: St Peters School, map no 45
Time: 2pm - 3pm during weekends and school holidays only
Cost: Included in your ticket


Mining and Manufacturing Precinct
3pm – 5pm

A few years have passed and the easy to find gold is becoming more scarce so the mines are journeying deeper and darker underground. Discover how life became easier for Ballarat residents with the arrival of new technology.

Gold Pour Demonstration
Experience the magic of pure gold smelted and poured before your eyes.
Where: Gold Smelting Works, Map no. 28
Time: Demonstrations occur throughout the day
Cost: Included in your ticket

Gold Mine Tours
Explore a labyrinth of passages and original mine shafts hidden deep under Sovereign Hill. Head underground and experience what life was like for a miner. Discover the wins, losses, hardship and heartache.
Duration: 45 minutes.
Where: Sovereign Quartz Mine, Map no.35
Time: 10:00am - 4:00pm
Cost: Family $22.00 | Adults $8.00 | Children $4.50 (toddlers free but must have a booked ticket)
Booking details: Places limited, bookings essential. Book upon your arrival at the Quartz Mine Hut.

Candlemakers Demonstration and Candle-dipping
Mr and Mrs Hewitt are hard at work making candles, but they still have time to help you make your very own rainbow candle. Have fun dipping candles in pots of various colours.
Where:
Hewitt's Yarrowee Soap & Candle Works, Map no. 37
Time: Demonstrations occur throughout the day
Cost: Demonstrations are included in your ticket. A charge applies for candle-dipping sessions.

Stoked
Who invented the first steam engine? What did it look like? Visit the mine blacksmith and learn all about the power steam via our miniature steam engines.
Where: R Mine Blacksmith, map no 35
Time: 2pm - 3pm
Cost: Included in your ticket

Bowling
After a hard day on the diggings, goldfields residents would unwind by knocking down a few pins at the local bowling saloon. Test your skills in one of the most popular games on the goldfields, nine-pine bowling! Challenge your friends and family and see how many pins you can knock down.
Where: Empire Bowling Saloon, map no. 40
Time: 2pm – 5pm
Cost: Included in your ticket

Surface Company Tour
There were many jobs in a company mine. You could work above or below ground. Meet the workers of the Quartz Mine Company and find out what their typical working day looks like. How does it compare to yours?
Where: Sovereign Quartz Mine, map no.35
Time: 3.15pm
Cost: Included in your ticket

Voltaic Battery Blasting Demonstration
Perhaps the most dangerous part of the mining trade was blasting. Find out whether the innovative Voltaic Battery blasting system was the best solution to the dangers.
Where:
Parade Showground, Map no. 34
Time: 3.30pm
Cost: Included in your ticket

First Aid in the Mine
Do you have what it takes to survive a mine disaster? Discover the first aid tips and techniques used by miners back in the 1880s. Hint: There was no such thing as occupational health and safety back then!
Where: Sovereign Quartz Mine, map no.35
Time: 3.45pm
Cost: Included in your ticket

Horse harnessing
Go behind-the-scenes and watch our specialist horse handlers harness the heavy horses who pull our vehicles.
Where:
R Gibbings, Livery & Bait Stables, map no 48
Time: 4pm
Cost: Included in your ticket