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Behind the scenes

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Behind the Scenes 0623

How does Sovereign Hill bring Ballarat’s goldfields to life? Go behind the scenes and meet our team of experts who deliver your favourite Sovereign Hill experiences.


Live from Sovereign Hill

Originally streamed live via Facebook, ‘Live from Sovereign Hill’ offers exclusive, behind-the-scenes views of our popular experiences and also reveals some of our hidden gems rarely seen by the public.

Blacksmith demonstration

Our Blacksmith Tim Bignell shows us how his team make hand-forged garden ware using traditional tools like they did on the goldfields.

Discover the history and craftsmanship behind the blacksmithing tradition, which has been passed down from the artisans of the goldfields to our blacksmiths today.

Our blacksmith workshop is a re-creation of the G.M Dilges Blacksmith Shop which was located on Main Street, Ballarat in the 1860s.

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Candle-making demonstration

Our talented team of candle-makers produce around 70,000 hand-made candles every year.

Candle-maker Callum Bourke shows us how they do it using original nineteenth century machinery inside our Hewitt's Yarrowee Soap & Candle Works.

Our Candle Works is based on an original business set up by William Hewett on Ballarat’s goldfields in the 1860s.

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Cheese-making demonstration

Step inside our Post Office Parlour kitchen and see how cheese was made back on the goldfields with our Friends of Sovereign Hill (FOSH) volunteer, Melinda.

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Collection store tour

Did you know that we have a unique and fascinating museum collection of over 150,000 objects?

Join our collections team as they delve deep into the collection store and reveal some of the treasures rarely seen by the public.

Get up close with rare gems from our costume and Chinese collections.

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Confectionery demonstration

Watch our Head Confectioner Ben Bignell make our world-famous Raspberry Drops from our Brown’s Confectionery Manufactory.

Our confectionery workshop is based on an original business owned by John Brown who migrated to the goldfields in the 1850s.

When the business closed in 1974, the Brown family donated most of their business’ equipment to Sovereign Hill. They also trained our confectioners in the art of making handmade boiled sweets like they did on the goldfields.

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Horse stables tour

You’ve seen our famous Clydesdale horses trotting around Sovereign Hill, now get up close with them in this rare behind-the-scenes tour of our horse stables.

Our Horse Groomer Carly introduces you to our most well-known horses, Monica and Sage, and shows us how they’re cared for by our expert team of handlers.

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Redcoats march

Our Redcoat soldiers march over 200 kilometres in a year. That’s the equivalent of a return trip from Melbourne to Ballarat!

Watch them march, drill and fire their rifles through the streets of Sovereign Hill.

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Wheelwrights demonstration

Inside our Proctor's Wheelwrights & Coachbuilders workshop, are our talented team who make all of our horse-drawn vehicles and accessories.

Our wheelwrights use original machinery and techniques similar to their counterparts on the goldfields in the nineteenth century.

Here they demonstrate how a metal tyre is attached to a wooden wheel made for a horse carriage.

The metal tyre is first heated to expand it, and is then slid over the wooden wheel. The tyre then contracts as it becomes cool and shrinks on to the wood.

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Humans of the Hill

We have a remarkable team who work tirelessly across our museum. Meet some of the people who bring your favourite Sovereign Hill experiences to life.

The Volunteer Coordinator

Humans of the Hill

Meet Kelly – Sovereign Hill's Volunteer Coordinator.

Kelly manages over 200 volunteers at Sovereign Hill, who support the interpretive activity of museum, with ‘hands-on’ activities such as demonstrating the use of 19th century domestic and industrial technology, gold panning, horse care, flag making, scrimshaw, gardening, sewing and more.

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The Costume Designers

Humans of the Hill

Meet Erin – Costume Manager at Sovereign Hill.

Every day, the Sovereign Hill costume team work behind the scenes to create one of the most important parts of the 1850's story.

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The Leading Hand

Humans of the Hill

Meet Andre – One of Sovereign Hill's Leading Hands.

Everyday at Sovereign Hill a number of different departments work together to bring you a truly unique experience.

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The Organiser

Humans of the Hill

Meet Lucy – Sovereign Hill's Interpretive Programs Officer.

Coordinating a program at Sovereign Hill takes a lot of time, research and resources. Lucy gives you insight into how these programs get bought to life, for all visitors to enjoy.

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The Confectioner

Humans of the Hill

Meet Ben – Head Confectioner at Sovereign Hill.

At Sovereign Hill you can watch confectioners use original equipment and processes to make traditional boiled lollies.

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The Gardener

Humans of the Hill

Meet Cherrie – Head Horticulturalist at Sovereign Hill.

When visiting the museum you can see the amazing work that Cherrie and her team do, everyday, throughout the Sovereign Hill gardens.

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The Wheelwright

Humans of the Hill

Meet Mick – A talented Wheelwright at Sovereign Hill.

At Sovereign Hill you can watch Mick and his team of skilled craftsmen make a hub and spokes, and then assemble a coach wheel.

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The Blacksmith

Humans of the Hill

Meet Tim – A skilled Blacksmith at Sovereign Hill.

Tim has spent the last 16 years as the proprietor of Dilges Blacksmith. Each day his role not only involves producing goods, but interpreting the trade and educating visitors.

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The Caretakers

Humans of the Hill

Meet Mick & Gillian – The Caretakers of Narmbool.

Mick & Gillian look after maintenance and care for buildings and grounds of the Narmbool property. They live on the premises with a great view of Mount Buninyong.

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The Horse Groomer

Humans of the Hill

Meet Carly - Sovereign Hill’s Horse Groomer. 

Carly takes care of our horses and makes sure they are ready for a day of work.

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