Sovereign Hill

Sovereign Hill, Ballarat: Hours, Address, Sovereign Hill Reviews: 4.5/5

Sovereign Hill
Historic Sites • History Museums
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10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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At Sovereign Hill, the story of an important time and place in Australian History, and the people who lived it, lives on. An internationally acclaimed tourist attraction, Sovereign Hill prides itself on its close attention to detail found in every aspect of this living, outdoor museum. Sovereign Hill is a glimpse of the vigour and excitement of life on Australia’s 1850s goldfields. Visitors can find real gold in the creek – gold pans are provided and it’s ‘finders keepers’, see $150,000 worth of molten gold poured into a gleaming bar, and take in the rich program of activities, shows and demonstrations. On Main Street there are working shops, hotels and a theatre – all based on original Ballarat businesses. Visitors are able to watch goldfields tradespeople in action and take a ride around the township in a horse-drawn coach. For the brave hearted, journey underground on a gold mine tour.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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3,746 reviews
Very good

Melbourne, Australia45 contributions
Jun 2021 • Family
I’ve been here many times with a little one, it’s always worth it. I found this year though there were a few frustrating things. The bowling wasn’t open. The lights in the Napier hotel were off (making it spooky to use the toilet). You couldn’t buy tickets for the carriage ride- choices were to wait for 1 hr for 3 minute ride, or not bother. This would be hard if you only have one day, and really want to do this. The duck sculptures in the play area had missing bits, which was a bit scary for kids. Today the ramp to the play area was locked at 1130, even though it was open. Several places had malfunctioning ATMs. At opening time yesterday, there was one staff member attending to a long line (online tickets seem to have saved no time!) all the attractions are great though, just quality control could be tweaked a bit.
Written June 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Drouin, Australia324 contributions
Jul 2021 • Family
This was my 50th birthday celebration. We had a group off 30 people and boy we had a great day. A big thank you to Keeley for helping make my day fantastic by helping me organise a private luncheon with in the Sovereign Hill buildings, if you have a celebration thus is a very unique way to have a party. Thank you to The Kooks and the servers and everybody who helped organise my lunch. My family had a photo taken so thank you very very much for the photos thank you to the lady in the photography rooms he squeeze me in knowing it was my birthday and I really appreciate the photographers and everything they did. We did the winter wonderland night-time show as well and it is spectacular the kids loved it the adults loved it we had ages from six-month-old all the way to a 78 year old and everybody loved it. Would recommend a day at Sovereign Hill for anyone it is a fantastic place to visit and we need to keep our Australian history alive. If you go in winter rug up it gets cold very very cold.
Written July 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Maria L
Diamond Creek, Australia504 contributions
May 2022 • Friends
Step back in time from the moment you enter the gates. The replica buildings are so impressive and it was great to see how the staff, all in costumes, woukd interact with the crowds. Plenty to see with many free activities/talks/'plays' taking place across the premises all day. And of course you can pan for gold: take it home in a $1 bottle you can buy onsite. All souvenirs were extremely well priced with some surprises along the way eg ladies gloves for only $15 a pair in the haberdashery store on Main St. Treat yourself to a pie and don't forget to buy some rasberry drops. A great day out! We also stayed at the Hotel in the precinct: fabulously appointed rooms set in old buildings overlooking the precinct which made it easy to attend the Aura show.
Written May 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jackie W
Melbourne, Australia84 contributions
Jun 2021
We attended Winter Wonderlights at Sovereign Hill after a search for "Christmas in July, Victoria", on their opening day, June 25th.
Sovereign Hill, for those who don't know, is several acres built just outside the town of Ballarat, as a reproduction of a village that may have existed around the late 1800's, and as such, it's a lovely spot, beautifully done.
But there was so little 'Christmas' in this experience, it was disappointing to say the least. Know this comes from 3 Canadians who have enjoyed the real thing for many years, so we're going to be picky in our review.
The cost seems extravagant to walk through this area to find a few stores in which to spend more money. Like spending money to spend money.
The Xmas decorations were minimal. During our 4 hours there, there were no carolers, no Christmas choir, no elves, and worst, no Santa Claus!
We spent additional money for the 'Christmas Dinner' in the big bakery space. It was nicely decorated, but we waited 30 minutes for our set food. The turkey was cut thickly so it was very tough, and the stuffing was a puck of something that didn't remotely taste like stuffing. The space was playing some classical music, and we requested they play Christmas music and were told they can't, so we played some on our I-Phone's Spotify at our table. It would have been a perfect time to have some carolers in the room!
The light show consisted of projections on the front of the central buildings and that, coupled with the 'snow'(detergent flakes) did have a lovely magic about it.
Again, this is a fussy review, (excluding the food mentions), by people who've experienced a typical 'cold' Canadian Christmas. But these folks could do so much better!
Written June 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Nicole C
Mentone, Australia26 contributions
Apr 2021 • Family
Arrived and queued at 10am opening. Staff were efficient getting everyone through. Due to covid, entry was limited to 1,000, but it was certainly busy enough for our liking. There was quite a long line for mine tours and a few other things including the carriage ride, so we will need to make another trip to do the things we missed out on. Pantomime was a highlight and kids enjoyed watching the gold pouring demonstration. Panning was fun, although unsuccessful. Definitely pack coats, beanies and boots if the weather is looking a little chilly - it gets very cold and wet/muddy underfoot. Worth having a rough itinerary mapped out so you can book activities when you arrive, if needed.
Written April 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Wantirna, Australia67 contributions
Jun 2021 • Family
We visited as a family group of 3 young children, their parents and us, the grandparents. A first outing since the fourth lockdown. The place was busy (school holidays).
There were some short queues except for the confectionery which had lengthy queues all day and the carriage rides later in the day.
It is probably 15 years since we last visited and there had been some changes to some attractions.
The Winter Wonderland with the snow is fantastic and well worth the visit just for that.
Although I did enjoy the attractions food is an issue. We had lunch at the Cafe near the large kids playground. Food was inferior to that that you get at the football or cricket at the MCG. And more expensive. A pack of lukewarm crumbed fish fillets and shoestring chips $10. Really poor. Cup of coffee $4.60.
Written June 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Australia42 contributions
Apr 2021 • Family
A great day out for the family. Kids from 2-8yrs thoroughly enjoyed the experience & the characters along the way. Disappointing that all tours & photo dress up opportunities were booked.

The children’s playground offered a great break in the shade & the toilets were very clean.

The cafe was extremely overpriced paying $7 for a litre of water. The water bubbler sites were not working.
Written April 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ballarat, Australia2 contributions
Jul 2021 • Family
We decided this year we would buy a family pass as we are local and thought it might be worthwhile as we visited in 2019 (I hadn’t been since 1993 prior to this) when our children were 2 & 4 and they loved it, we missed out last year (as did everyone) so we have jumped on it this year and I am so pleased we did. Our son truly believes that sovereign hill is a town that cowboys live in. He tries to explain TVs and how he lives differently and the staff play the part so well, acting confused, asking him to explain etc, never skipping a beat and always entertaining. We can spend all day and our children never get bored. It is understandably busy during the weeks of the winter wonderlights so we prioritise some things as there can be some wait times. I imagine people should be very tolerant of this given it’s sovereign hills busiest time of the year. The winter wonderlights are absolutely MAGICAL!!! I cannot put into words just how wonderful and enchanting this is! To my horror our children laid on the ground and did snow angels - this is fake snow, detergent like bubbles settling on the dirt so….mud from from heel to head!!! We had to laugh, what else could you do! We are booked again for Sunday and can’t wait! I imagine we will be buying a family pass for next year too. I can’t believe we ignored our neighbour sovereign hill for all those years prior.Absolutely 5 stars from me!
Written July 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Melbourne, Australia38 contributions
Nov 2020 • Family
Due to Covid, there is a daily limit of 1000 visitors. We purchased our ticket online. $99 for family of 2A2C. It wasn’t very crowded, however due to social distancing rule, we still need to queue up for some attractions/tour.

We spend about 4 hours and kids enjoy it very much.

Written December 31, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Healesville, Australia47 contributions
Apr 2021 • Family
We visited during school holidays and warm weather but still enough time and space to do everything we wanted.
Staff were great and helpful and full of knowledge (except the Red Hill tour guy was grumpy).
Many activities included in the price but we paid for the candle making and photoshoot;
Both worth the extra cash.

Panning for gold the highlight by far
Written April 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Sovereign Hill is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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