We had a pleasant four days in Ballarat, mainly visiting the re-created 1850’s gold mining town, Sovereign Hill. We bought a two day pass, and needed almost every minute of it.
The costumed towns people go a long way to creating a life like atmosphere. Some of them are working in the shops, while some are just wandering around the town, going about their business, much as I’m sure they would have been at the time.
School children visit on school camps staying for a couple of days in the accommodation on site. They swap their clothes for clothing similar to what would have been worn at the time, and apparently attend a replica 1850s school for the duration (no doubt minus ‘the cane’ though i should imagine).
They have a daily parade of Red Coats through the town finished off with musket firing. It’s quite a spectacular.
There’s gold mines, and a small river for gold panning. Apparently, they even add some gold to the stream for people who want to try their hands at gold panning. Finders/Keepers too, so I imagine it’s very small specks and nuggets.
The accommodation for the miners was basic and grim, particularly for the Chinese miners.
Re-created entertainment hadn’t been forgotten. We tried our hand at the old time ten pin bowling alley.
For our last day there we had planned to take a look at the botanical gardens, and finish off with a 6km walk around a pretty lake opposite. Alas it was raining, so we made do with a look at the indoor begonia display in the gardens, then returned to our caravan for a game of cards. However, the gardens and the lake looked very enticing, so we’ve written a note to ourselves for our next visit (perhaps next year, or the year after that, or even the year after that – one day.)