This was the first time I’ve taken the kids to Sovereign Hill and let me say… it didn’t disappoint. Sure it was about 4 degrees when we got there, but that’s what coats and beanies are for! A quick wander down Main Street, past warming fires in old cast iron bins, found us at the toffee apple stand. Too early, nah!

It’s hard to know where to start here, with so much to do. A visit to Sovereign Hill is like stepping back in time, and luckily for my kids, our last school musical was the story of Eureka, so they were well versed in the history surrounding this area (and we may have broken out in song once or twice). Exploring the old fashion shops of yester-year, the old fashioned bowling alley, candle dipping, we practised our pen and ink skills in the school and of course we panned for gold. We found a few tiny bits and Miss almost 6 managed to fall in twice, so a quick trip back to the car for a shoe change was required.


Whilst back out in the car park we took time to explore the Gold Museum. The kids were dazzled by the size of the Welcome Stranger and the Welcome Nugget, which was further enhanced when we took the Journey through the Labyrinth of Gold tour. Here you ride an inclined tramway deep underground into the world of 19th century gold mining with a re-enactment of finding the giant nugget. It was amazing to see the workings and demonstrations of early mining equipment while gaining an insight into the daily life and work of Ballarat’s miners as they sought their fortunes deep below ground.

With a full day of fun and family activities topped off by the magical ‘Winter Wonderlights’ show, the whole family will love ‘Christmas in July’ at Sovereign Hill. During the day, Sovereign Hill will ring to the tune of traditional carols, with Christmas trees and colourful decorations lining Main Street. ‘Hands-on’ activities for children, a full theatre program, make-believe snow falls and delicious treats will bring Christmas cheer to all. By night, as the sun sets and the snowflakes fall, Main Street is transformed by sparkling grand-scale images and bright ‘Winter Wonderlights’ dancing along its familiar façades.

The important winter bits:


11.45 am, 1.40 pm, 3.45 pm and 6.00 pm.
Marvel as Sovereign Hill turns into a snowy winter wonderland.


On until July 24th daily from approximately 5.45 pm.
Main Street is transformed by sparkling grand-scale Christmas images dancing along its familiar façades. ‘Winter Wonderlights’ begins as soon as the sky is dark enough. Times therefore vary slightly each evening depending on light conditions.

For more details visit