16th April 2004
Not such an early start this morning but we did
get ourselves organised and had a slice of toast or two for breakfast
before preparing to visit Sovereign Hill for the days activities.
As it was only about three or four hundred metres
from the caravan park, we walked to Sovereign Hill at about 10:30am.
As we had previously booked and paid for our entry, we collected
our tickets and walked through a door to a world as it was about
one hundred and fifty years ago on the goldfields of Ballarat (albeit
that it was also full of tourists!).
It is not just a set of building facades
that resemble the old streets, they are fully operational buildings
being run with equipment that was used at the time of the gold rush
(with the exception of electricity for lighting) and all items on
sale in the various shops has been manufactured within Sovereign
Hill using the old traditional methods. The quality of some of the
items is just amazing. However this does not have any resemblance
to a commercial tourist site that pushes it's products for profit,
the whole place has been designed to take people back to the gold
rush era and for them to be able to sample a little of the life back
Visitors could watch people in period costume use
1850's equipment to create items of that time, such as confectionary,
household items, metal and wooden products and watch a blacksmith
turn out various tools and working items.
The 'other one' was almost left on his own after
this visit because 'one of us' said she was totally 'Blown Away',
that it has been
one of the highlights of our travels so far and there is still
the night show 'Blood on the Southern Cross' to see yet.
We sampled many things, including olde worlde humbugs,
sugared almonds, licorice, turkish delight and strawberry cream chocolate
from a confectionary shop and finished of with scones with jam and
at the New York
Bakery. (You can easily see why 'one of us' enjoyed it so much!)
Due to the expense of these items, we had to recoup some of it by
purchasing a gold license and then pan for gold in the stream running
through the diggings. We managed to find glitter on the bottom of
the pan and guess what.... IT WAS GOLD! The proof of this is in a
small clear bottle that we have placed in tight security in our
(I have to confess to purchasing a small bag of mine dust that had
but it was
As it is still school holidays here, there were
a very large number of children having an absolute ball all day because
so much of it is hands on and so different from anything they would
have experienced before. This is one place anybody
who gets the chance, should never miss!
We returned to the caravan after 4pm so we could
organise dinner,get the web site prepared and e-mail sent before
returning at 7:45pm to see 'Blood on the Southern Cross'. More on