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If you are on camp for a few days you might be able to see all of Sovereign Hill. If you have limited time you will have to make some decisions about what you want to see. Students can interact with our costumed staff and volunteers. Our museum can be divided into a number of areas.

You might wish to view our Interactive Map while reading these descriptions.


The Diggings

This represents the early days of the goldrush, leading up to the Eureka incident in 1854. It features huts of the lucky, the unlucky, the married, the single and the harsh living conditions endured by all. The rough but ingenious technology of the windlasses, windsails, whims and whips is on display and the Waterloo Store has an eclectic range of goods and supplies.

Don’t miss
Panning for gold in the Red Hill Gully creek


The Chinese Camp

Our Chinese Camp has had a huge make-over. Using new technology, we tell the story of the Chinese protest against the race-based taxes imposed on them.

Don’t miss:
The beautiful Temple


Main Street and Trades, Crafts and Stores

Life became more permanent in Ballarat in the mid 1850s. People decided to stay and invested in buildings and businesses. Sovereign Hill boasts many working shops, stores and factories of the later 1850s.

Don’t Miss:

Bath’s Hotel Stables
Dilges’ Blacksmith Shop
Red Hill Photographic Rooms
Ballarat Times Printers
Charles Spencer, Confectioner
Brown’s Confectionery Manufactory
Clarke Brothers, Grocers
Post Office
Rees and Benjamin, Watch and Clockmakers
Robinson and Wayne’s, Apothecaries’ Hall
Glasgow Saddlery

Victoria Theatre
Mechanics’ Institute & Free Library
Criterion Store (Drapery)
Charlie Napier Hotel
Soho Foundry
Clarke Brothers, Tinsmiths
Hewett’s Yarrowee Soap and Candle Works
Colonial Bank of Australasia
W. Dawson, Builders and Undertakers
Empire Bowling Saloon
William Proctor, Coach Builder and Wheelwrights

You may pre-order goods from the following stores:
Gift Shop
Waterloo Store
Dilges’ Blacksmiths
Ballarat Times
Brown & Co. Confectionery Manufactory
Gold Smelting Works
William Hewett’s Yarrowee Soap & Candle Works


The Steam Operations

The area near the steam operations features a quartz mine from the 1890s. It is a big company mine where gold in quartz veins is being extracted.

Don’t miss:
The Poppet Head
The Boiler House and Engine Room
The Mine Blacksmith
The Battery House
For an extra fee you can go on a conducted mine tour of the quartz mine. School groups must pre-book this activity.


Speedwell Street

Speedwell Street is a residential area displaying domestic life from 1855. You can see the Red Hill National School and St Peters Denominational School. The houses on the higher side of the street show how the more affluent lived while those on the lower side are less salubrious.

Don’t miss:
Red Hill and St Peters schools
Davidson’s cottage and St Ives on the higher side
Chambers’ and Wain’s cottages on the lower side
The horseworks – a horse-drawn saw mill
Visiting our Friends of Sovereign Hill who inhabit the cottages and have a wonderful story to tell.


Activations, Demonstrations and Activities

(Times are subject to change)

Gold Panning
Musket Firing
Street Theatre
Sweet making
Coach Rides
Redcoat Soldiers
Steam Powered machinery
Metal Spinning

All day in the creek
11.30 am and 3.00pm near the Post Office
See the noticeboard in the Victoria Theatre
Booking Essential
10.30 am to 2.00 pm (Pre book for school rates)
1.30 pm near Tinsmiths
10.30 am to 4.30 pm at the Quartz Mine
10.30 am to 4.30 pm at the Soho Foundry
10.30 am to 4.30 pm at the Bowling Saloon
1.00 pm and 3.30 pm at the Wheelwrights