By Melissa McCullough
e had a fun-filled Sunday taking part in all the classic activities that continue to bring visitors to Ballarat's Sovereign Hill.
Standard entry includes a plethora of engaging activities such as panning for real gold, shopping 1850s-style, visiting hotels, churches, schools and taking in a live theatre show. Meet the Butcher in his shambles down on the diggings; stop by and say, ‘Top of the morning!’ to Pol the Sly Grog Seller and learn how this widowed Irish mother makes ends meet. Observe confectionery making, blacksmithing and printing demonstrations and look out for the Redcoats as they march up the hill. You can also get to know the locals by striking up a conversation with any one of the costumed goldfields characters who are happy to chat and pose for a great photo. Some of the other traditional activities of the goldfields attract an additional cost. Travel in a horse-drawn coach around the township and diggings, dip a candle in your favourite colours, take an underground mine tour, or have your ‘oldtime’ photo taken wearing traditional clothing from the era to complement your visit to Sovereign Hill. And while all of these are worthwhile, you can absolutely fill a day without the addons. There are wide open spaces for kids to play, climb and use their imaginations amongst play equipment including an amazing tube slide, and plenty of picnic tables overlooking the Post Office Lake. Just $22 per family was well worth it to explore a labyrinth of tunnels and original mine shafts hidden below Sovereign Hill and experience what life was like for a miner. Our mine car was full of giggles and whispers during our one minute of pitch dark descent to the caverns below and our guide was informative and engaging with the group. We also had our photo taken - and that photo – I mean, c’mon… how great is that? (NB: the steely looks are historically accurate, though it was difficult not to smile!) 😍 Offering a variety of dining options, we visited the Hope Bakery for a scrumptious sausage roll, the New York Bakery for afternoon tea, and Spencer's Sweet Shop to grab Sovereign Hill’s famous raspberry drops to take home. continued page 34...
32 Peninsula PeninsulaKids Kids––Autumn Autumn2022 2022