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Discover traditions of the past at Sovereign Hill

Visit Ballarat

05 Mar 2021

Filed underFamily Friendly

Discover traditional hands-on skills from rope-making to candle-dipping at Sovereign Hill this autumn.

See craftspeople in action, or be inspired and have a go yourself. There’s plenty of daily activities to join in on as part of Sovereign Hill’s Amazing Autumn program.

Watch the daily blacksmithing demonstrations at 10.30am, 2.30pm and 4pm.

Here’s our top 10 picks…

Become an Apprentice Tour
Gold mining was one way to get rich but it wasn’t the only way. By becoming an apprentice you were guaranteed ongoing work and wages, but which is the best trade to pick? Come along at 3pm daily to find out which trade you would choose.

Red Hill Mine
In Ballarat, the deep lead mines were cramped and deadly. Miners called ‘mudlarks’ dug down into layers of wet clay, sand and gravel as they searched ancient riverbeds for the loose gold hidden there. Venture underground to witness the discovery of the fabulous ‘Welcome Nugget’ found in 1858, by a party of 22 brave Cornishmen, this 69 kilogram prize was worth a fortune! This is a free self-guided tour.

The Secret Chamber
Set in a mysterious underground cavern deep inside the mine, this is a ghostly tale of two young Chinese miners sent to Ballarat by their father in search of riches. After any adventures and mishaps, Chin Tem and his brother did find good fortune, but it was not what they expected it to be!

Brown’s Confectionery
Meet Sovereign Hill confectioners, and watch as they make our world-famous Raspberry Drops.

Demonstrations run throughout the day at Brown’s Confectionery factory.

Rope was a vital necessity on the goldfields. Have a go at making rope by hand just like they did in the 19th century.

Candle making demonstration
Learn how candles were made back in the 19th century, one of the only light sources at night for miners during the gold rush.

Red Hill Photographic Rooms
Dress in beautiful Victorian costumes with your friends and family and pose for an authentic 1850’s style portrait.

Snap a selfie with the Redcoats
If you don’t manage to find a Redcoat around the diggings, you will certainly see them in action at the Musket Firing Demonstrations at 11.30am and 2.30pm.

Coach Rides
Sovereign Hill is the place to see rare 19th century trades and crafts. What better way to see the sights than from the comfort of a Coach Ride.

Find out about booking information, or check out the full program here.

Meet the unique characters of the Sovereign Hill Wheelwrights and watch in awe as they make a coach wheel from scratch.
Daily at 1pm and 3.30pm.

The City of Ballarat acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land we live and work on, the Wadawurrung and Dja Dja Wurrung People, and recognises their continuing connection to the land and waterways. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging and extend this to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.