If you love Christmas, history and adventure, and are looking for a great day out that the kids will never forget – then you need to plan a trip to Sovereign Hil
l next July and experience Christmas in July
is Australia’s leading outdoor museum showcasing Australia’s marvellous gold rush history, since its opening in November 1970 it has become an Australian tourism icon and has won numerous tourism awards. Known as a living museum emphasising working machinery and displays, costumed interpreters and visitor involvement, it’s no wonder Sovereign Hill
attracts 450,000 people each year from around the world.
In July Sovereign Hill
hosts a special Christmas In July event, during Winter Wonderlights
the whole site is adorned with Christmas decorations, with wreaths at every shop front and lots of Christmas trees and stays open later than usual and this is for a special reason. At 5.30pm each night make sure you standing mid street and watch the buildings of Sovereign Hill
light up – add to that the snow (the fake bubble kind) and music and it’s a magical street party you’ll be glad you stayed for.
During the day its business as usual at Sovereign Hill township, visitors can stroll down Main Street as snow-flakes fall at regular intervals over the Victorian-style buildings, decorations fill the window displays, the smell of Christmas treats and spices fill the air, and traditional Christmas-themed pantomimes are performed in addition to regular attractions and performances there are regular snow falls, Christmas goodies to buy, Christmas carolling and a Christmas-themed theatrical program.
Then at night, Main Street will sparkle with an amazing light projection show with over 20 of Sovereign Hill’s buildings lit up with large-scale image projections and Christmas animations. Children can also catch the Gingerbread Man as he dashes from building to building, peeking out from the Christmas themed lights and animation.
But do note that it’s cold in Ballarat (really cold) so dress warm (think hats, scarves, gloves, layers, two pairs of socks and a winter coat) and you will be fine but with so much to do and see we certainly didn’t have time to stand about feeling the cold.
And here’s a handy tip: you can get your entry ticket stamped at the Main Street Post Office (or the desk near the exit) and this will allow you entry again the following day, for FREE! two days for the price of one so stay and see a little more.
- try to avoid Peak times which are school holidays and weekends
- Parking is free on site;
- Bring lots of snacks as eateries can get crowded, especially from 5pm when the last show finishes and the lights don’t start till 5:45pm
- Book a sit-down Christmas dinner in advance this is an experience that’s now to be missed..
- Most of Sovereign Hill’s attractions are outdoors so wear lots of warm gear (waterproof coat, layers, gloves, scarf, hat). Ballarat experiences harsh winters and once the sun goes down it is really cold
- Make sure you visit the Confectionary Shop as it’s just not possible to visit to Sovereign Hill without stocking up on boiled lollies.
- Gumboots are a good idea as the pathways can get muddy;
- Bring a torch
- All the shops take EFTPOS (even for small amounts). There is an ATM at the entrance, Sovereign Hill cafe and the post office
- Sovereign Hill is a comfortable 90-minute drive from Melbourne along the Western Highway;
- train and tour coach services which operate daily from Melbourne
For details on pricing and ticketing go to Sovereign Hill