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I have fond memories of visiting Sovereign Hill many many years ago. This tour did not disappoint. Deb, our bus driver/tour guide, gave an interesting commentary on the way to Ballarat. Loved the scones and jam at the New York Bakery the draught horses and the ride on the coach watching the Redcoats do their march and gun firing. It was fascinating watching the Gold Pouring, and seeing the blacksmiths shoeing one of the draught horses and making a poker. A very enjoyable day tour!
This unusual tour for Americans was quite good. My husband's great-great grandfather was a miner at Sovereign Hill where a major gold vein was found. He wanted to visit this recreated mining town. The residents wear period costumes from the 19th century and many ply the trades appropriate to the times such as gold smeltering, tinsmithing, bakers, dry goods, etc. There is also a candy making shop which specializes in lollies--a hard and variously flavored type of candy which is beloved by Australians. Since many of the miners were from Cornwall, England delicious pasties can be had for lunch from the bakery.
Our driver/guide, Don, was knowledgeable about the area as we drove to and toured the city of Ballarat. Sovereign Hill is part of Ballarat. It is a pleasant town with some interesting Victorian arcitechture. At Sovereign Hill he left us to explore the area on our own until departure time.
It was clear that Don enjoyed introducing tourists to this wonderful area.
I should also add that Ballarat is a plot point in A. Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story The Bascombe Valley Mystery in case someone is a Sherlockian--another reason for our visit.
We did not visit the wildlife park. Those who did were dropped off at the park and the rest of us went on to Ballarat. The park visitors were later picked up at the park and driven to Sovereign Hill for their visit.
There is a theatre which at times has an impromptu performance on Main Street. British red coats also march down the street complete with a small drum corp. Muskets are fired off at the town square and horse drawn cart tours are also available. Demonstrations of gold smeltering are given throughout the day. There is also a gold mining encampment that can be seen. Tours of a real gold mine are also offered. My husband who took the tour thoroughly enjoyed it and said that it was also very informative.
Great recreation of a mining town. Lunch in the restaurant was good as was the tour of the mining disasters.
Very fun and unique experience in a mining town. Unfortunately I only have 4 hours to stay. I would like to stay longer if I got a chance to come again!
Great trip will do it again
Ballarat is a beautiful city! Had a great time in Sovereign Hill and experiencing the 1850s. Thank you to the Driver Guide and AAT King for a fantastic time!
We found our coach driver Con very impressive .The day was great.
The trip was great, bus driver hilarious, gave good info.
Sovereign Hill worth the visit, very well re enacted, would have liked to see more period related crafts for women but that's just me
Excellent tour. Thoroughly recommended.
The trip was very enjoyable. The coach was comfortable and the driver was friendly and interacted with the group. We had a couple of stops along the way and a tour around Ballarat which was very interesting. Sovereign Hill was great, a wonderful look back in time, we had a ball and would recommend the tour to everyone.
Its A-Must-Visit place. The tour company team members are friendly. Very informative and knowledgeable coach driver. Price is reasonable from Viator as we travelled using coach bus with bathroom.
interesting place to visit, the gold mine tour was amazing, love it so much... food and shopping choices were sufficient... some great role plays too, entertainers walking around the village entertaining visitors... too bad I couldn't find any gold though... cheers...
We thoroughly enjoyed this trip. The coach was very comfortable and Mike our coach driver was very nice and gave the most informative commentary on the various sites along the way not to mention the wonderful tour through Ballarat and the history he told of the place, and hints on how to make the most of our day. We did not take the option of the Wildlife Park and we are glad we did that as although we believe the park was excellent we found we needed every bit of time we could get at Sovereign Hill to look at everything that was on offer there. We panned for gold and found some! We went down into the underground gold mine and loved every minute of that experience, although if you don't like confined spaces then don't go down as one lady had to be taken back up again. There was plenty of room to move around down there. We saw the wheelwright doing his work and the blacksmith working on some tools and we bought an old horse shoe from him for $5 to take home as a souvenir, we got to buy the best ever sausage rolls at the Bakery store..yummo were they good and they had cakes and pastries to chose from as well, there was a restaurant there and coffee shop for anyone wanting to eat, we did the horse drawn wagon ride around the town and loved that too, there was a display by one of the 'policemen' of an old 2ring shotgun and later the 'soldier boys' marched through the street and gave a display of shooting the 3ring shotguns. The whole day was wonderful and one we will treasure always. We would highly recommend booking through Viator as we found it easy and we could ring to answer some questions we had the staff on the phone were so curtious and helpful. One of the highlights of our Melbourne trip and we are telling everyone about it. Loved it.
We had a fantastic day. From the moment we were picked up, till the we were dropped of. The driver was fantastic. Kept us informed. Gave us plenty of time and info on the tour. I would highly recommend this tour to all, locals, Australians and definitely the overseas tourist. And the bus was sooo comfortable quiet and smooth. Highly recommended
We had a lovely day out on this trip. The coach driver was fantastic a really nice guy. The time we had at Sovereign Hill was just right, it was a memorable experience. The Gold Museum which was included was excellent. The real surprise was the wildlife park it was amazing and we enjoyed it as much as we did the big wildlife parks in Australia.
It was a nice trip - highly recommend including the Ballarat Wildlife Park as part of the tour.
great day tour didn,t find any gold though
The coach driver was knowledgeable and friendly, the drive through Ballarat was interesting and enough to whet our appetites for a return visit. Sovereign Hill lived up to our expectations. It is an outstanding tourist attraction and kept us happily occupied all day. It was nice to arrive so early before the crowds arrived, and it was also a nice touch that the coach driver made us aware of his location during the day if there was any assistance needed.
The Viator trip was undersold so we were placed with another opereator.
We were picked up from our hotel at the appointed time and aldo dropped off afterwards.
Sovereign hill was amazing, highly recommended. The wild life park should be missed to spend more time at Sovereign hill in our opinion.
Only coment, wish we could have had more time at Sovereign Hill and left when the facility closed at 5pm and not left at 3:30....
Wonderful place to visit! Will certainly recommend it to friends.
Great day out spoiled only by rain from about lunch time. The driver was terrific and a great communicator. The coach was very comfortable. what more can be said - it was a very enjoyable day
Fantastic day. Highly recommend any one to go on this
Fantastic, the best tour ever. I really like the procedure that you can pick up the guests in their hotel. The driver/tour guide was absolutely amazing with his knowledge.
panning gold in sovereign hill, a lot of activities around.
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