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4.5 star rating: Recommended 66 Reviews

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  • Location:Melbourne, Australia
  • Duration:9 hours (approx.)

Ballarat and Sovereign Hill Day Tour with Optional Wildlife Park from Melbourne

Feel the excitement of Australia’s gold rush with this full-day tour from Melbourne! Visit the former boomtown of Ballarat and travel back in time at Sovereign Hill, a realistic replica of a 1850s mining settlement. History comes to life as you pan for gold, meet characters in period costume and ride an old-fashioned stagecoach. Upgrade to include a visit to the Ballarat Wildlife Park, where you can meet and interact with native animals of the Australian bush, such as kangaroos, emus and Tasmanian devils.


  • Discover Ballarat and Sovereign Hill on this full-day tour from Melbourne
  • Step back in time to the 1850's to the re-created goldmining settlement of Sovereign Hill
  • Try your luck panning for gold
  • Visit the gold museum
  • See native animals at the Ballarat Wildlife Park (option to be selected at time of booking)
  • Plenty of photo opportunities
  • Informative and friendly guide
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Ballarat and Sovereign Hill Day Tour with Optional Wildlife Park from Melbourne

See kangaroos and other Aussie animals at the Ballarat Wildlife Park

Trade in Melbourne’s modern metropolis for a 19th-century boomtown on this fun-filled day trip! After pickup at your Melbourne hotel or Federation Square (see Itinerary and Hotel Pickup tab for details), travel aboard a comfortable air-conditioned coach approximately 1.5 hours to the town of Ballarat. Learn how this sleepy settlement transformed into a bustling boomtown within a matter of months after the discovery of gold nearby in 1851. 

Journey back in time to this exciting chapter in Australian history as you arrive at Sovereign Hill. This ‘living museum’ built on the site of an original gold mine spans over 25 acres (10 hectares) and offers visitors the chance to experience life in 1850s mining camp. Try your luck at panning for gold, venture into a historic mine and learn more about the area’s history at an on-site museum.

Wander through the dusty streets past Victorian homes and stop in at old-fashioned shops like the apothecary, sweet shop or candle works, where you can meet proprietors dressed in period costume and purchase unique souvenirs. Watch craftsmen at work using traditional 19th-century methods with a visit to the blacksmith or coachbuilder’s workshop. Take a spin through town aboard a traditional stagecoach or dress up your family for an old-fashioned photo (both at own expense).

With an optional upgrade, visit the family-run Ballarat Wildlife Park to meet native Australian species including kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, emus and Tasmanian devils. Learn more about these amazing creatures at a ranger-led show such as a crocodile feeding, eagle fight or koala encounter. 


Hotel Pickups:
7:10am Adara East Apartments
7:25am Adina Grand Apartments
7:10am Atlantis Hotel
6:50am Bayside Eden
6:50am Bayview on the Park
6:50am Como Hotel
7:20am Crown Metropol
7:15am Crown Promenade
7:20am Crown Towers
7:25am Crowne Plaza
7:05am Downtowner on Lygon
7:00am Hilton Southwharf
7:20am Holiday Inn Flinders
7:25am Hotel Sofia
7:30am Ibis Hotel Therry Street
7:25am Ibis Styles Kingsgate Hotel
7:35am Intercontinental Hotel The Rialto
7:25am Kings Street Backpackers
7:10am Langham Hotel
7:10am Magnolia Court
7:05am Mantra on Jolimont
7:35am Mantra on Russell
7:20am Mantra on the Park
7:30am Marriott Hotel
7:15am Melbourne Short Stay Apartments
7:30am Mercure Grand on Swanston
6:55am Mercure Pullman Albert Park
7:15am Mercure Treasury Gardens
7:30am Mercure Welcome Hotel
7:10am Miami Hotel
6:40am Novotel Bayside
7:30am Novotel Collins
7:20am Oaks on Market
7:25am Park Hyatt
7:15am Pullman on the Park
7:15am Radisson Flagstaff
7:40am Rendezvous Hotel
7:00am Rydges Carlton
7:20am Rydges Melbourne
7:00am Seasons Botanical
7:15am Sofitel Hotel
7:25am Stamford Plaza
7:05am Travelodge Docklands
7:05am Travel Inn Carlton
7:15am Vibe Savoy
7:10am Westin Hotel
7:15am Windsor Hotel

Customer Reviews

Jiawen L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

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!

Marie M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

Great trip will do it again

Norizan S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

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!

David Alan A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

We found our coach driver Con very impressive .The day was great.

heather s

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

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

Svetlana G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2015

Excellent tour. Thoroughly recommended.

Janet M B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

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.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

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.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

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...

Chris B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2014

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.

From USD $ 114.58

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Tour code: 2230M3


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