Fodor's Expert Review Sovereign Hill
Built on the site of the former mines of the gold rush era, this living museum town provides an authentic look at life, work, and play during Ballarat's gold rush era. Highlights of the main street include an operational hotel, blacksmith's shop, bakery, stores, and even a post office—all perfectly preserved relics of their time. You can have your photo taken in period costumes, take a mine shaft tour, pan for real gold (and find some), ride in a stagecoach, or head to the lolly shop to taste old-fashioned candy. Return at night for "Aura," a 90-minute sound-and-light spectacular that tells the story of the Eureka uprising. Your entry ticket gives you entrance to all Sovereign Hill's included activities, and you can add on such experiences as themed dining and accommodation, for full immersion in the period.