Sovereign Hill is an outdoor museum presenting the story of Australia’s fabulous gold rush history. Its particular focus is the impact of the great 19th century gold discoveries on the growth of Ballarat, which was a small pastoral settlement when gold was discovered in 1851. By 1861, Ballarat had grown into a fine provincial city built on the wealth derived from its gold. Since opening in November 1970, Sovereign Hill has become an Australian tourism icon, winning many major tourism awards.
Blood on the Southern Cross
“Blood on the Southern Cross” is an explosive multi-million dollar sound-and-light show like nothing you’ve ever seen before! The story of the Eureka Rebellion, a dramatic battle between gold miners and Government forces at Ballarat on 3 December, 1854, is retold nightly. Set under the night skies at Sovereign Hill, “Blood on the Southern Cross” involves no actors - just voices, dazzling sound-and-light effects and a stunning open-air set.
Ballarat Wildlife Park
The Ballarat Wildlife Park is the brainchild of Mr. Greg Parker. Greg moved to Ballarat in 1987 to open his own wildlife park based upon his love of Australian native animals and reptiles and his extensive experience in the zoo industry. Set upon 32 acres of woodland is a collection of Australian native animals and reptiles. The reptile collection alone is one of the largest private collections in Australian featuring around four hundred individual animals of both native and exotic origins.
The Tangled Maze
The Tangled Maze is very unique, being made up by thousands of flowering climbers and twinners. The two meter high walls line the generous pathways, where you will discover the answers to the mystery trail. Navigating the maze is loads of fun for all ages, but the trick is to find your way out. The 18 hole Mini Golf course is in a beautiful Knot Garden design. It looks easy but just you try it.
Take time to step back in time at Kryal Castle. Watch the antics of the Court Jesters, marvel at the Magician’s Tricks in the live Magic Show. The main arena will come alive with, Whipping of the Wicked Wench and The Hanging of the Town Villain and join in the punishment of the drunken knight in the Pillory Show. Take a stroll through our dolls of the world, visit itty bitty world, get lost in the maze or try the giant chess board and lots more to keep the young and young at heart entertained.
Ballarat to Skipton rail trail
The Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail is a 53km, upgraded trail along the old Ballarat-Skipton Railway line. Extensively upgraded in 2008 with a high quality gravel surface, new signage, seating and rest huts, the trail is now an important reserve, which has been preserved for future generations. Passing through farmland, historic towns, bushland as well as areas of conservation and historic significance, it is suitable for cyclists, walkers, and horse riders of all levels of experience.
Ballarat Aviation Museum
A Truly Unique Collection of Flying Aircraft, Engines, Wartime Relics and Equipment from the 1920's to the Present Day.
Tuki Trout Farm
Tuki Retreat is situated on historic “Stoney Rises”, a traditional sheep grazing property. Two kilometre private drive will bring you to reception. You are guaranteed to catch a trout. There are 6 ponds you can fish from; a couple at the top of the hill are heavily stocked so success for your child is generally assured. After you have caught your trout we will clean and package it for you to take home or you can have it cooked in the restaurant.
Ballarat Bird World
With over two hundred Australian and overseas Birds to see. It is a rare chance for Australian and overseas visitors to see the colours of Australian bird life. Stroll through our free flight aviary containing over seventy birds in free flight. Some of the birds on display are rarely seen in the wild. Including many cockatoos like the Gang-Gang, Red, White and Yellow Tailed cockatoos.
Kirrit Barreet Aboriginal Art and Cultural Centre
The museum displays information about Aboriginal Australia, Koori people and the Wathaurong tribe, as well as displays of traditional artefacts, and view interactive shows on Aboriginal culture. At Kirrit Barreet we exhibit high quality local and regional contemporary and Aboriginal arts and craft. The Centre was established in 2005. Kirrit Barreet means 'Place of Creation' which is where the great ancestor spirit known as Bunjil, the eagle-hawk created the Aboriginal People out of clay.
Discover the beauty and power of gold as you view an impressive and valuable collection of gold nuggets, alluvial deposits, priceless gold artifacts and gold coins. ‘Ballarat: Inspired by Gold’ is a major exhibition presenting the story of Ballarat from its earliest days through to European settlement and the amazing impact of the gold rushes. Entry to the Gold Museum is free with your Sovereign Hill ticket. Separate entry is also available.
Ballarat Botanical Gardens
The Ballarat Botanical Gardens Reserve covers an area of 40 hectares which is divided into 3 distinct zones. The central Botanical Gardens preserve the 'gardenesque' style of the Victorian pleasure garden. On either side there are open parkland buffers known as the North and South Gardens. Located on the western shore of picturesque Lake Wendouree, the Gardens are an invaluable heritage and recreational resource to be enjoyed by the residents of Ballarat and visitors from around the world.
THE AUSTRALIAN EX-PRISONERS OF WAR MEMORIAL
Between the Boer War at the turn of the last century and the Korean War in the 1950's, 34,737 Australian servicemen and women were incarcerated in Prisoner-of War (POW) camps. Many suffered inhumane and atrocious treatment from their captors. To this day there is no Memorial in Australia such as this dedicated to these Australians or any recognition of their pain and suffering endured in the service of our nation.