Ballarat: Gold Museum & Sovereign Hill | Day Trip from Melbourne


Ballarat is one of the many day trip locations from Melbourne. It is a very significant Victorian city from the gold rush era, which established in 1851. Even today, gold mining takes place under the surface of this city in numerous tunnels.

This significant city is located around 116 km west of Melbourne, around just over an hour journey by road or rail. Thanks to the Gold Rush, the city garnered a lot of attention from people all around the world during the 1850s. Clearly, it resulted in the rise of the population in the city. This enlarged development of the city in terms of facilities, civic amenities, entertainment and what not.

Today, this city offers plenty of attractions for its visitors, thanks to the linked history. We had a chance to visit this city during the Easter break, and it was indeed a great trip.

Out of the many attractions, we were able to fit in the day trip of Gold Museum & Sovereign Hill. After reaching Ballarat, we felt we should have planned to stay there for a night or two. But there is a thing called next time, hopefully. :/

The Gold Museum, Ballarat

The Gold Museum is actually an extension of Sovereign Hill. This museum houses an extensive and impressive collection of gold nuggets, artefacts, and coins from various eras and regions.

The museum also features machinery and tools used back in time for extraction from the ore, purification, etc. There is also a souvenir shop, as expected, from where you can pick up items pertaining to this region as well as Australia in general.

Couldn't resist clicking some mohurs! :p
Variants of gold nuggets found in Ballarat


Sovereign Hill, Ballarat

Sovereign Hill is located right across the street from the Gold Museum. It is an open air museum featuring shops, businesses, gold mines, etc. as they were after a decade of gold rush. After entering this museum, you will forget you are from 2017; well, almost. All the shops, staff, infrastructure, everything is vintage.

There are a couple of activities and gold mine tours that you can partake (bookings may be needed). A sound and light show, namely Blood on the Southern Cross, also takes places every night, which is an elaborate open-air show depicting the battle between the gold miners and the Government forces. The tickets to this one get sold out like hot cakes, so better to reserve before hand. You get the option of dinner as well with this show, if you like to have it here.



Dress up and click a photo here.
Coach rides
Are we in the 1850s yet?
Demonstration of gold pour


That's how you see gold down under!

Access to The Gold Museum & Sovereign Hill, Ballarat (From Melbourne)

Car: Drive along the Western Freeway, ~116 km. Free Parking available at this site.

Train: Board V/Line towards Wendouree from Southern Cross Station to get down at Ballarat Station (Ballarat Central); app. 1 h 25 min journey. Next, hop on Regional Bus #21 (towards Buninyong) from the Ballarat Station and get off at Sovereign Hill/Bradshaw St; app. 12-14 min.


Museum Only:  $15 Adult, $8 Child (ages 5 - 15)

Sovereign Hill (includes Gold Museum): $55.50 Adult, $25 Child (ages 5 - 15)

Extras inside Sovereign Hill: Red Hill Mine Tours - Free | Gold Mine Tours - $7.50 Adult, $4.00 Child (5 - 15) | Coach Rides: $5.50 Adult, $4.00 Child (5 - 15). Check here for more information.


Museum: Opens 7 days; 9:30 am - 5:30 pm (until 6 pm during daylight saving) except Christmas.

Sovereign Hill: Opens 7 days; 10 am - 5 pm (until 5:30 pm during daylight saving) except Christmas.

Check another day trip from Melbourne here.

That's all for this post sharing my side of story and information about Ballarat. Have you been to Ballarat? What are your favourite places to visit on a day trip from your city? Share with me, you never when I get a chance to visit your favourites. 😀

Thanks for stopping by!

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  • Sheetal

    A Nice read and good to know how gold looks beneath.

    • Thanks for stopping by Sheetal! xx

  • Familyearthtrek

    I dont want to be a visitor at that place I want to be an employee! Imagine going to work every morning dressing like that! Its fun! But I guess living at that time in real life must have been very difficult!
    I would be paranoid if I find a chunk of gold like that thinking everybody wants to kill me to get my gold!😅

    • Hahaha! I’d love to go back in that era and experience the life as well, mainly for the dramatic dress up. 😀 I wouldn’t like anybody to know that I found a gold nugget, wouldn’t risk my life for it. 😉 xx

  • Our Samyatra

    Horse cart is looking great and the watches are so nice. Love to read the post and like to visit here someday.

    • Yes those horse carts were like the icing on the cake, gave so much authentic vibes to the place. Those watches were definitely a collector’s dream.

  • It looks like a very interesting place to visit. We have something similar near where I live and I absolutely love going and having a browse around, it’s fascinating

    • It was indeed interesting, we loved out time there.

  • BuildYourOwnEmpire

    This place made me feel like I was in a super old movie. Awesome! Gold mining fascinates me, I’ve watched several documentaries about it. I’m such a nerd.

    • Oh I love watching those documentaries as well, there is something about the old world that fascinates me so much.

  • What a lovely place to visit.I love the horse and coach rides and the costumes. It must have felt like going back in time.

    • Indeed, I loved it and it took me straight back in the 1800s, only with a smartphone and internet! 😀 xx

  • This trip looks like it would be so much fun. Just love how they have done so much to maintain the authenticity and even dress up for the period. Such an interesting side to Australia.

    • Yes, that effort in maintaining the old world charm is commendable.

  • Totally naive of me but I didn’t realise that the Gold Rush was across other countries in the world besides the USA. This would be a place I would love to go.

    • Even I wasn’t aware of that until I saw this place. You’ll love it Victoria! xx

  • Catvills

    A visit to the Gold museum would be nice. It is going to be a great learning experience! I’d love to view the different sizes and kinds of gold nuggets! Amazing how they shimmer even in the rough.

    • Oh yeah, I loved those nuggets, I wish I had some in my collection! 😉 xx

  • Laura Dove

    What a great museum to visit!! I love a museum and going back in time, it’s so interesting to look through all of those things!

    • Definitely, Laura! Museums give so much of insight into the old world. 🙂

  • Calleigh -The Fork Bite

    We visited the Gold museum last year to see the doctor Blake exhibit. The place has lots of information with great displays. It was worth a visit and the view over Ballarat is stunning.

    • Oh that’s great, we loved the exhibit too. xx

  • Whenever we are away for a holiday or trip we not only visit sights but also museums as there are always great displays and a lot to learn from them.

    • Indeed, museums are a great way to learn our past and the happening of that era.

  • christopher mitchell

    This seems like a nice little tour that’s something a bit different. I love that the surrounding area seems to have adopted this very “West World” vibe for those who know that show well. I’ve been to Melbourne, but next time I’m back I’ll that to the list!

    • Definitely Mitchell, visit this place on your next visit. You’ll love it! 🙂

  • I know that in Wales there is such thing as gold mining but I have actually never been to a ‘gold’ museum, so I think that it would be pretty cool to visit. Not only is it relatively cheap to visit but for me I would be most excited by the ‘dressing up’ part because even as an adult I am a huge fan of playing dress up! Fab photos lovely x

    • Yes, dressing up here would be so much fun! I went in my ‘casual’ (I know you don’t do casual 😉 ) denims and a shirt but after reaching there I thought I should have dressed up for the theme, my OOTD felt so meh in front of the staff there. 😀 Thanks hun! xx

  • Sarah Kranz

    The Gold Museum sounds like so much fun, especially for children! I have never been to Melbourne, although I have visited other parts of Australia. Looks like a great area and fun day for all!

    • It was so much! What all places did you visit in Australia? xx

  • We have gold mining places, as Ana mentioned too, in Wales and also here in Canada. It’s always been fascinating to me since I was a kid about gold mining and precious metals. Definitely a great place for an educational Family day out!

    • Oh that’s great! I’ll be visiting the UK by the end of this year, would love to check them out then, Wales is on my list. xx

  • This is so unique! Looks like so much fun. I’ve always wanted to visit Australia so would definitely love to visit other places nearby like this. Will keep for future reference!

    • I’m glad you liked it Amanda! xx

  • EG Green

    Gold museums are always fun (even though I’ve only ever been to one lol). What I really like about Ballarat is that you get the entire “travel back in time” feel to go along with your experience!

  • Sondra Barker

    What a fun day trip! I have always wanted to go to Australia. Thanks for the travel tips!

  • Technology Around Me

    Wow! What a full day! I felt like I was traveling with you.

  • David Elliott

    I would love to see the gold Museum were I there in Australia. I do love going to visit something like that out here in the states where they discovered Gold. It was a lot of fun.

  • Loved each and every piece of post that how gold is mined. Being an Indian you know there is always a great affinity to gold, so this post is fun and I would always love to visit this kind of gold museum. Have you discovered some gold in Australia??? LOL