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