January 21-22 Sovreign Hill – Ballarat
Saturday began with the most awesome blueberry and strawberry pancake stacks!
Then, with our bellys full, we stepped back into an age of horse drawn carts, hoop skirts and the gold rush. We were excited to explore the old world that stretched out before us across the muddy roads lined with an assortment of establishments. Where to start? We stepped out towards the past.
The kids were so excited as they went from the blacksmith to the candy shop and were greeted by the wonderful staff dressed in period costume. We booked in for our chance to dress up and have a traditional photo and continued on to what was my favourite store on main street….David Jones. It was filled with fabrics, scarves, dresses, hats, tea cups and so many more lovelies.
At the Victoria theatre we were entertained by a short sketch about whether or not to marry a Redcoat. It was fun to be part of the audience in this beautifully ornate theatre.
We enjoyed a delicious pie from the Hope bakery for lunch and continued to enjoy our yesteryear experience.
We headed to the main street to watch the Redcoats on parade and firing of their muskets. It was loud and fantastic!
Old time bowling was our next stop. Using a wooden ball and 2 hands to roll it down very long alley, the kids both gave it a try. We also tried a British game called Bagatelle that was a little like pool. It was lots of fun. We had just enough time to stop at the candle shop before our photo session. Clarissa decided to colour dip a candle but had to return after photo time due to a candle making demo.
Dressing up was great fun and i think we all scrubbed up well!
The boys had booked in for a tour of the old underground mines to experience the conditions the miners faced. Clarissa and I, however, enjoy breathing fresh air and so we ventured back to the candle shop. We also made a wooden peg doll and then enjoyed our cart ride through town.
Our last place to explore for the day was The Diggings to try our hand at panning. After a quick lesson, the shoes were off and the kids were into it. Gold! It was tiny but it was gold nonetheless.
We headed home with weary feet, a bit of gold and a horse called Clyde. After a short and freezing dip in the pool we had dinner and rugged up ready for the evening on the hill. As the shops had no scarves in stock yet, I used my crafty skills and a $6 blanket to make us all a cosy scarf for the evening.
Blood on the Southern Cross was the show we eagerly headed back up for the hill for. We started in a theatre for a 10 minute introduction to the history of the Eureka Stockade. We then ushered around the miners settlement with sound and lights as the story dramatically unfolded before us. We then climbed on board a bus carriage and were driven to a back lot theatre that opened out to a landscape of hotel, settlement, church and army encampment. The battle played out through fires, lights and dramatic reading. It was amazing! We highly recommend it.As photos were strictly prohibited, click on the link above for the official preview of the action.
After such a huge day our bodies decided a rest was in order on Sunday. We enjoyed the facilities of the caravan park and did some washing, had a swim, bounced on the giant pillow and played mini golf. The boys both had hair cuts and we enjoyed homemade pizzas (with homemade dough) for tea.
A lovely way to end our time in Ballart.