Ballarat Culture & history

Our most recommended Ballarat Culture & history

From Melbourne: Sovereign Hill Gold Mining Town Day Trip

1. From Melbourne: Sovereign Hill Gold Mining Town Day Trip

Immerse yourself in daily life during the 19th-century gold rush on a day trip to Sovereign Hill, a replica gold mining town. Wander through faithful model buildings and watch professional actors reenact scenes from the 1850s. Enjoy optional gold mine cart rides or horse carriage tours. Meet your driver in Central Melbourne and begin the journey to Sovereign Hill with views of the Australian countryside on the way. The town is full of interactive exhibits and demonstrations to discover: gold panning demonstrations, underground gold mines, and gold bar-making demonstrations. Wander through the town's true-to-life buildings for an insight into daily life. From grandmothers teaching grandchildren how to embroider to the local primary school and police station, the buildings are a great way to travel back in time to the excitement of the era. Feel free to ask the traditionally dressed actors for photos. You can also enjoy optional activities at an additional cost. You could go for a horse-drawn carriage tour of the town or take an underground mine cart ride. There are also occasional dramatic reenactments throughout the day.

Visit J Ward Lunatic Asylum: Night Ghost Tour in Ararat

2. Visit J Ward Lunatic Asylum: Night Ghost Tour in Ararat

Be incarcerated for the evening at Australia's home to the criminally insane: the famous J Ward Lunatic Asylum. Meet at J Ward, Girdlestone Street, Ararat in the evening and commence the tour with free museum access to explore the memorabilia of the past including straight jackets, electro shock therapy devices, and fascinating patient records. After exploring the museum, enjoy a guided ghost tour of approximately 2 hours through the home of notorious criminals such as Chopper Read, Gary Webb and William Wallace. Explore the governor's bathroom, the hangman's gallows, the original kitchen, the showerblock, the grave sites, the West Wing, the J Ward Block, and the exercise yards and grounds in search of the souls that still linger, and hear the terrifying stories of murdered inmates and prisoners buried in the grounds as you explore the property. Tours run every Friday and Saturday evening at 9:30 PM.

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What people are saying about Ballarat

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 19 reviews

this experience was absolutely amazing the ladies that guided our tour was fantastic!! would highly recommend u experience this we drove 2 hrs to do this and was praying it was worth it with it being on so late it definitely is!!

It was amazing. All the staff were very friendly and in there Roll. We could see the passion in all the staff. Thank you so much!! Kids lived it too!!

It was a real eye-opener. The history and real life experience was fantastic. I thoroughly recommend the experience. A big thumbs up.

Enjoyed all shows very friendly had a great time both me and wife loved it

My 7yr old Grandaughter had a wonderful time as did I