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Sovereign Hill, Ballarat, Victoria

I fell in love with the outdoor museum at Sovereign Hill. It was enchanting, and I was giddy with excitement. It was a few hours’ drive from Melbourne, but the journey was worth every second of every minute. My only regret – because it was a short visit – was that I did not get to have a photo taken dressed up in period clothes. I know I shouldn’t be greedy, but I could have cried and stamped my feet in frustration!

My goodness, if you love history like I do, there is absolutely nothing to dislike about this place. All our senses were engaged as we experienced what it looked and felt like living in 1850’s Australia. The town looked authentic, and all the people who worked there were dressed in period costumes and acted their parts accordingly. I felt like I was on the set of an old Western movie. The layout was quite similar with the bank, saloon, school, fire brigade, church, undertaker, bowling alley, local newspaper (Ballarat Times), candle maker, confectioner, baker, blacksmith, and apothecary complete with all sorts of herbal remedies and leeches! I bought a very pretty tea cup and saucer from the Criterion store, which sold ladies’ fashion and household products, and a couple of original Aussie hats!

Apothecary Can you spot the leeches? Urgh!

Undertaker- reminded me of the John Wayne westerns I used to watch as a child!

Candle maker

It was fun making my own candle and a lovely souvenir!

General store

Bowling alley- We got to play too!

Ballarat Times

I took part in some demonstrations too, including a gold pouring exhibition, another ‘first’ for me. I got to hold the gold bar that ensued – valued on that day at US$175K. ( see how much gold cost in the 1850s!)

I simply could not believe it, but the photo below is for real. I can tell you now that all those movie scenes where the bad guys make off with loads of gold bars are not physically possible. That one bar weighed tons! What was also incredible is that I panned for gold in the same river where the gold bar I am holding originally emanated from!

Panning for gold!

Watched a gold pouring session using gold from the 1850s! On the day, this gold bar that I am holding weighted a ton and was worth US$275! It came from the same stream where I panned for gold. Unbelievable isnt it!

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