Built on a 60-acre site linked with the richest alluvial gold rush in the world, Sovereign Hill faithfully depicts the Ballarat
region's first 10 years after the discovery of gold in 1851. The town bustles with life, as miners pan for gold and people dressed in period costume fill the streets. You can try your own luck
panning, take a horse-drawn buggy ride, watch demonstrations of 1850's manufacturing, visit a gold museum, even spend the night at the colonial style Sovereign Hill Lodge overlooking the site.
In the evening, the spectacular multimillion dollar sound and light show, "Blood on the Southern Cross",
commemorates the brief but bloody battle at the Eureka Stockade in December of 1854 when gold miners, frustrated and angry over unfair gold taxes, clashed with government forces - the first time on Australian
soil that men had fought and died together under their own flag, the flag of the Southern Cross. Ballarat is just over an hour from Melbourne via the Western Highway. Daily rail and coach services
are available from Melbourne.