Brough to you by Sovereign Hill
Grab the kids and head to the Ballarat this July as Sovereign Hill explodes in a whirl of bright lights, snowflakes, carols and a most amazing look back to life in the 1850s Goldrush Era, Christmas style!
You may recall we visited Sovereign Hill back in January and stepped back into life as a miner chasing his hopes and dreams in search of the elusive gold nugget that would spell the end to his everyday struggle.
If you missed it, be sure to take a look as we’re certain you’ll appreciate just how impressive the entire experience was for both kids and adults alike. From the minute you walk through the gate you leave life as you know it and get swept back to the 1850s , complete with horse drawn carriages, blacksmith works, spectacular costumes, panning for real gold, underground gold mine tours and much, much more.
This time round, Sovereign Hill took on a very Christmasy theme complete with stunning decorations around the whole town, winter themed costumes and snowflakes falling at regular intervals throughout the day.
This time though, they’re offering more dazzling light projections and more Victorian-era, traditional Christmas magic – and with more buildings lit up with yuletide animations than in previous years, this event is the largest light projection spectacle ever staged in the one site anywhere in Australia! A must see and a real delight for kids young and old!
All part of the Ballarat Winterlude promotion running now until July 24.
First up we headed up the main street and into the Victoria Theatre where we caught the tail end of Snow White on the stage, a pantomime (and very amusing one at that!) The kids were enthralled and gave us a good laugh!
We then headed outside for the snowfall which saw (fake) snow falling from the skies and really created a fun and exciting buzz throughout the town! The kids were reaching for the snow and combined with the Christmas decorations, really created a real winter wonderland feeling. The snow falls 4 x times daily, 11.45am, 1.40pm, 3.45 and 6pm.
Sovereign Hill really know how to do things right. From the costumes, to the buildings, and everything inbetween.
It’s easy to get swept away in the magic of the bygone era and it was really lovely to see additional new things to fit the Christmas theme including this cart that sold mulled wine, cinnamon fritters (donut holes!), St Nick’s Ice Treats and more!
Then we headed up to the big marquee at the top of the town and watched RUE by Three High Acrobats, a devilishly fun and spectacular acrobatics show.
We also stopped for a few token photos at the Christmas sleigh display. Everywhere you turn there’s people in costume drawing you back into the era. Just awesome!
We also took a breather and the boys decorated their own gingerbread men, complete with red, green and white lolly buttons made onsite in their candy store. Note I think Alex got more icing on his vest than the gingerbread man!! This was the perfect time to sit back and relax with a nice warm hot chocolate. Bliss!
Oh, and get this, the one on the right is me and the white lollies are ‘my boobies’. Nice one Alex!
While we were up the top of the town (yes it’s on multiple levels) we stopped at the wheelwrighting workshop to watch a demonstration on how they used to (and still do) make wooden coach wheels. In the day they used to churn out over 100 wheels daily, and still have working machinery (huge belts and pulleys) however the demand just isn’t there so production is much lower. What a skill!
To be honest, I couldn’t wait for the sun to go down. What I really wanted to see was the magic that was the light and sound show that takes over Sovereign Hill at nightfall. Think Vivid Sydney in the Goldrush Era and you’re almost there!
Before then, a group of carolers had lined up outside the bank and were happily belting out some of our favourite Christmas carols. It really lifted the Christmas atmosphere and built the anticipation for the lights to come on.
Before we knew it, voila! They were on and I have to say it was pretty mesermising and magical all in one! The snow was falling, there were plenty of oooohs and aahhhs and it wasn’t hard to get swept up in the magic of Christmas of a bygone era.
Not only were there images projected on the buildings, but they were dancing, and singing and really coming to life! It was incredible, with every building featuring a different image, and taking on a whole new personality of its own.
To get a feel for how it was standing in the middle of the street, I took a panoramic image and have uploaded it to facebook. Use your finger on your mobile or your arrow buttons on your desktop to scroll around the image – just amazing!
Entire families dressed up in costume to be a part of the Sovereign Hill community – just amazing!
I’ll let the pictures do the talking!!
Winter Wonderlights runs from now until 24th July.
Sovereign Hill is a not-for-profit, community-based cultural tourism organisation. Prices are listed below. We highly recommend the VIP pass which gives you access to a few extra great value features which we undertook on our last visit. Read all about it here!
Adults – $54
Concession – $43.20
Child (5-15) $24.50
Family – 2A & up to 4C) $136.00
Single Parent (1A and up to 3C) $98
Children under 5 free
Gold Mine Tours: $7.50 Adult, $4.00 Child (5-15), $20.00 Family (2A & 4C)
Coach Rides: $5.50 Adult, $4.00 Child (5-15), $17.00 Family (2A & 4C)
NOTE: Sovereign Hill offers so much fun and adventure that a 2-day visit can be a practical option. Now you can enjoy a second day at Sovereign Hill for the price of a single day’s entry. Simply validate your pass before you leave and get back in the next day for free!
Sovereign Hill VIP Gold Pass (what we did!)
Includes • Admission to Sovereign Hill and the Gold Museum • Unlimited coach rides • Labyrinth of Gold Mine Tour** • 1 x free return pass for day entry only (valid for 12 months from the date of original visit; not transferable) • Touch of Gold Experience • Express Costumed Photograph • Devonshire Tea.
1 Adult ticket = over $160 of value
Adult – $99
Concession – $87
Child (5-15) $45
Family (2A & up to 4C) $240
Single parent family (1A and up to 3C) $199
Thanks to our friends at Sovereign Hill, four lucky families will get to have a spectacular day at Sovereign Hill. Total value $534 and valid for 12 months!
Simply complete the entry form below in full, comment on the blog and tell us what you love about the Winter Wonderlights at Sovereign Hill and you’re in the running to win!