BACK TO THE GOLD COUNTRY
I was keen to take my mum somewhere in Australia for a bit of a getaway. Up North was too hot!! South was too expensive! East was too far!! So Westward we headed. To the old gold town of Ballarat, Victoria.
Mum initially wanted to take the Spirit of Tasmania across the Bass Straits, but when I worked out the cost, my budget was almost over. So, I opted for a shorter cruise from Sorrento to Queenscliff via an easy (and way more affordable) 40 minute ferry ride across the beautiful Port Phillip Bay.
There was no question that we were getting a hotel room and thanks to my mates providing me with a Travel Voucher for my birthday, I found us some lovely accommodation at the Ballarat Lodge for 3 days/ 4 nights of exploring this Grand old town of Ballarat.
Now, my Mum is in her 70’s, so needless to say that most of our adventures where more driving than walking. But I did manage to get her out and about through the streets of Sovereign Hill. A beautiful replica village from the late 1800’s, when every man and his dog had made their way here to strike it rich and find that precious Gold.
I really do love places like Sovereign Hill. They give you the chance to really imagine what it was like back in those days (minus the disease, filth and general nastiness that followed along in those kind of hastily built environments). I love seeing the people walking around in all their fine costumes and to visit the shops to see the olden day wares that they still stock on their shelves. I know it’s all one big theatre performance, but it’s still got a bit of magic, for me!!
Thanks to Sovereign Hill’s great offer of two days for the price of one, we ventured through the old camp and down a bit of the main street on our first day there. Then we just got our ticket stamped and happily returned the following day to explore the high street and the rest of the main street that we had missed.
Be it if you come here with the children, do a solo trip, or wander around with the mother like I did, the offer of two for one days into Sovereign Hill gives you the chance to really explore the town and take the time to soak it all in. Plus you get to see anything you missed on day one or just go and revisit your favourite places and shops.
They even do a night performance full of sounds and lights called “Blood on the Southern Cross” which I didn’t manage to see (as it was past mother’s bedtime), but my nieces who went later on school camp told me that it was AWESOME!!
I’ll be back to Sovereign Hill, for sure!! There was simply too much that I missed!! And still so much more that I’m keen to check out again!! I want to ride the stage coach!!!
The rest of our adventures around Ballarat was filled with driving around the pleasant Lake Wendouree, enjoying the Botanical Gardens. Walking down the main street while I ooed and aahed at the lovely old buildings and Signora had time to get her retail fix sorted by hitting the local shopping strip.
This trip was all about spending some time with Mum. The sights that we got to discover were just an added bonus. Wandering around Ballarat you see that it’s definitely a quiet town, but with ample to keep you amused. The region itself still has so much to offer too. From the Convent Gallery at Daylesford, the Hepburn Springs Spa and don’t forget Kryal Castle if you want to take a step even further back in time.