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“Not Value for Money ”
Review of Sovereign Hill

Sovereign Hill
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USD 29.57*
and up
Sovereign Hill General Entry Ticket
Ranked #6 of 88 things to do in Ballarat
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: At Sovereign Hill, the story of an important time and place in Australian History, and the people who lived it, lives on. An internationally acclaimed tourist attraction, Sovereign Hill prides itself on its close attention to detail found in every aspect of this living, outdoor museum. Sovereign Hill is a glimpse of the vigour and excitement of life on Australia’s 1850s goldfields. Visitors can find real gold in the creek – gold pans are provided and it’s ‘finders keepers’, see $150,000 worth of molten gold poured into a gleaming bar, and take in the rich program of activities, shows and demonstrations. On Main Street there are working shops, hotels and a theatre – all based on original Ballarat businesses. Visitors are able to watch goldfields tradespeople in action and take a ride around the township in a horse-drawn coach. For the brave hearted, journey underground on a gold mine tour.
Useful Information: Stairs / lift, Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

Cost wife and I $90 with Concessions to walk around shops. I think it is overpriced. Particularly when you also have to pay for other tours. Glad we did not bring the 6 grandkids along. However it is a very good for kids learning about Aussie history.
I only hope they dont do what Old Sydney Town did and price themselves out. As long as the bus loads of foreign tourist keep coming i hope Sovereign Hill survives.

Thank Andrew B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sovereign H, Manager at Sovereign Hill, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2018

Hi Andrew B,

Thank-you for your review. We truely appreciate all feedback we receive, including those on pricing, and use these in our future planning.

We hope to see you again soon.

Have a great day,

The Sovereign Hill Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"panning for gold"
in 301 reviews
"candle making"
in 125 reviews
"gold pour"
in 121 reviews
"gold mine"
in 201 reviews
"coach ride"
in 75 reviews
"candle dipping"
in 69 reviews
"living museum"
in 47 reviews
"bowling alley"
in 47 reviews
"christmas in july"
in 44 reviews
"winter wonderland"
in 38 reviews
"raspberry drops"
in 41 reviews
"devonshire tea"
in 55 reviews
"two days"
in 97 reviews
"musket firing"
in 33 reviews
"period costume"
in 60 reviews
"gold rush"
in 202 reviews
"fake snow"
in 30 reviews
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159 - 163 of 3,176 reviews

Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

Sovereign Hill is worth a visit if your in the area. The Lolly making demonstration was great and interesting. Our families had an old time photo taken which has been a huge hit with our families. But book in early. A major disappointment was the under ground tours- these are not real. They are more like amusement rides at major parks. So don’t go expecting a real mine tour like we did. The staff are all friendly and it is cool seeing them all dressed in periodic costumes. Take your food if you can as it is expensive and limited choices.

Thank Sharon P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sovereign H, Manager at Sovereign Hill, responded to this reviewResponded 6 April 2018

Hi Sharon P,

Thank-you so much for your review. We are so glad to hear you enjoyed your time with us, including the lolly making demonstration.

We hope to see you again.

Have a great day,

The Sovereign Hill Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2018

We visited over the Easter weekend with family who traveled from Adelaide (my wife, daughter 4 years old and I live in Melbourne). We ended up coming two consecutive days - the Saturday and the Sunday. It was very busy on Saturday and less so on Sunday. We all had a great time. The last time I had visited Sovereign Hill was as part of a school program and I had memories of panning for gold and writing with a fountain pen. The grounds of Sovereign Hill are large and set up as a mining settlement with a creek and gold diggings, two mines, a number of commercial premises in the main street (including a theater and a bar), trade facilities further in and houses and a number of schools. We had two other children in our party under the age of 10 as well as our daughter and they all loved it.

There is plenty going on - a real effort is made to have staff in period garb engaging with visitors and each other in the street. The gold panning was a winner. We chose to have a photo taken in costume too which was actually a lot of fun. We caught a pantomime show in the theater and my daughter loved it ("his behind you"). On the main street there are a number of shops selling merchandise whether it be the printer selling posters, saddlery leather goods, clothing store fabric, lolly shop lollies, candle maker candles or the metalworker various brass and steel ware. There is a bit of a 'sell' with this but you can browse and still have fun. We ended up getting a wanted poster with our daughter's name on it and made our own candle which was good fun. Making peg dolls was fun (craft is always appreciated by little people). My panning technique was not the best so I must admit buying a bag of gold laced dirt so we my daughter could say we 'found' gold. We did not go on the carriage ride (which I think was very short for the price anyway - rather then charging a premium knock a couple of dollars off the carriage rides) and did not end up on joining a mine tour (there is a free tour and a paid tour).

The tickets are, it can't be denied, expensive but for us the cost was allayed by visiting the two consecutive days which was the offer made as part of the tickets we purchased. Getting period photos done was very expensive but with that you are going to either get them done or you aren't and they cost what they cost. We ummmed and ahhhed about the 'VIP tickets' but in the end felt the 'value' offered was not there - we were prepared to pay the extra cost getting the period photos and have the extra flexibility offered by not having them done as part of the VIP ticket package. The big selling point I think with the 'VIP tickets' is the offer for admission to Sovereign Hill on another day (other than two consecutive days) in the following 12 months. This would clearly though only suit those that live either in Victoria or interstate and would potentially visit again. In relation to food, we did buy some drinks but came armed with a picnic both days which worked well. We did not catch the sound and light show which is an extra cost again. This is offered both with and without dinner as well as accommodation packages staying onsite. I don't think going to Sovereign Hill is something you would do every month or even year but I do think we would come back.

Thank Sam C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sovereign H, Manager at Sovereign Hill, responded to this reviewResponded 5 April 2018

Hi Sam C,

Thank-you so much for your review. We are glad to hear you enjoyed your time at Sovereign Hill. We truly appreciate all feedback we receive and take this on board for our future planning.

Have a great day,

The Sovereign Hill Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2018

To be honest, it is between 'Average' and 'Very Good', depending on the price you pay.

First of all, one day is enough, no need of 2 days unless you really want to have a week-end getaway from Melbourne or attend the evening show then why not. This said, the 'park' or museum can be done in 3-4 hours.
Going by public transport is about 3 hours, 6 hours round trip hence, if you don't have a car, I recommend a day tour which honestly I found a bit expensive but the museum itself is expensive - you pay the entrance fees and inside you need to pay for the gold mining tour (about AUD 7.5).
Luckily, we found a Chinese tour very affordable (AUD65 + 4 for guide tips) that includes the entrance fees for Ballarat Wildlife park with guide tour and the feeding food, a guide tour inside Sovereign Hill and the entrance fee to the Gold mine tour.
It is a pretty good tour for the price but of course it is in Chinese but I didn't care as my wife speaks Chinese and translated to me. Anyway, I just wanted a car that drives me there so very happy for that.

Back to SH, there are small shows / demonstration during the day at specific time. We attended to 3.
The first was the red uniforms, only 1 per day but honestly it was not very impressive, kind a deception maybe because expectation was high as our tour guide said there is only one per day so make sure you don't miss it.
The second was the candy making - quite cool and you get a candy - just made, at the end. Quite good warm candy.
The third was the gold melting. OK but not outstanding.
So, the gold mine tour was included. It was so so. Everything seems a bit fake, but totally understandable that reinforcement are made to be sure it is safe enough.

We didn’t have lunch as we packed our lunches but our guide tour said the foods inside is not good. This said, I really cannot say as didn’t try.

We went on 31 March, there are people but not as crowded as I was expecting, even if there are more visitors than staff/crew in costumes which I guess cannot be prevented. So the feeling of being in a historical town is decreased.
It is a good place for children.

Thank Van Can Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sovereign H, Manager at Sovereign Hill, responded to this reviewResponded 5 April 2018

Hi Van Can Q,

Thank-you so much for your review. We truly appreciate all feedback we receive and take this on board in our future planning.

Have a great day,

The Sovereign Hill Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 April 2018

Me, my husband, and son (8) purchased the VIP passes to Sovereign Hill yesterday, and we can honestly say it was worth the money.
There is so much to do and see. We got there at 10:45am and left at 4:30pm and still didn't get to see all the demonstrations. The mine tours were amazing and well thought out. The pictures were a great momento.
The little shops were lots of fun to look and buy. We LOVED the scones and tea (very filling). We will definitely go back in the winter when they have the snow machines added in for effect. All the employees in costume were very friendly and helpful. We would highly recommend this day trip to anyone visiting Melbourne.

Thank DeeYHolla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sovereign H, Manager at Sovereign Hill, responded to this reviewResponded 4 April 2018

Hi DeeYHolla,

Thank-you so much for your review. We are so glad to hear you enjoyed your experience and we hope to see you again soon.

Have a great day,

The Sovereign Hill Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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