Many people who choose to stay at motels in Ballarat are interested in learning about the gold rush that occurred in the region during the 1850s and 60s. This was one of the first towns in Victoria where gold was discovered and was actually the catalyst for the rush with the discovery of the Mount Alexander goldfield (60km northeast). If you are interested in learning more about the history, however, where should you go?
1. Sovereign Hill
This is considered by many to be the best place to visit if you’re interested in learning about gold rush history. When you walk through the doors, it’s just like stepping back in time – costumed men and women wander the small town, manning the various stores and hosting talks. Pan for gold (and keep what you find!), take a tour of an underground mine, or have your photograph taken in old-style costume.
2. Gold Museum
For a less interactive experience, those staying at motels in Ballarat can visit the Gold Museum. It houses an impressive (and highly valuable) collection of gold nuggets, priceless artefacts and coins. Once you’ve finished browsing the museum, visitors are encouraged to visit the stunning gift shop where they can purchase their very own nugget or choose from a range of fine jewellery and giftware.
3. “Blood On The Southern Cross”
If you’re interested in learning about the Eureka Uprising, this sound and light show is the best way to immerse yourself in the story. Held of an evening at Sovereign Hill, the show details the Eureka Stockade of 1854, when the miners clashed with the unjust and corrupt colonial rulers. The show runs for 90 minutes and packages are available that include dinner, accommodation and entry to the site during the day.
4. Heritage Tours
Those staying at motels in Ballarat might also like to book themselves into one of the tours that operate around the town. These heritage tours are designed to take visitors around the town, pointing out buildings and areas of significance. Delight in the tales of rebellion, tragedy, triumph, and fortunes won and lost shared by your guide. Most tours run for a few hours and involve walking around the town.
5. Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka
Finally, we recommend that you also pay a visit to the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (or MADE for short). There are a number of sensory exhibits for visitors to immerse themselves in – discover what it was like to live without power and see the original Flag of the Southern Cross (also known as the Eureka Flag). A number of temporary exhibits are also held throughout the year, so don’t miss out. If you are interested in learning more about the history of Victoria and, in particular, the gold rush that occurred here during the 1850s and 60s, we hope that you will visit some of the attractions outlined above. Choosing to stay at motels in Ballarat will provide you with ample opportunity to explore as many of these attractions as possible, ensuring that you leave with plenty more knowledge than you arrived with.