richoztrek: Richos trek oz 2013 travel blog

Doing our bit to try and break a world record, or was...

Bracing ourselves

Panning for gold

Pip displays the technique

Success!

Hanging out with a guard after musket firing practice

Will tries his hand at the bowling alley

School 1850s style

Practicing their copperplate

A peacock parades for the crowd

One of the locals

Leaving on day two with our spoils. No, the girls did not...


(Ben)

The forecast was promising a typical Victorian display - a brilliant, sunny, clear day followed by something much less pleasant. And after our perfect day on the Great Ocean Road, that's what we got in Ballarat. Our plan was to get to Sovereign Hill, a type of village set up to show life as it was in Ballarat in the gold rush days.

We had to make a diversion on the way when the radio notified us that there was a world record attempt underway in town that morning. Who wouldn't want to be part of the world record for Largest Gathering of People Wearing False Moustaches? Unfortunately those who gathered numbered a few thousand short of the record (which is not much more than a few thousand anyway) but we enjoyed laughing at ourselves and others.

On a windy, showery, cold, yet sometimes sunny (typically Victorian) day we spent our time moseying around the various parts of Sovereign Hill. The kids all enjoyed panning for a bit of their own gold with Will having the most success. The place is really well set up. In addition to the actual demonstrations and tours, there is heaps to wander and look at. Many of the buildings are more than facades: the bakery, lolly shop, tin smith, cafe, wheel wright, theatre, pub and more all operate or serve in some fashion, often doing things in at least some ways traditionally. There are also houses to walk through, set up with gardens and fittings intact. The actors getting around in period costume occasionally break into a dramatic reenactment in the streets.

All in all we enjoyed ourselves here. The next morning we found out the kids had liked it more than we'd realised when they pleaded to return. Fortunately we could get in for the second day free so we passed more hours here, the kids all finding some more gold.



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