Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

4.5 stars

Editor's summary:

On this small group Sovereign Hill and Ballarat Wildlife Park Tour from Melbourne, you’ll discover the intriguing history of the Victorian Gold Rush and meet some of Australia’s iconic furry and feathered wildlife. Travel to the regional Victorian city of Ballarat in air-conditioned comfort with a maximum of eleven guests. Spend time at the famous Ballarat Wildlife Park and step back in time at the Sovereign Hill open air museum and historic recreation to pan for gold.


☆ Encounter native Australian animals at the Ballarat Wildlife Park, including wallabies, koalas and wombats

☆ Handfeed kangaroos and other wildlife

☆ Explore the award-winning Sovereign Hill open air museum and Victorian Gold Rush town

☆ Pan for gold and perhaps strike it rich!

☆ Maximum group size: 11.


☆ Guided small group tour with commentary

☆ Comfortable air-conditioned transport

☆ CBD hotel pick-up and drop-off

☆ Friendly and knowledgeable guide

☆ Entry to Ballarat Wildlife Park

☆ Entry to Sovereign Hill.

What you can expect

The Victorian Gold Rush of the 1850s transformed Melbourne into an incredibly wealthy city and gave rise to many regional centres, including Ballarat – the scene of the famous Eureka Rebellion in 1854. Learn more about this fascinating chapter in Victoria’s history on this small group Sovereign Hill and Ballarat Wildlife Park Tour from Melbourne.

The tour combines a chance to step back in time to the days of the Gold Rush at the Sovereign Hill open air museum and heritage town, with the opportunity to get up close and personal with several of Australia’s most famous wildlife species.

Once CBD hotel pick-ups are completed, you’ll head out of town in air conditioned comfort for the 90-minute drive west to Ballarat. The route will take you through lush farmland and small country towns that dot the picturesque Victorian landscape.

The first stop on this Sovereign Hill and Ballarat Wildlife Park Tour from Melbourne is the wildlife park, where you’ll encounter many native Australian animals. You’ll have the chance to hand feed kangaroos, wallabies and emus, and meet some of the country’s more infamous locals – including several species of snake and even crocodiles!

Next, you’ll head to award-winning Sovereign Hill to experience life as it was during the Victorian Gold Rush era. Sovereign Hill is a living outdoor museum and historical recreation, with working exhibits brought to life by costumed characters. Explore the goldfields town at your leisure, which includes shops, hotels, a theatre, schools, factories and of course – gold diggings.

You’ll even have the opportunity to pan for gold yourself at the Red Hill Gully Diggings. If you’re lucky enough to strike it rich, the gold is all yours!

You’ll depart Sovereign Hill in the afternoon for the return drive to Melbourne, arriving back at your CBD hotel at around 5.30pm.

Enjoy a wonderful day out on this Sovereign Hill and Ballarat Wildlife Park Tour from Melbourne, which includes history, sightseeing and amazing wildlife.

Pricing, dates and bookings


Runs: Daily
Departs at: 7.30am
Departs from: Selected CBD hotels and St Paul’s Cathedral

Please check your booking confirmation document for your hotel pick-up time.


Best price guarantee: If you find this tour elsewhere at a cheaper price, we will beat it by 10%. Some conditions apply. There are no booking or credit card fees when you book this tour with The Big Bus tour and travel guide.

To purchase a gift voucher, please click here.

Important information

Once your booking is completed, a confirmation document will be sent automatically to your email address, including hotel pick-up details and operator contact information for the day. Please print the confirmation or have it available on your smart phone. Please refer to the booking confirmation for your confirmed pick-up time.

This tour operates with a minimum of four participants. Your booking may be on request initially (unless minimum numbers have already been reached). We should be able to confirm the tour within a day or two. Where a tour does not proceed, you will be offered an alternative or a full refund. If you have a smaller group, please email [email protected] with your requested travel date and the number of passengers, and we will advise availability.

Hotel pick-ups are generally between 7 and 7.30am.

Please dress appropriately for the season and wear suitable footwear.

This tour operates in all weather conditions.


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