Discover the history of the Victorian Gold Rush on this amazing day out from Melbourne. You'll travel through the historic regional city of Ballarat, before stepping back in time to the goldfields of the 19th century at the Sovereign Hill open air museum.

AUD $140pp

Sovereign Hill Tour from Melbourne
Runs: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
Departs at: 8am
Departs from: Selected CBD hotels and Federation Square
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

Add a visit to the Ballarat Wildlife Park

⟶ All Melbourne scenic day tours

4.5 stars

Editor's summary:

‘It’s not every day that you get to pan for gold and perhaps strike it lucky, but today is that day! On this fabulous tour you’ll travel back in time to one of Victoria’s defining eras — the 19th century gold rush — at Ballarat’s fascinating Sovereign Hill.’

Tour highlights

  • Travel through Ballarat and see the elegant 19th century architecture
  • Explore the award-winning Sovereign Hill open air museum and Victorian Gold Rush town recreation
  • Learn the story of the Eureka Stockade
  • Visit the Gold Museum and go underground on a Red Hill Mine Tour
  • Enjoy the street theatre and live action performances
  • Pan for gold and perhaps strike it rich!

What's included

  • Guided tour with commentary
  • Comfortable air-conditioned transport
  • CBD hotel pick-up and drop-off
  • Friendly and knowledgeable guide
  • Entry to Sovereign Hill.


Adults: AUD $140pp
Children (0 to 12 years): AUD $100pp

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 fabulous Sovereign Hill Tour from Melbourne. You’ll spend a day exploring the fascinating Sovereign Hill open air museum and heritage town recreation, which is located in Ballarat.

Once CBD hotel pick-ups are completed, you’ll travel out of town in air-conditioned comfort for the 90-minute trip to Ballarat. The route will take you through lush farmland and small country towns that dot the picturesque Victorian landscape. On arrival in the elegant Victorian city, you’ll enjoy a drive through town to admire the fine period architecture. [More]

Next you’ll head to Sovereign Hill to experience life as it was during the gold rush era. Sovereign Hill is a living outdoor museum, with working exhibits brought to life by costumed characters. Explore the goldfields town at your leisure. You’ll see 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!

One of the many highlights of the day is the Red Hill Mine Tour, which takes you underground to experience what life was like for those seeking to strike it lucky on the goldfields. The Gold Museum’s gold pour demonstration is also well worth seeing.

Lunch on this Sovereign Hill Tour from Melbourne is at your own cost and there are plenty of options. Try a delicious Cornish pastie at the traditional bakery on the main street or head for the modern bistro. There’s even a period tavern!

Street theatre and live action performances are a big part of this Sovereign Hill Tour from Melbourne. You’ll see the Redcoats march through town in the afternoon and demonstrate their musket fire power. It was their job to keep the rebellious and unruly miners in line!

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

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.

Once your booking has been 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.

To purchase a gift certificate, please click here.

Do you have a group enquiry? Please contact us.

Hotel pick-ups are generally between 6.45 and 7.45am.

Add an afternoon visit to the Ballarat Wildlife Park to your tour for an additional $20pp.

This tour operates in all weather conditions.