Sovereign Hill, Otway Park, & Great Ocean Road

Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
This past weekend was absolutely amazing! Our cousins took us to Sovereign Hill (an old gold mining town in Ballarat, Victoria), Otway Park where we walked among the tree tops, and a winding drive on Great Ocean Road!
Sovereign Hill was a lot more fun than I expected. Not being a huge history buff, I didn’t feel to excited until we started walking through the town. They had characters living just like they would have during the late 1800s who were very animated and convincing. We got to peek into their houses and actually shop around their stores! Visitors were also able to pan for gold and keep what they got – a little boy walked up to us and showed us all the gold flakes he had found. I tried for a couple minutes but my patience quickly wore thin, haha!

We toured two different mines in the town and went 30 meters underground. It was quite nerve-wracking at times, but it was very interesting to see where the miners worked and how they suffered to put food on their plates.
Inside a typical cabin

Butcher shop

I was very hopeful I’d actually find something hot to drink!

Everybody panning for gold! Some got lucky!

Ready to head down into the mine!

A demonstration on pouring and purifying gold! They have been using the same bar of gold for 19 years! 24 karats.

Beautiful view from the top of the tower in Sovereign Hill!

Hello, Ballarat!

Overlooking Sovereign Hill

The Tower

Our new friend, Phoenix! She let us pick her up and everything!

We found Phoenix enjoying the boiler room, later!

These guys marched through the whole town like this!

In the bowling center (yes, really – it was nine pin bowling all made out of wood!)

The Fire Brigade!

Exhibit in the Gold Museum across the street. All nuggets found at Sovereign Hill worth thousands of dollars!

Next we stopped at the Twelve Apostles, legendary rock formations along the Great Ocean Road. We were very lucky to have a beautiful day – and while it was very windy it at least wasn’t cold!

Later in the day we went to Otway National Park, a rain forest where one can go up on the Treetop Walk. The views from the top were fantastic. The trees seemed to go down, down, down and never stop! Many of them were too big for even two people to put their arms around. I’m glad we ended up doing this – it was raining when we got there and the parking lot was empty. We almost drove home!

There was a tower where we could climb up that took us above the tree tops – this is the view from the top of that tower.

Climbing to the top!

Tuesday we drove back with the most magnificent view of the Southern Ocean (I know that’s not really one of the official oceans but that’s what they call it here!).
Just a friendly reminder!

The Great Ocean Road was amazing, but I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone who easily gets car sick! I normally do feel queasy but I got lucky since I was with family and they let me sit in the front – can’t do that on a bus tour! 

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