New Years Day – 1st January 2019

After a bit of a late night we still managed to get  up at a reasonable hour to drive up to Ballarat as we wanted to go to Sovereign Hill which is an open-air museum. Sovereign Hill depicts Ballarat’s first ten years after the discovery of gold there in 1851. It is one of Victoria’s most popular attractions and Ballarat’s most famous.

Set in the Australian 1850s, the complex is located on a 25-hectare site that is linked to the richest alluvial gold rush in the world. The site comprises over 60 historically recreated buildings, with costumed staff and volunteers, who are able to answer questions and will pose for photos. The recreation is completed with antiques, artwork, books and papers, machinery, livestock and animals, carriages, and devices all appropriate to the era.

We were very blessed with a mild day of only 27c but was hot enough to be wandering around outside without any shade.

We opted not to go gold panning considering we had done the real thing with Potsie back in Kalgoorlie.

We spent a bit of time in China town area and it is always interesting to note that wherever there were gold rushes, there were always Chinese. They were not necessarily prospectors but providers of the necessities of life but at inflated prices eg: flour, sugar, shovels, pans etc. The original entrepreneurs.

We then went for a drive into the city of Ballarat to have some dinner and look at a particular piece of history that Fraser’s great grandfather was involved with. There is a plaque on the wall of one of the original old hotels stating that it was here in one of their meeting rooms that the Australian Institute of Mining and Metalurgy (AusIMM) professional association was formed. Fraser’s great grandfather was the Mine Manager at the Britannia Mine in Ballarat during this period and was instrumental at that meeting.

We then made our way back to Elwood in Melbourne in time for Paula and Dex to pack up as they have an early flight back to New Zealand in the morning. We wanted to make sure that Henry the cat had some company today and to feed him and change his water. He is a little displeased with us as he had pulled his bed and blanket from the lounge into the hallway and set himself up on the nice new couch. He is coming around and will allow us to pat him but as of yet, he has not jumped on the bed and slept with us yet. Don’t anyone tell Toque or we will be in really deep 💩.