We had a fabulous time in Ballarat, the highlight being the day we visited Sovereign Hill and stepped back in time to the Australian Gold Rush era of the 1850's.
We were the first visitors of the day to this 'living' museum and after Miss Fancy struck gold in the first few minutes of gold-panning, all the kids declared they wanted to stay the entire day. And so we did.
There was plenty to do.
We browsed the quaint stores on Main Street, including an 1850's David Jones.
We got our ears blasted when the Red Coats fired their Muskets.
We watched some traditional candle-making.
We watched the confectioner make boiled lollies using traditional methods with a lolly press from the early1800's.
On today's menu were Raspberry Drops, which he was making for a bunch of school kids arriving next week.
Above we witnessed molten gold being poured into a bullion bar - this one, $160,000.00 worth!!!!
We even engaged in a spot of old-time bowling - complete with wooden lanes, wooden bowling balls and wooden pins.
The Big kids took charge of the lanes up one end and the little boys were in charge of setting the pins up after they were knocked down.
But the main activity of the day was gold-panning and this is where we spent most of the day.
There was a brief demonstration by one of the helpful 'diggers'.
And then the kids were left to their own devices.
Whilst they were busy searching for gold, I set myself up on the edge of the river with a latte (or 3 - this solo parenting business is darn exhausting!).
A spec of Gold was found by Miss Fancy and then they were all gripped by Gold Fever
They took the activity very seriously indeed.
It may not look like much but the kids were super excited by their little containers of Gold that they found themselves.
There was much protest by the big kids when 5.30pm came around and the gates were about to close but the little boys were thoroughly exhausted. And so was I.
Our visit to Sovereign Hill was declared the best day ever!
So off to Melbourne where we say good-bye to the "Mainland" as we board the Ferry bound for Tasmania to complete the final leg of The Big Adventure. I'm hoping it will be all smooth sailing (literally) as we cross Bass Strait.
Have a great weekend everyone!