On Thursday the 25th we packed up and said goodbye to Halls Gap, driving to Ballarat. Our first stop was Sovereign Hill as I had never been and thought it sounded like something fun to do.
We had a good time but were disappointed with how expensive the day was. We paid $55 each to get in, and then had to pay for any activities inside. For example the girls wanted to go for a ride on the horse and carriage which cost $6.50 each (totally worth it after seeing the smiles on their faces), and to do the underground mine tour was a further $7.50 each so we skipped that. Food prices were also next level, we both got a laugh out of dixie cups being $4.70!
The set up is obviously catering to the asian market and there were bus loads of tours, but its a shame that it is so expensive. Overall we had a good day looking at the old buildings but probably won’t be going back.
Poor Frankie had a horrible day and fell over about 6 times on the gravel road! Her legs are still healing.
Paying the entry into Sovereign Hill gave us free entry into the Gold Museum across the road. Walking in to the air-conditioned room was like heaven and the girls and I sat watching a short movie on repeat just to enjoy being cool! I loved the museum and could have stayed a lot longer if not for two four year olds. The stories about who discovered gold first in Ballarat and the different laws bought in to police areas and mining were really interesting.
After finishing at the Museum we headed for our caravan park. Accommodation over the Australia Day long weekend was crazy, we managed to get a night at the Shady Acres caravan park for $34. We were planning to head to the coast on Friday (Australia Day) but from Geelong to Inverloch there was just nothing. Not a site, motel or even Air BnB! So we decided to stay Friday night aswell at Shady Acres and spent Friday exploring Ballarat.
Koel found a little town online called Clunes so we decided to go there for a drive, only about 40km’s from Ballarat. What an absolute hidden gem. I am devastated we went on a public holiday because the book shops were closed! All the old buildings were incredible, it was just the most beautiful little town. Because we had saved money by staying at Shady Acres we treated ourselves to lunch in a little cafe. Koel had the best salt and pepper squid of his life and we left Clunes totally in love. If you are ever in Ballarat or passing I highly recommend going to Clunes, I would love to go back. Apparently they have a massive book festival in May that over 18000 people attend, I’ve put it on my bucket list!
Of course we had to have an ice-cream stop aswell. Who needs Sovereign Hill when you can go the Clunes?
After leaving Clunes I googled “Ballarat Australia Day Activities” and found a market in Creswick so we called in there for a look. The I got the girls to do a drawing as part of the colouring in competition, but they decided their pictures were so good they couldn’t leave them in the allocated basket, instead bringing them back to the caravan. They still think the won though and are waiting for their prize to arrive!
The market was at the Alpaca wool shed, Koel has taken this as a sign that we need to start an Alpaca farm because we seem to find them everywhere!
We got back to the caravan just before the thunderstorm arrived. Koel went to sleep and the girls hid under the donnah with their torches. I pulled my hair out trying to entertain them, Lila-Rae finally fell asleep and Frankie just played on her bunk for an hour. By 7pm cabin fever had defiantly set in so we went for a drive to the lake where they were having fireworks. We didn’t stay because the girls absolutely HATE fireworks but Koel and I enjoyed driving around looking at all the mansions. One of your favourite activities!
We left Ballarat on Saturday and headed to Phillip Island, one of our favourite places so far! Because we fit so many activities into three days I will do a seperate blog on our Phillip Island adventures later.
Sorry that I am bit behind on blog posts but we have just been enjoying the sun and sand at Phillip Island to much to worry about being online! This week is forecast to be around 19 degrees everyday so I’ll have a lot of time to write haha!
I’ll sign off with one of my favourite pictures I took on Phillip Island.