Sovereign Hill - Ballarat, Vic - Tuesday, October 15, 2002

After spending much of the first 1.5 months in tropical Queensland, we were ready for a change of pace. Knowing that NZ is a bit colder especially since our arrival is during the end of Spring, traveling around the state of Victoria will expose us to some cooler weather. On the way to our first stop, we took a side trip to the town of Ballarat and the historic gold rush theme park called "Sovereign Hill". It wasn't as cheesy as it sounds or seems by looking at the web page. Victoria has many areas that gold was discovered and several sites created a "Gold Rush" frenzy much like California and Alaska. The museum and displays were suprisingly interesting and the recreated township put in past as the buildings, displays, shops and people were all "living" in the 1850's.

Highlights included a trip down into a mineshaft to learn about the biggest gold nugget ever found (until recent history), candle & candy making, blacksmithing, and wagon making.

Sidenote - Marisa forced me into taking one of those staged old time photographs where they dress you up in period clothing and take a black & white photo. This is supposed to be great fun and you will put the photo on the wall forever. Check out our photo of Dave "The Miner" & Marisa "The Good Homemaker" - - this is from our digital camera so we would have a color photo of these ridiculous outfits. The outfit colors are specifically chosen to be represented well in a B&W photo -- UGLY.

It was OK, the highlight was I got to hold a gun and wear shitkickers (cowboy boots for those who don't know).

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