Winter Wonderlights at Sovereign Hill, Ballarat.

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Looking for the perfect midwinter get away? Then look no further; Sovereign Hill has you covered with its Winter Wonderlights event as part of the Ballarat Winter Festival. Now that school is back and the crowds have dispersed, take advantage of Ballarat’s budget accommodation for a holiday that is easy on the hip pocket.

Please note that we were given complementary admission to Sovereign Hill for this event. As always, each and every word in this post is mine. Especially the ones I have misspelt.

I’d not been to Sovereign Hill since my grade 4 excursion and I was delighted to find that it still holds all of the charm and curiosities that I remember. The lolly shop, the horse and cart rides, people in costume and of course the opportunity to pan for gold had Mini and I busy all afternoon.


Panning for flecks of gold in the river at Sovereign Hill


Exploring the museum town in Ballarat

But as the sun started to go down and the carollers started singing, we knew that we were in for a treat. Christmas in July announced itself as the giant Christmas tree lit up and thousands of fairy lights revealed themselves on buildings and trees.


Christmas in July with Winter Wonderlights at Sovereign Hill



By the time the (faux) snow started falling on the main street, children and adults alike stood in awe watching as each building was illuminated by projectors.


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The main street coming to life with the Winter Wonderlights projector show

We stuck around to watch a giant gingerbread man jump from building to building (one of the projected images) and to finish a giant lollypop and famous sausage roll before bundling back into the car and turning on the heater!

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Mini gave it 12 our of 10 and declared it the best night ever. She also disclosed that she only gives her sister 8 out of ten so that’s a little disturbing.

The Winter Wonderlights event is on at Sovereign Hill until July 30th 2017.

Family admission (2 adults and up to 4 kids) for Sovereign Hill including Winter Wonderlights is $150. Please note that if you get your ticket validated before you leave on your first visit, you can go back the following day and do it all again with no additional entry fee. How cool is that? Check their website for full details and T & Cs on the Sovereign Hill website

While in Ballarat, we also checked out some other events that were part of the Winter Festival including the giant slide in the centre of town. It was $5 for 10 or 15 minutes. The best part was that the wait time was about 10 minutes which is a win when you have impatient kids.


The giant slide as part of the Ballarat Winter Festival 2017

The Ballarat Winter festival is on until July 30th. There looks like there is a great Ballarat Brew Festival this Saturday the 22nd of July at Ballarat Mining Exchange or you could aways go for The Red Series which showcases the regions top red wines. Yes please. Visit their website for more details.

My top tip is to take plenty of warm clothes and book accom as soon as you can for lots of options. Enjoy!


Hanging out with the penguins in Ballarat CBD








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