Shopping at Sovereign Hill is a unique experience!
Souvenirs and Gifts
The Entrance Shop
Located in the main entrance building, this is a convenient stop for postcards, Australian-themed books, souvenirs and gold items.
Sovereign Hill Gift Shop
Sovereign Hill’s Gift Shop, located in the visitor car park, offers a wide range of Australian-themed souvenirs, books, quality clothing, beautiful home wares, gifts, chocolates, postcards and film. An ATM machine is located within the shop.
Gold, that precious metal, is our specialty! Gold nuggets, gold jewellery and gold souvenir items can be purchased at a number of shops. Try the Waterloo Store, Rees & Benjamin’s jewellery shop and the Gold Smelting Works. The Sovereign Hill Gift Shop (located in the main car park) and the Entrance Shop also carry gold items. And don’t miss the Gold Museum Shop (opposite Sovereign Hill) for gold nuggets and fine gold jewellery and giftware.
Shop 1850s-style on Main Street
The shops along Sovereign Hill’s Main Street are based on those known to have existed locally during the 1850s. Most are open for business, selling the types of goods that were available on the goldfields.
Ballarat Times Office
The Ballarat Times Office was the place to go for the latest news and gossip in the 1850s. Sovereign Hill’s Ballarat Times Office contains 19th century printing presses. Watch our printer at work and have your name printed on an 1850s-style news poster.
Brown’s Confectionery Manufactory
The original Brown’s Confectionery Manufactory was established in Dunolly, north of Ballarat, in 1857. The business moved to Ballarat in the late 19th century. In 1974, its traditional sweet-making equipment was transferred to Sovereign Hill. Today, you can watch Sovereign Hill’s famous boiled lollies being made right before your eyes. Lollies are sold at the factory, at Charles Spencer’s Confectionery Shop in Main Street and at the Sovereign Hill Gift Shop.
Charles Spencer, Confectioner
In the 1850s, Charles Spencer was a baker, grocer and confectioner. Today, Charles Spencer’s Confectionery (next to the Ballarat Times Office) is where you will find our full range colourful boiled lollies, sugared almonds and lollipops.
Clarke Brothers, Grocers
Thomas and Richard Clarke migrated from England during the Gold Rush. They had three grocery shops in Ballarat. Clarke Bros. Grocery at Sovereign Hill is rich with the aroma of soaps, spices, herbs and coffee. (At the back of the shop is a magnificent coffee grinder.) Mr Clarke also stocks traditional kitchen utensils, cordials, honey, jam, mustard, vinegar, biscuits, liquorice and fudge.
Clarke Brothers, Tinsmiths
This building originally stood in Humffray Street North and was donated to us by its owner, ‘Tinker’ Clarke. Watch our tinsmith cutting tin plate and sheet copper to make pie plates, scone and biscuit cutters, candle lamps and similar wares.
David Jones’ Criterion Store
An1859 lithograph by François Cogné shows the twelve-foot plate glass windows for which Ballarat’s original Criterion Store was noted. This image was used by Sovereign Hill to replicate the façade of this elegant building. Inside, delicate original lithographs demonstrate the newest fashions to the ladies of the Colony. The Criterion Store sells clothing, accessories and a wide range of napery, including fine lace tablecloths.
Dilges’ Blacksmith’s Shop
Dilges’ Blacksmith Shop at Sovereign Hill is based on a photograph of the original Dilges’ Forge in Sebastopol, Ballarat. Our blacksmith shows the diversity of the 1850’s ‘smithy’ as he makes basic mining and domestic ironware in a simple forge. Sovereign Hill has over 50 working horses. An important part of the blacksmith’s work is keeping them shod!
The Glasgow Saddlery
Thomas Gray was a prize-winning exhibitor of harnesses at Ballarat’s early Agricultural Society shows. Sovereign Hill’s Glasgow Saddlery was based on a photograph of Gray’s shop that stood on Armstrong Street in 1861. For equestrians, the saddler sells bridles, bits, spurs, riding crops, stock whips and horse brasses. Specialty products include pocket-knives, hand-plaited belts, leather hats, wallets, saddle soap and leather dressing. Purchase a leather bookmark and watch the saddler decorate it with your name!
Ballarat’s original Hope Bakery was located in Seymour Street, Soldiers’ Hill. Our Hope Bakery is famous for its meat pies, but we also sell traditional pasties, biscuits and bread – all baked in a wood-fired brick oven. Hot Cross Buns are popular at Easter and traditional cakes and mince pies are available during the festive season. All goods sold by the Hope Bakery are made on-site.
Hope Bakery products are a great idea for schools and community groups organising fund-raising activities. Orders are welcome.
Sovereign Hill’s Post Office was built using the original 1854 plans and a watercolour by goldfields artist, S T Gill as historical references. Behind the historical façade, however, lies a modern day, working post office. Postage stamps, postcards, stationery and other postal items are for sale. Send your postcards and letters home with Sovereign Hill’s own postmark!
Red Hill Photographic Rooms
William Ellis operated Ballarat’s original Red Hill Photographic Rooms, on Main Road, around 1854. Today, you can have fun dressing in period costume for Victorian-style portraits. A perfect memento of your trip to Sovereign Hill! Bookings are strongly advised, especially on weekends and holidays, as this is a very popular activity.
Rees & Benjamin, Watch & Clockmakers
The original firm of Rees & Benjamin was located on Main Road, and sold watches and jewellery, as well as instruments for land and mining surveying. Today, Rees & Benjamin is the place for Victorian-style jewellery, estate jewellery, fob watches, clocks and trinket boxes. This busy little shop was built using an 1859 lithograph by François Cogné as an historical reference.
Robinson & Wayne’s Apothecaries’ Hall
The ‘apothecary’ was an important man on the goldfields. The equivalent of today’s chemist, he was also licensed to practise medicine and dentistry. Fascinating items of 19th century medical equipment and apothecaries’ tools are on display, and you may even find the apothecary rolling pills when you visit! Robinson & Wayne’s stocks timber walking sticks, pot pourri hand made from plants found in Sovereign Hill’s 1850s style gardens, herbal infusions, chemical free furniture polish, teapot warmers, hand made soap and mortar and pestle sets.
An 1850s advertisement for the Soho Works inspired this building. The original Soho Works was founded in 1856 by Robinson, Thomas & Co. They were iron and brass founders, boilermakers, patternmakers and engineers. Visit the Soho Foundry to see skilled craftsmen using steam-powered lathes to spin metal and turn wood. This is the place to buy candleholders, lamps, cookware, moneyboxes and gold pans.
W Proctor, Wheelwright & Coach Manufactory
Sovereign Hill’s coachbuilders and wheelwrights build and repair the extensive range of horse-drawn vehicles seen in use around Sovereign Hill. They also accept commissions from all over Australia. Our wheelwright’s plant contains a rare collection of late 19th century wheelwrighting machinery and equipment that can be seen in action during daily demonstrations. Sovereign Hill’s significant historical collection of horse-drawn vehicles is also on display.
In 1853, the Waterloo Store, run by RB Caul, was located on the flat opposite Golden Point. Our store, located on the Red Hill Gully Diggings, allows you to step inside an early diggings business, supplying all types of goods, from food to small pieces of mining equipment.
William Hewett’s Yarrowee Soap and Candle Works
Candles were an essential commodity in the homes, businesses and mines of early Ballarat. William Hewitt’s original factory was located in Mair Street, in the early 1860s. Our candle maker uses a late 18th century-style ‘Nodding Donkey’ to dip candles, and he has original 19th century continuous wicking candle machines to produce the moulded variety. The factory shop sells a variety of soaps, candles and lamp ware. Children love making colourful dipped candles to take home!