Transforming a traditionally quiet winter period, Sovereign Hill’s Winter Wonderlights event celebrates the chilly season in festive style.
By Samantha Mackley
Visitors come from near and far, rugged up in beanies, scarves and mittens, to enjoy a fun-filled day of Christmas in July celebrations, complete with faux snowfalls and warming winter fare. At dusk, the magic of the ‘Winter Wonderlights’ begins, as the site lights up with over 20 grand-scale projections, creating one of Australia's largest lighting spectacles staged on the one site – all set across a twinkling backdrop of cottage gardens lit by over 15 kilometres (9 miles) of fairy lights.
- Where: Sovereign Hill, Ballarat, Victoria
- When: 1 – 30 July
- Price: $$ - Adult ticket AUD$59.50
- Child ticket AUD$27.00
- Concession and family tickets also available
Winter Wonderland highlights
Things to do
See the spectacular 'Winter Wonderlights'
Daylight fades and Main Street sparkles with an amazing light projection show as Christmas-themed images dance along its quaint façades to the tune of Christmas melodies. Now in its fourth year, 'Winter Wonderlights' will be bigger and brighter than ever before with even more buildings lit up to evoke the spirit and enchantment of a Victorian Christmas.
Wander through fairy light lane
Over 15 kilometres (9 miles) of fairy lights adorn the gardens, trees and miner’s cottages. Chat with costumed goldfields 'residents' at home by their cosy open fires and stand beside the paddock in Fairy Light Lane for the best view of the massive mine chimney projections.
See Goldfields entertainment
Sovereign Hill boasts non-stop entertainment throughout the day and the evening. A roving magician entertains lunch-time crowds, ‘A Night Before Christmas’ is charmingly brought to life by shadow puppets in the Victoria Theatre and traditional pantomimes tell silly stories to entertain young and old alike.
All Sovereign Hill’s regular day-time activities and demonstrations will be available: gold panning, underground mine tours, the gold pour, blacksmithing, confectionery making, candlemaking, 9-pin bowling, coach rides and much more.
Sovereign Hill was named Australia's 'Major Tourist Attraction' at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in 2015 and 2016. Sovereign Hill also won the award for Victoria's 'Major Tourist Attraction' at the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards 2014, 2015 and 2016, and the People’s Choice Award for Favourite Regional Attraction.
This year, a mischievous Gingerbread Man will plot his escape from our hungry visitors and prance his way through the 'Winter Wonderlights'. Catch him if you can.
How to get there
Sovereign Hill, Ballarat, is a comfortable 90 minute drive from Melbourne Airport and easily accessible via train from Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station.