Sovereign Hill Excursion

Sovereign Hill
The weather was perfectly matched to experience Sovereign Hill as the diggers, soldiers and townfolk would have in the 1850’s. Drizzle and grey skies made for muddy roads and cold water but the intrepid Year 4 students took it in their stride in order to experience life as it would have been. They learned how school and life was like for children in the goldfields, dressed in the uncomfortable clothes of the era and wrote with quills and ink.

Gold panning was an activity the students embraced with a lucky few finding the elusive alluvial. On to a self-guided underground tour of a mine shaft complete with a holographic Richard Jeffrey discovering the Welcome Nugget. It was a dim, damp, musty space and rather claustrophobic which gave the students a true understanding of life underground.
At 1:30pm four Redcoats and their sergeant marched through town to the beat of the drum, firing their rifles in loud succession, startling babies, students and locals alike. Other discoveries around the town were formal gardens and orchards bearing fruit and nut trees from Britain; a wagon wheel factory and wagons in various locations including a richly decorated black hearse; a candle-making factory where many students learned the art of candle dipping; the Gold Commissioners tents housing beds, trunks, desks, chairs and chamber pots and the basic miners shacks all of which provided an insight to life on the goldfields.

As the rain began to fall a couple of lucky groups sat entranced while Andrew explained the process of extracting gold from quartz and melting the gold at an extreme temperature to remove impurities before pouring the gold into a bar mould and cooling it with water enough so it could be held. Oscar and Tate from 4C were lucky enough to hold a 3kg bar of gold bullion worth $160 000!!!!

The visit wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the old-fashioned lolly shop for a few jars of boiled sweets and a lollipop or two and then tired but informed, Year 4 jumped on the bus for the trip home. 

Thanks must go to the 8 parents who assisted on the day, driving themselves all the way to Ballarat and then helping out.  Your assistance, as always, is truly appreciated.