Words & images by Chris Q.
Sunday 7th of November saw the first Motafrenz event post the last lockdown, a regional drive to Ballarat’s 1800’s living history museum – better known as Sovereign Hill. After a short drive from the pre-meet location in Rockbank the the ‘Rat, we made our way inside Sovereign Hill and quickly began planning our day, a visit to the lolly shop – Browns Confectionary to watch toffee apples and raspberry drops being made.
Next stop was the diggings where new members Chris, Leigh and Emilia were able to show us how gold panning was done by the creek. A quick walk up the hill, and we stopped off at the Gold Smelters and watched gold being melted down into liquid and then poured into an ingot. Next stop was the Mine Tour. We boarded a tram and made our way ~80 meters underground. Whilst on the tour, we learned of the hard labour practices of miners during the gold rush, and some of the tools they used.
We took a break for lunch, the New York Bakery which was able to accomodate our large group with ease. Our group took advantage of some free time, mostly to purchase goods from the various period correct shops along the main street, including boiled lollies, fudges, Turkish delights and other sweets. Whilst the group was resting, we were interrupted by the red coats and their gun firing demonstration. Members and guests then took advantage of the bowling lanes being open, and spent some time at the bowling alley and a surface machinery tour before wandering towards the exit.
A small group of attendees went for a leisurely drive around Lake Wendouree and the memorial arch before meeting up with the Car Gays Australia group at the Lot in Ascot Vale for dinner and drinks.