Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Sovereign Hill

Through a Metalworking forum an invitation by Phil aka Steamshipwhisperer  to a private group tour of Sovereign Hill's inner workings of machines and of course a look around The Hill itself. Someone also mentioned that Lake Goldsmith Steam was also on that weekend.

Sue read the post and liked the idea as neither of us ever being before to either, although we had driven through Ballarat we decided to go.

Sue drove all day Friday leaving home at about 0630hrs a few stops including one at Albury to see a friend Christos his wife Bai meeting her and new baby Jing Con for the first time, thanks for the hospitality.

We still had a fair way to go and reach the Comfort Inn Sovereign Hill Ballarat at about 2000hrs a long day. I'll type more on the motel as far as disabled access goes latter.

Never trust a GPS always trust your gut instincts, Kitty as Sue named her had us almost using the Burk and Wills Track in Victoria, do a search on google maps.

Saturday morning brought rain and at times heavy, after a Continental breakfast we headed to the access gate by 1000hrs opening time. Access "The Hill" is via a secure entry and direct. The name "The Hill" suits it well but does not warn of impending danger. The need for good breaks on a wheelchair, good tires, good shoes for whom ever is pushing being break/dead load. Yes the majority of the village IS wheelchair accessible but by no means is it wheelchair friendly. DO NOT let this stop you from going you'd miss a great Australian attraction. One major flaw is NOT enough disabled toilets you'll need to trek along way from the bottom or top of the hill to get to one. We only found one disabled toilet if there were any others signs we did not see indicate as they were shown on the map.

If its pouring rain forget it although its good crushed gravel but raging rivers will run down the streets and gutters. We had rain but spasmodic and by 1100hrs it was dry under foot. everywhere. Phil took control and I must thank him and all of the other fellows who took turns at the helm/behind pushing me up and down hills/tracks.

The Comfort Inn couples package we got through Neil was an excellent price and inclusions such as upgraded to Full breakfast, entry each day four in all although only used it twice to The Hill. A Devonshire Tea, a photograph sadly no disabled access to have this done in the shop.

The room is wheelchair access as is the whole building on the floor we were on. There is NO designated parking and could leave you having to park well down the far end of the other building. OR if like us we parked right into the space nearest the ramp into the building, IF should anyone park you in your stuffed as no room numbers to tell you where to go find them IF they are still there and NOT wandering The HIll. The steps which come down from accommodation cabins leave a last step concrete block as a good wheel chock or rim destroyer.

A great bathroom shower toilet and thats where it ends, reaching the jug, power points, window winding, blind opening is out of the question. No where to sit such as at a table, if you are the parents or carer for younger disabled the low bunk bds will have your back aching trying to get them out of bed. We were in Room 24 of the Canadian Gully building.

Ramps footpaths all around the grounds but be warned if wet the bricks are like glass and two in particular steep as a billy goat track.

The staff in particular Neil whom we didn't meet, Sally and others in the reception and dinning room were fantastic. 

Well we took some photos will only post a few go see for yourself it is exciting and 2 full days would just get you some of the things to see and do. There is video but thats going to take time to sort.


View from our room


Metal Spinning

Hand Turning Brass

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