Frequently Asked Questions

Christmas in July at Sovereign Hill is a full day of fun and family activities topped off by our magical evening Wonderlights show.

During the day, Sovereign Hill will be decorated with Christmas trees and colourful decorations lining Main Street. ‘Hands-on' activities for children, a full theatre program, faux snow falls and delicious treats will bring Christmas cheer to all.

By night, as the sun sets and the snowflakes fall, Main Street will be transformed by sparkling grand-scale images and a whole array of new 'Winter Wonderlights' dancing brightly along its familiar façades. Venture down Speedwell St and you might just find St Nicholas himself.

Christmas in July and Winter Wonderlights will run from 1 July to 30 July 2017.

2. How much does the Christmas in July and Winter Wonderlights event cost to get in?

Entry to the Christmas in July event, including the Winter Wonderlights, is included in the Sovereign Hill entry ticket. There are a wide range of tickets available, including entry with entertainment packages and dining packages available.

3. Do I need to pre-purchase my tickets?

We recommend visitors pre-purchase their tickets online to save purchasing times on arrival. However, it is not essential.

During Winter Wonderlights tickets can also be purchased at the Sovereign Hill entrance between 10.00 am – 6.00 pm or at the Gold Museum between 9.30 am – 5.00 pm.

Please keep in mind that the Christmas in July and Winter Wonderlights event’s busiest days are expected to be each Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Book your tickets now.

4. Does it cost extra to see the Winter Wonderlights / I only want to visit the Wonderlights. Is there a ticket just for that?

There is no separate ticket for the Winter Wonderlights show. It is included in the Sovereign Hill entry ticket.

Becoming a Sovereign Hill member is great value for money.  There is also free parking.

-> further information on Sovereign Hill membership.

5. What time do the Winter Wonderlights start and finish?

Sovereign Hill is extending its opening hours for the Winter Wonderlights event. During 1 July – 30 July 2017 Sovereign Hill will be open from 10 am – 7 pm. The Winter Wonderlights start as soon as the sky is dark enough. We expect the Wonderlights will start at approximately 5.45 pm each evening and finish at 7.00 pm.

6. Sovereign Hill has a 2 days for 1 offer. Does that mean I can see the Winter Wonderlights twice?


To return for your second day you must take your tickets to one of the allocated locations to be validated.

-> further information on the 2 day ticket offer.

7. Will it be cold? What happens if it rains?

We recommend visitors dress for cooler temperatures. The average temperature in Ballarat during July is 10 degrees Celsius. We recommend you wrap yourself up in a scarf, beanie and mittens and enjoy the festive atmosphere! Sovereign Hill’s Christmas in July and Winter Wonderlights event proceeds as normal, even if it rains – or snows!

8. Are pass-outs available?

Pass - outs are available if you wish to exit Sovereign Hill and return later that day to see the wonder lights.  To re-enter Sovereign Hill you must have received a pass-out before exiting, available from the information desk at the Victoria Theatre, the Post Office in the main street or the main entrance.

9. What is the sound-and-light show?

Sovereign Hill presents a sound-and-light show ‘Blood on the Southern Cross’ every night throughout the year.

‘Blood on the Southern Cross’ involves no actors – but voices, dazzling sound-and-light effects and a stunning open-air set. Visitors travel across the site on a comfortable transporter and view much of the action from the re-created Free Trade Hotel on the Eureka Diggings.

The sound-and-light show ‘Blood on the Southern Cross’ is different to the Winter Wonderlights.

Show and dinner times for ‘Blood on the Southern Cross’ have been scheduled so that guests may enjoy the Winter Wonderlights prior to seeing the show.

10. How long should I plan to spend at the Winter Wonderlights event?

There’s a full program of activities including many theatre shows, ‘hands-on’ activities and faux snowfalls as well as Sovereign Hill’s regular program of activities. We recommend visitors allow at least 4-5 hours during the day in addition to seeing the Winter Wonderlights during the evening. There is free parking.

11. Is Winter Wonderlights an accessible event?

The Sovereign Hill website contains details information about accessibility at Sovereign Hill.

12. Are there any measures in place for lost children?

Sovereign Hill offers wristbands to parents and guardians of children to put contact details on, in the event they become separated or lost. Sovereign Hill costumed staff will be able to assist children and also parents in the event of a lost child.

13. Can I have dinner at Sovereign Hill during Winter Wonderlights?

Yes! Winter Wonderlights dinners are available each evening. Bookings are essential and can be made online when purchasing your ticket.

14. What food options are available during Winter Wonderlights?

Sovereign Hill has hotels, restaurants, street stalls, and pop up outlets inside the Marquee offering a traditional dining experience in unique Victorian settings. We also offer contemporary, café-style and take-away food served in a relaxed atmosphere. All our venues are fully-licensed.

Visitors are welcome to bring in their own food and non-alcoholic beverages. Please note BBQs and other portable cooking equipment are not permitted.

Visit our website closer to the event for more details.

15. I want to stay overnight. Is there somewhere close by?

Skip the queue and enter Sovereign Hill via our Hotel’s secret doorway!
There are four value packages available, all inclusive of 1 night accommodation, 2-day entry to Sovereign Hill and Winter Wonderlights, dinner and breakfast.

The Sovereign Hill Hotel is conveniently located on-site at Sovereign Hill.

Click here for more information about our four value accommodation packages. For enquiries call 03 5337 1199.  There is free parking.


16. Sovereign Hill Hotel check–in is listed as 2.00 pm, can I visit Sovereign Hill earlier?

Absolutely!  If you have booked an accommodation package you are more than welcome to arrive any time after 10 am to start exploring Sovereign Hill. Let the reception staff at the Sovereign Hotel know you have arrived and they will give you access to Sovereign Hill for the day and you can return to check into your rooms later that afternoon.

After a day full of exploring, guests of the hotel are welcome to return to their rooms to warm up before using their private entrance to re-enter Sovereign Hill to see the Winter Wonderlights and/or ‘Blood on the Southern Cross’.

17. Can I purchase entry tickets online if I have a discount voucher?

If you are using a discount voucher entry tickets can only be purchased on the day of your visit. Discounted tickets are unable to be pre-purchased online or over the phone.