Sovereign Hill, NSW, Australia
You’ll need to set aside at least half a day to visit this fascinating re-creation of an 1860s gold-mining township. The site was mined in the gold-rush era and much of the equipment is original, as is the mine shaft. Kids love panning for gold in the stream, watching the hourly gold pour and exploring the old-style lolly shop.
The main street here is a living history museum, with people performing their chores dressed in costumes of the time. Sovereign Hill opens again at night for the impressive sound-and-light show, Blood on the Southern Cross , a dramatic simulation of the Eureka Stockade battle. There are two shows nightly, but times vary so check in advance; bookings are essential.