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Discover the charm of Heritage Harvest Weekend at Sovereign Hill

As autumn paints Victoria crimson, Sovereign Hill invites you to a weekend where the past meets the present.

The Heritage Harvest Weekend on Saturday, 25 May and Sunday, 26 May is a journey back in time – celebrating rustic food and traditions brought to the goldfields from around the globe.

With a vibrant blend of history, gastronomy and community spirit, this festival is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience Australia’s rich culinary heritage. Here’s how you can make the most out of your visit.

Culinary stars take the stage

Julie Goodwin Heritage harvest Festival BallaratPrepare to be dazzled by some of the brightest Australian chefs – Julie Goodwin, Darren Purchese and Tim Bone. Exclusive meet-and-greets aside, these kitchen virtuosos will grace the festival across the weekend in several engaging events.

Ballarat local and host of Good Chef/Bad Chef Tim Bone will be cooking up a hearty dish inspired by the Gold Rush era. Using simple yet flavourful ingredients, Tim’s cooking is a modern twist on the rugged gold miner grub in the Heritage Market Village.

The Great Bake Off’s Darren Purchese will share his handy tips and insights into creating delicious, sweet treats this autumn. And Julie Goodwin, the inaugural winner of MasterChef Australia, will lift the lid on preparing the ultimate family feast in a live demonstration.

‘I’m delighted to be doing cooking demos at Sovereign Hill’s Heritage Harvest Weekend, sharing my passion for delicious, seasonal dishes,’ says Goodwin. ‘Our food traditions are such an important part of who we are and where we come from.’

Plus, under the moderation of Kara Monseen, Herald Sun’s food and wine editor, you’re in for a treat as these chefs share their passion for delicious, seasonal dishes and sweet treats in an interactive Q&A session.

A community of flavours

Heritage Harvest BallaratThe festival proudly showcases over 30 producers and artisans, turning Sovereign Hill into a paradise for food lovers.

Wander through the village market to find quality locally made wares, watch live demonstrations of traditional crafts and cooking along Main Street, and let the kids explore their culinary creativity with special activities.

Highlights include Sweet Sage Farm – full of traditional homemade condiments, gourmet salts and natural herbal balms; Mrs Brown Bakes, selling delicious treats like cookies and their famous Brownie Boys; and The Cottage Herbalist will bring a selection of award-winning tea and herbal tisanes to the Heritage Harvest Market.

And don’t miss the cooking and craft sessions hosted by the esteemed Country Women’s Association, celebrating the essence of community and shared knowledge.

More than just taste

Sovereign Hill heritage harvest weekendHeritage Harvest Weekend offers more than just a taste of the past. You can join in various rare trade activities that celebrate the goldfields’ cultural diversity and rich history.

From gold panning, coach rides and candle dipping to butter-churning and damper-making, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Just ensure you wear comfortable clothes to make the most of the fun!

And if you’re ready to stock up on handcrafted wares? Stop by the Botanical Bar, where longstanding potter Tony Barnes will be throwing clay at the wheel and selling his fine porcelain stoneware in copper red, cobalt blue, rutile and celadon glazes.

Another must-see for lovers of old-fashioned gems is the Basketmakers of Victoria stand. Weavers will be on hand to sell their sustainable, natural handmade baskets – and demonstrate their handiwork, skills and materials.

To keep the weekend’s activities buzzing, local bands The Valentines and Morrigan & Wilding will provide a jazzy, folk-filled backdrop.

And for the little explorers

Kids activities sovereign HillIn true Sovereign Hill style, the Heritage Harvest Weekend has plenty for the little ones.

Kids can get up close, say hello, and learn more about their favourite animals at the Fun Farm2U petting station. Or get their hands dirty in the Little Green Thumbs garden – where they can plant seedlings to take home. Plus, lawn games, face-painting and other interactive activities are guided throughout the day.

The Little Explorers Refreshment Hub offers the perfect break for families. While the kids navigate the straw maze, parents can relax with a Gilded Grog cocktail and a famous chicken sandwich, enjoying a pause in your day of festival exploration.

This hub is located at the Hotel Parade Ground, ensuring that kids and adults alike can recharge with some delicious food and drink.

Tickets and timing

The festival is accessible with the standard Sovereign Hill ticket, ensuring you can experience the entire immersive weekend.

Running from 10 am to 5 pm on both the 25 and 26 May, make sure to book your tickets in advance to secure your spot in this celebration of heritage, harvest and community.

Planning your visit

Before you head out, check the event program online to plan your day. With activities and sessions throughout the weekend, a little planning can go a long way in ensuring you don’t miss out on your favourite parts of the festival.

Remember, some experiences require separate bookings, so it’s best to look into these details beforehand.

Whether you’re a foodie, history buff, or simply searching for a unique weekend out, head to the Heritage Harvest Weekend this May.
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