We decided to take the inland route to Sydney. Since we spend so much time on the coast and coastal towns tend to all be small about the same. From the brochures it appeared that the inland route would offer a little more history for us and we were right. Our first stop was in Ballarat. The brochures talked about a recreated gold mining town, Sovereign Hill. I figured it would be cool to check out.
When we got into town we decided that we would just stay at the hostel near there so that we would be close the next day. Little did we know that the hostel was part of the hotel attached to the town. I really wasn't expecting much and was pleasantly surprised by the whole thing. When Mark went to the front desk to ask about dinner options they told him that there was dinner with a light and sound show in the park. While the tickets were a little pricey Mark and I have made a pact to stop missing out of things because of the cost or thinking they won't be cool and later finding out that they are. We were there so we decided to do the whole thing. Apparently we got really lucky to get into the show as people are booking it for July and this was the first day of the Easter holiday so there were many families in town.
We explored the shops, watched shows, went down on a real mine tour, and I even got Mark to pan for some gold. I only wish that MM was older and could have really enjoyed it but I could tell he was taking it all in. We had decided not to spend another night in Ballarat so that night we headed for Bendigo. When we got to town I realized this was the town that had an exhibit I wanted to see but the next day when we went to get tickets they only had ones for late in the day and we had decided that we wanted to keep moving toward Sydney so I passed on the exhibit and we drove the 6 hours to Canberra, Australia's capital.