On Thursday evening there was a campfire at the hostel. In most places in Australia campfires are restricted because of the high risk of bushfires, so I was glad there was one here. I had a great time chatting with the other guests and just looking at the sky full of stars. Because Halls Gap is in a valley far from any industrial zone there is very little light polution, and it was possible to see a lot of stars. I even saw a shooting star (finally, I am usually just too late to see them).
On Friday I relaxed at the hostel until I was picked up by the tour that was dropping me off in Ballarat, Australia’s largest inland city (about 70.000 inhabitants). During the Port Arthur tour in Tasmania I met Mark and Margy, an Australian couple living in Ballarat. Since I was passing through I took them up on the invitation to drop by. With a few beers we chatted all evening.
On Saturday morning Mark dropped me off at Sovereign Hill: one of Victoria’s most famous tourist attractions. It is an open-air museum with the atmosphere of Ballarat in the 1850’s, according to the same principle as the “Zuiderzee Museum” in the Netherlands. I spent more than half the day there, just wondering around the old gold mining town, viewing live demonstrations, visiting the mine, and panning for gold (no success). Afterwards I shortly visited the Gold Museum, and took the train back to Melbourne.
Today was another typical Sunday: pancakes in the morning, socialising at the hostel, shopping in the afternoon (almost all shops are open on Sundays here), and more socialising at the hostel.