Sovereign Hill, one of Australia’s most iconic tourist attractions, is set for a major makeover, with the Morrison Government providing $10.1 million to help enhance the outdoor museum’s exhibitions and facilities acknowledging its 50th anniversary next year.

Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said the funding boost for Sovereign Hill would help enhance the visitor experience at one of Australia’s famous historical and cultural tourist attractions.

“For almost 50 years Sovereign Hill has educated and wooed tens of millions of visitors from around Australia and the world, and this funding boost will help ensure its rich history continues to be shared with future generations,” Minister Birmingham said.

“It brings to life Australia’s gold rush era through its famous main street, costumed characters and stunning sound-and-light show, and we want to further enhance the visitor experience.

“Sovereign Hill is a major tourism drawcard to regional Victoria with the museum attracting over 760 000 visitors last year and this investment will help drive continued visitation to the region, creating more jobs and supporting the local economy. 

“It’s expected this additional funding will be used to develop a master plan and then deliver phase one which may include opportunities to redevelop the Gold Museum, upgrade the entrance building, improve signage as well as enhance the popular ‘digging area’.

“The region’s historical significance also sees thousands of school children visit Sovereign Hill each year which is why funding has been allocated towards upgrading the museum’s education facilities.

“Tourism is a major contributor to the Victorian economy with domestic and international visitors spending a whopping $23 billion last year, injecting millions into regional areas and that’s why the Liberal-National Government is backing the state through investment in vital tourism infrastructure.”

This funding will be delivered through the Sovereign Hill Museums Association, and may be used for projects as:

  • redevelopment of the Gold Museum
  • the revitalisation of the museum diggings area
  • education area enhancements
  • entrance building upgrades
  • a centre of excellence for rare trades

This funding is part of the Liberal-National Government’s $50 million National Tourism Icons package announced in the Budget for vital tourism infrastructure and upgrades at iconic destinations across Australia.