Project Description

TRC Tourism welcomed the opportunity to work with the Sovereign Hill Museums Association (SHMA) and Grimshaw Architects to develop a 20-year masterplan for the iconic gold rush tourism destination in Ballarat in regional Victoria.

In line with the SHMA’s purpose of connecting people through history, the Master Plan builds on Sovereign Hill’s reputation as a living museum of significance. The plan is a new direction to ensure the tourism icon will be relevant for the next 50 years, continuing to share the stories of humanity for generations.

Unifying several sites, the Plan is data-driven and founded upon a deep understanding of Sovereign Hill’s purpose and current offering. It articulates a design and new visitor products that reinforce the visitor experience whether it be an immersive and interactive day, weekend or multi-day experience.

TRC tourism was integral in shaping the Master Plan’s signature visitor experiences, emerging themes and market segmentation – utilising the latest market and visitor insights, megatrends, regional context and analysing community sentiment through community engagement.

The Master Plan will deliver global reach & relevancy, environmental leadership, transformational experiences, community prosperity, diverse & inclusive, efficient operations.

The Plan includes capital projects that will be delivered progressively over 20 years, as the SHMA secure support and funds to deliver a fresh approach to built forms cementing Sovereign Hill’s place as a tourism and historical landmark.

The initial project stages target net zero energy, waste and water, and Sovereign Hill will aim to be a net producer in the future.

The masterplan was enabled by a $10.1 million fund from the federal government’s Tourism Icons program and it is estimated it will boost annual visitation from 527,000 to 1.4 million.