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Planning for your visit

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Preparing for your visit

Please click here to download the Sovereign Hill Costumed School Coordinator’s Checklist.


Your arrival point for both days of your visit is the Costumed School Entry Gate, which is accessed from the Sovereign Hill Hotel car park. See the map for the gate and for bus parking.

We will expect your arrival (on both days) at 9.00 am. Please advise us as early as possible if you are arriving late, as we will need to coordinate a number of processes within Sovereign Hill.

The process of getting students costumed and ready to begin the program will be greatly assisted if your group arrives well prepared. It is particularly important that children have correct shoes and socks, girls’ hair is plaited and lunches (if applicable) are named and appropriately packaged. See guidelines for costumes.


As authenticity and role-play are central to the success of the program, it is essential that both teachers and students are well prepared before arrival and that great care is taken over correct costuming and appropriate historically-accurate behaviour.

The surprise element of this role-play program is most important. When you are preparing children for the experience, don’t reveal all the detail of the program if you have been before. The most important thing is that children know that they will be in role at all times, as will their teachers.

The key preparation for students to ensure full engagement in the program is the preparation of student letters of introduction. Writing these prior to the visit will greatly assist students to develop their roles. See the ‘Letters of Introduction’ page for ideas and examples of letters.


To enhance the role play experience students are encouraged to bring payment for their education. (unless attending Ragged School) Follow the link for information and examples of fees.


Schools staying at Sovereign Hill Hotel will have negotiated their catering prior to the visit, and our teachers will escort groups to their lunch venue at 12.00 noon.
Schools not staying at Sovereign Hill Hotel can order lunches through Sovereign Hill Education Bookings. Please contact the Bookings Officers on (03) 5337 1188 or education@sovereignhill.com.au for more information.

Lunches brought from home must be in a plain paper bag with the student’s name written on it. Any modern packaging should be concealed inside. Students do not need drink bottles or boxes, as water is readily available from bubble taps at the schools and around the Outdoor Museum.

If playlunch is brought, it should be in a separate bag with name written on it. Alternatively, the school may bring fruit, which will be provided to students at morning recess.

During the lunch break, from 12.00 noon to 1.00 pm, visiting teachers will supervise their students.


Inclusion and accessibility requirements

If you have a student with special needs that might impact on his/her participation in the program, please contact us in advance, and we will try to ensure that we can assist with their inclusion in the program. This includes students with special needs related to mobility, hearing and vision. It also includes any student you believe may find some aspects of the program challenging. Where potential problems involve costuming, we can try to ensure that these are reduced through prior planning. If you have any concerns, please contact the school at least 2 weeks prior to your visit on (03) 5337 1143 or sovereign.hill.sch@edumail.vic.gov.au

Photography by public visitors

Please be aware that participation in the Costumed Schools Program means that staff and students become a part of the Sovereign Hill Outdoor Museum and therefore a living representation of 1850s colonial life. Public visitors to Sovereign Hill will take photographs during your activities.