THINGS TO DO IN
Image courtesy of Tourism Australia
Discover the rich history in Walhalla
Walhalla is hidden in a picturesque steep valley in Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. It was once a rich gold mining town with over 3,500 people calling it home.
Ned Stringer first discovered gold in December 26th 1863 and the town quickly grew from that day on. Ten hotels, 3 breweries, 7 churches and over 30 shops stood along the main street.
The railway finally arrived in 1910 after many years of lobbying, however it was too late as the main mines closed just a few years later.
Thus the railway was used more to remove buildings from Walhalla, than to add to it. Some home owners burned their home and claim insurance but this was quickly stopped.
Today many buildings have been meticulously recreated, the Mechanics Institute and various other buildings throughout the town.
You have to experience it for yourself to leisurely stroll up the main street and see the old stone retaining wall and the fire station that straddles Stringers creek, as the sun goes down behind the tall mountains, or see the spectacular views of the township from the tramway walking track.
IMAGE COURTESY OF TOURISM AUSTRALIA
Walhalla Goldfields Railway
After having no railway for over 50 years, the Walhalla Goldfields Railway returned to Walhalla in March, 2002. It was an engineering feat to re-lay the track, sleepers and fortify the ground through the thick, steep ridges winding their way from the Thomson River to Walhalla.
For bookings and more information visit www.walhallarail.com.au .
IMAGES COURTESY OF TOURISM AUSTRALIA
Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine
This was once one of the worlds richest gold mines and over 13 tonnes was removed from this mine making it one of the most successful in Australia.
Today you can venture deep inside the hillside on a 45 minute guided tour. Access to the mine is easy, with no climbing necessary.
All our Tours are accompanied by an experienced guide. Hard hats are provided for your safety.
Mine tours are conducted at 1.30pm everyday (except Christmas Day) and on weekends, school and public holidays at midday, 1.30 and 3 o’clock.
The Walhalla Heritage and Development League is a group of like minded members who share a love of Walhalla and look after it. The Corner Store and Museum has many and varied souvenirs to remind you of your time in Walhalla and is well worth a look through. The Museum has recently been updated. Call them for information on day tours and activities in and around Walhalla on (03)51656250. www.walhalla.org.au
Gold Era Shops and Dining
If you have a sweet tooth don’t miss the Simply Walhalla Lolly Shop. It’s a must for the kids. Try a great coffee at Kitty’s cafe , an original gold era store, open for breakfast and lunch. A great place to sit in the sun and enjoy cake and coffee.
General Store and Miners Cafe
Any visit to Walhalla would not be complete without stopping at the licensed Miners Cafe for eating in or takeaway meals.
There are plenty of good walks to do in and around Walhalla. First and foremost is the Australian Alpine Walking Track which starts right here in Walhalla and goes all the way to Canberra! (650 km to ACT). You can do a shorter section of this on a 40km, 2 day 3 night fully guided and catered walk from Mt Baw Baw to Walhalla. Check for details in the publication by John and Lyn Daly – “Take a Walk in Kosciuszko National Park”.
Bring along your gold pan and try your luck in Stringer’s Creek which runs through the town. They’re still mining for gold in Walhalla and there must be loads more gold still around, so why not give it a go.
In Winter, the snow fields of Mt St Gwinear are just half an hour away with excellent snow for sightseeing, tobogganning, cross country skiing or snow shoeing. The slopes are not at all crowded so it is a great place for beginners or small children to get their first taste of the Victorian snowfields. Slopes are patrolled and there is a heated shelter for day trippers. Equipment is available for hire from Erica just 20 minutes away.
Coopers Creek & Thomson River
The Copper Mine Hotel at Coopers Creek is another fine example of an historic building having been recreated. It is not currently operating. This is also a great area for swimming with good waterholes and mini rapids for the kids. Don’t forget your lilo! There is also great fly fishing to be done in the upper reaches of the Thomson River.
Ron Camier runs award winning 4WD tours or Tag Along Tours around the spectacular countryside of Walhalla so be sure to get out and about with Ron for a truly memorable experience. Visit the old copper mine and hear about the history of the surrounding area. There are also plenty of 4WD tracks to explore on your own. If you don’t own a 4WD there are still many other trips to take. The Lake Thomson dam is just a short drive on sealed roads and really shows you the effects of the drought first hand. www.mountaintopexperience.com (03)51346876
There is great fishing to be done in the upper reaches of the nearby Thomson River, while enjoying the region’s beauty and solitude. Fly fishing for trout will challenge the most ardent angler.
When you’re in town be sure to pick up a brochure outlining the historic buildings, sites and activities in Walhalla.