I always describe Walhalla as storybook gorgeous, and just like a movie set! It has to be one of THE most picturesque villages in Australia. Located just north of Moe & Traralgon it is nestled in a steep sided valley at the southern edge of the Victorian Alps, surrounded by national park, lush forests and fern gullies.
Originally settled during the gold rush of the 1860’s, Walhalla was one of Australia’s richest towns in its day. Nowadays there are only a handful of permanent residents but it receives around 100,000 tourists each year. This amazingly well preserved village is full of heritage buildings including old hotels, shops, a school and churches. The focal point of the town is an amazing, raised, wooden rotunda that is just so lovely. The fabulous pub, cafes, corner store, gift shop, lollie shop and museum are dotted along Main St (the main road in & out of Walhalla) and are not all grouped together.
This storybook village is at it’s very magical best in autumn when the colourful deciduous trees that line the town’s streets and random scatterings of wildflowers come out in full colour & bloom. The houses are very quaint workers cottages with some only accessible over their own private bridges from Main Street.
Plan your visit to Walhalla to take advantage of the Goldfields Railway which operates three days a week (Saturday, Sunday & Wednesday), three times a day (11am, 1pm & 3pm). Tickets can be booked via the website www.walhallarail.com.au. This is a spectacular return rail journey to Thomson Station. You will find yourself travelling through Stringers Creek Gorge meandering over six large trestle bridges that criss-cross the creek, it winds its way down the hill where it passes through Happy Creek, and then across the spectacular Thomson River Bridge finally arriving at Thomson Station.
There is also the option of experiencing the town’s gold mining heritage with a tour of the Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine accessing Cohens Reef – a three kilometre vein of gold running through the town. The mine is located on Telecom Track (left off Main Street). Tours of the mine are conducted every day of the year. On weekends, public holidays and school holidays scheduled tours are conducted at 12noon, 1.30pm and 3pm. On all other days tours are conducted at 1.30pm. While they don’t take bookings, arrive 15min before the tour so not to be disappointed with having to go at another time.
Walhalla… step back in time & imagine yourself in gold rush Victoria!