Walhalla Historic Gold Mining Town.
By Joe Mortelliti
Marion and I passed through Walhalla around 7 years ago on our way to Woods Point.
At the time we noted from the locals that you could camp along the creek in the main street, and that really appealed to us.
Some of the town buildings had been restored and looked very quaint and set in this narrow gorge along the edge of Stringers Creek in the valley it was a very charming spot and we promised ourselves we would go back.
We finally got there this month and the main street camping had mainly been stopped by the shire and turned into day visitor areas, but a few selected spots remained along the meandering road.
We chose to camp at North Peak on the edge of town. This is a free camp area, set between the mountains, heavily treed and very attractive.
For those wanting 4 star and cottages there are a host of choices that will not dissappoint.
We were in Walhalla the weekend of the big hail storm that hit Melbourne, which I have since read caused around $500 million in damage, even one of our own business cars based in Melbourne suffered some significant damage.
Being only about 120km from the outskirts of Melbourne Walhalla in the mountains of Gippsland was also somewhat in the path of the storm.
We were camped on our specially customized 4wd camper unit and that night we were treated to quite a storm.
I had got into bed and my wife had just comfortably seated her self on the porta potty when a flash of lightning and the loudest clap of thunder I have e ever heard hit.
Well I have never seen my wife move so fast, she just sprung off that porta potty, just like when a cat springs into the air:-)
I can’t blame her as the ground shook and the whole camper swayed back and forth from the thunder clap, it moved so much air.
I thought the movement was because our rig was so far off the ground, but next morning those beside us in motor homes and caravans were saying their units had been swaying back and forth with those early thunder claps.
As were wedged into this gorge and valley between the mountains the sound of the thunder was magnified by the megaphone effect of the gorge, and it just rolled on incessantly down the valley, I thought it was a great effect, but Marion disagreed and had me pinned to the bed seeking comfort from holding me for some time.
Walhala is now a very attractive tourist town with a population of 20 people. It futures a host of old restored and replica buildings and I think it’s one of the nicest spots in Victoria. The Long Tunnel Mine here was one of Victorias most productive and tours are run constantly. You can now walk the old tram line up near the ridge line of the mountains along the top of the valley which links you up with the Great Alpine Walk.
The Wallhalla grave yard is one of the most intersting sites with graves terraced up the mountain holding some 1300 graves.
Walhalla’s wonderful bandstand and the hotel
Looks like a toy town
The town built in this narrow valley, note the Fire Station is built over the creek
North Park camping area
Main Road winds through town, past the Post Office and Mechanics Institute buildings
The railway couch shed.
Take a ride on the tourist train down the gorge to Thompson.