Things to do in Walhalla, Victoria: Fishing, mine exploration, Ghost Tours and historical bush walks
The Walhalla Ghost Tour is run by the Walhalla Township -Tickets are available from the Walhalla Post office (Ph. 5165 6250) – (not Haunted Hills Tours).
Set in the natural amphitheatre of the Latrobe Valley, on the Northern Edge in the Great Dividing Range.
Walhalla a town rich in history lucky to be preserved 100 years since its heydey
Walhalla, is a town in Gippsland, East of Melbourne via the Princess Hwy a little detour up to the mountains. Flanked by two mountains. One held the Cohens Reef – of gold. Which put Walhalla on the International Map about a hundred and thirty years ago. It is essentially a resurrected ghost town. After most residents left in nineteen ten, when the train line finally made its way to the mountain town catering to about five thousand people. People packed up themselves, houses and belongings to start over somewhere new, what were they kidding? Leaving this beautiful paradise a touch of heaven on earth for well everybody.
The town was only recently put on the electricity before that there was a generator that ran up near the Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine.
So what is there to do in a town that is over a hundred years old?
Well, the original mine — the one that actually mined gold, that had real tools in there — is still available to see. Its called the Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine. There are tours that run daily at 1:30pm. More run on Public holidays 12. 1:30pm and 3pm. The mine is like an air conditioner on a warm day as the cool air gets pushed out. There is so much to see up at the Mine, there is a museum with all the tools they used to sift, crush and ultimately find gold within the rock. There is also the Blacksmiths shed. Where you can watch a fascinating show about the discovery of gold in Gippsland.
The cemetery – Heritage listed, holds more people than the entire town does in winter. It’s a nice steep walk, good for the cardio workout. See the people, who lived and died in the towns short 50 years of operation.
The Cricket Pitch – The flattest place that the miners could find to play a proper game of cricket – even got to play the Australian team at one stage is located up the another steep walk.
Heaps more walks. You can even pay to go on a guided four-day tour called “Great Alpine Walhalla Alpine Trail.”
For the very motivated bush walker, there is a track from Walhalla all the way to Hotham! 235 km through the Avon Wilderness Park and Alpine National Park, for an estimate 50 hours of walking.
For the Train Enthusiast
The original train track fell into disrepair and the mountain reclaimed it. The Walhalla Goldfields Railway operated by volunteers has recreated the train experience. It is an amazing experience to feel the train move through the mountains.
Four Wheel Driving
You can drive your own four wheel drive around and have a blast, there are heaps of tracks leading back to the Thompson Dam and some have even made it Dargo, using Four Wheel Drive Tracks. Get some maps! The Post Office or Department of Sustainability in Traralgon has maps.
There is also a four wheel drive tour that you can go and see more of the towns created and killed by the gold rush. There is heaps of artefacts and sites where towns used to be of life that the bush is reclaiming. More mine shafts. Strongly advised not to go in them, they are unstable. However, you can find out the sites from the four wheel drive tour guides.
For the paranormally entertained and history buffs:
They have a Ghost Tour, that centres around a girl named Emily. Lots of stories and of course at nighttime. Tickets are available from the Walhalla Post office (Ph. 5165 6250). Where incidentally is another museum of the times that have passed? Lots of cool knick-knacks at the post office to be bought, not your ordinary run of the mill post office.
In winter it is a great place to stay and access the snow fields. With Skiing available at Mt. Baw Baw. Probably wouldn’t try to ski the treacherous and rocky terrain at Walhalla.
All the houses (even those that have cropped up since the last time I was at Walhalla are keeping in simple bush architecture. Using the materials readily available. Some of the places in the town have been rebuilt after fires.
You can tour the fire station. See the old cart that used to be dragged to fires. Also the history of Walhalla and fire, and up to date fire information.
You can also sleep in original cottages! A lot of them are turning into B&B’s. (Scroll down to the bottom, there is a list)
It’s a magical fantastical place to visit and enjoy for what it is today and what it was during the gold rush.
Fishing (you really need a four wheel drive to get to these hot fishing spots)
If fishing is your thing there are plenty of rivers around where you dip a line in and to catch Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout.
Jordan River, Aberfeldy – wade-able, however, watch out for numerous deep holes, most commonly caught here is Brown and Rainbow Trout, short-finned eel, river blackfish is found in the upper reaches. This is accessible by four wheel drive. This was also a spot for gold panning in the gold rush days. If you’re not having any luck with the fish dip a pan in. The old ghost town of Jericho is at the junction of Jordan’s Creek and BB Creek. The tracks are Jericho track and red jacket track – do not rely on GPS get maps from the DSE or Local Information Centre. Walhalla Post Office.
Aberfeldy River, Aberfeldy – again this river is wadeable, finds here are Brown Trout, Short Finned Eel, and River Black Fish, and Australian Smelt. Rainbow trouts occasionally grace the lines of fisherman here.
Thomson River, which feeds into the Thomson Dam, is not be fished within 200 meters of it feeding into the dam. Brown Trout is caught during May/ June, Rainbow Trout, River Blackfish.
Horseshoe bend tunnel – Brown trout (surprise) and Fresh Water Crays only between Mid Nov – Mid January, which is the season for them. The minimum legal size for a fresh water cray is nine centimetres.
North Cascade Creek, Thomson Reservoir – Guess, you guessed both types of trout! Go catch them!
South Cascade Creek, Thomson Reservoir – No fishing within 200 meters of Thomson Dam. However great supply of Trout!
Whitelaw Creek, Thomson Reservoir, limited access, many, many brown trout.
Happy Fishing is following the rules, set out by the department and of sustainability and Environment, a fishing licence is a must and bag limit brochure! The last time the Department of Fisheries added trout to the river system was in 1962!
Where to stay, how to stay and accommodation
There are a number of options, however if you said caravan (with the exception of motor homes which make it into Walhalla), the road is not well designed for a Caravan and therefore there is no place in Walhalla to set up – before you despair only 20 minutes away is Rawson Caravan Park whom can be contacted on 5165 3439, and a further 6 minutes away (totaling 26 minutes from Walhalla) is Erica Caravan Park whom can be contacted on 5165 3315 and found on Main Road, Erica.
Camping for free
In the township of Walhalla: North Gardens
On the outskirts is the Brunton’s Bridge 13 km away from Walhalla. The old steel bridge, Brunton’s Bridge, the coaches used to use is still there, for decoration and was part of the walking track. Lovely spot by the Thompson River (remember Department of Sustainability and Environment regulates there is no camping within 20 metres of the river, also if possible to wash up using gritty sand instead of soap) Keep Australia Beautiful!
The river is great for canoeing, kayaking and all manner of water sports as well as fishing (Brown and Rainbow Trout, and River Blackfish)
Cooper’s Creek Camping Reservation, a lovely spot, off the road and near the Thompson River as well. Don’t forget to drop in the Cooper’s Creek Mine Hotel which used to be a major stopping station for the coaches, back in the day.
Stringers Creek Campsite has been re-opened
BnB’s, Cottages, or Hotels more your style of Accommodation? They have those too!
(Where the marker is showing for all the Accommodation listed in Main Street is actually the Wally Pub)
Brewery Creek Cottage, self-contained accommodation (bookings through Kath and Darrin Taylor on 03 5165 6237)
Windsor House is a Bed and Breakfast, with 5 bedrooms. (bookings through Kath and Darrin Taylor on 03 5165 6237)
Jacomb’s Cottage, 2-4 person, self-contained cottage. (bookings through Kath and Darrin Taylor on 03 5165 6237)
Creek Cottage, managed by the Walhalla Board, bookings are made through the Walhalla Post Office on 03 5165 6250
Stringers Cottage a one bedroom self-contained cottage, max person limit is 2. (bookings through Anna Krohn on 0419 732 427, or 03 9531 6600) (It’s located on the steep road behind the Train Station – also there is a walking track that begins behind the house and goes all the way to Canberra for the incredibly avid bush walker.)
Walhalla Coach house, 3 bedroom house, sleeps 6-8 (bookings through Anna Krohn on 0419 732 427, or 03 9531 6600)
Ease of access/ eating out options
There is no petrol station in Walhalla, the last one is in Tyers, Tralagon or Moe. Be sure to have an excess of 100 km of fuel in the tank to return one of these petrol stations.
There are no chain supermarkets either, the General Store has provisions.
Eating out, there are a number of options:
The Wally Pub on Main Road Walhalla, amazing food, be sure to book for dinner, it is a cosy pub! (No food on Tuesday’s).
The Star Hotel serves meals, bookings recommended.
The Erica Pub, serves up Hot Stones, with lush steaks on them.
The Rawson Pub.
A coffee and cake place, open between 11 -2pm.
Lolly Shop, on Main Road, Walhalla.
Walhalla Coffee Shop delivers what it promises coffee! On Main Road, Walhalla
Other things to do in the Latrobe Valley