Here are some highlights…
Long Tunnel Extended Mine Tour
Explore what life was like for the gold miners’ deep underground, and find out how they made this one of the worlds’ richest gold mines, with over 13 tons removed from up to 1km underground. Today you can venture deep into the hillside on a 45 minute guided tour. The tour takes visitors 150m below the surface and 300m into the hillside to the huge machinery chamber hewn from solid rock over a century ago. A large outcrop of the famous Cohen’s Reef can be also be seen from inside the mine. There’s also a free museum with samples of gold-bearing quartz, original photos of the miners, and many industrial relics from the mining days.
Family (2 adults and up to 4 children) $50.00. Adults $20.00 Concession $15.00.
Tours daily at 1.30pm. Weekends, school and public holidays 12pm, 1.30pm and 3pm.
Walhalla Goldfields Railway
Ride this unique narrow-gauge train on its spectacular journey through Stringer’s Creek Gorge, over the historic Thomson River Bridge, and into Thomson Station. Particularly pretty in Autumn when the elms and poplars show their vivid golds and oranges. A return trip takes about an hour. Great fun for kids and adults alike.
Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, public and school holidays, leaving Walhalla at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Return fares $20 per adult and $15 for kids. www.walhallarail.com
Not for the faint hearted, wander the dark valley by lantern light hearing shocking tales of the trials and tribulations of life in Walhalla 150 years ago, including the sadly short life of Sarah Anne Hanks, Walhalla’s only smallpox victim. Packed with history and the personal stories of the people who lived in Walhalla. Guided night tours available by booking at the Corner Store/Museum on (03)5165 6250.
Try your luck panning for gold in Stringer’s Creek. They’re still mining for gold in Walhalla and there must be more still around, so why not give it a go? You can buy a gold pan at the Corner Store/Museum.
Bushwalking & Mountain Bike Riding
Enjoy the fresh mountain air and tree ferns with stunning walks in and around Walhalla. There’s the Tramline Walkway with stunning views overlooking Walhalla, a walk up to the original Cricket Ground sitting high over the town, hiking to Poverty Point and the Old Steel Bridge on the Thomson River, a short section of the Great Alpine Walking Track from Walhalla to O’Shea’s Mill Pond, and the Rail Trail from Thomson Station to Erica, to mention just a few.
You can pick up maps from the Corner Store/Museum, open every day.
Remember to keep an eye out for our local wildlife such as wallabies, king parrots, kookaburras, lyrebirds and black cockatoos. See how many you can spot! More often heard than seen is the ‘Woop Woop’ bird, otherwise known as the Wonga Pigeon.
A 30 minute drive from Walhalla you will find the stunning but easy 3km walk to Mushroom Rocks, an area filled with fascinating granite formations scattered throughout the Myrtle Beech rainforest. There’s also a much shorter Beech Gully Nature Walk for those who don’t fancy the longer hike. This place is really worth a visit. Wander the rock maze, and be amazed!
The Corner Store and Museum has books and souvenirs to remind you of your visit to Walhalla. Call them for information on day tours and activities in and around Walhalla on (03)5165 6250. The Museum is currently undergoing a major renovation and cataloguing of it’s historical collection. A wealth of history and personal stories of life in Walhalla during the 1890’s through to 1914. Well worth a visit once completed!
Gold Era shops and Dining
Enjoy a sweet treat at the Simply Walhalla Lolly Shop (open Wednesdays and weekends). Miss Holly’s Gift Shop next door has a great range of gifts for everyone.
Enjoy a coffee and lunch at Kitty’s Cafe, an original gold-era store complete with interior stone wall. Kitty’s Cafe has both indoor and outdoor seating, and the coffee and food are great!
Sit in the sun on the deck at The Grey Horse Café right in the heart of Walhalla, or check out their collection of historical Walhalla photographs displayed on the big TV inside. Great coffee and snacks available.
The Walhalla Lodge Hotel, otherwise known as the Wally Pub, is your venue for meals, open every day except Tuesday. Phone 5165 6226 to book. Best to phone ahead as the Wally Pub can be very busy on public holidays, and may close fairly early during the week in non-peak times.
The Miner’s Café is also available for the evening meal by prior arrangement.
Coopers Creek and the Thomson River
A great area for swimming with good waterholes and mini rapids for the kids. There’s also great fly fishing in the upper reaches of the Thomson River.
Located on the old coach road that connected Walhalla and Cowwarr, Brunton’s Bridge was completed in 1888 and is worth a look as an example of how late nineteenth bridge technology was adapted to suit very difficult terrain. Just the steel skeleton of the bridge exists today. The day facilities and campground have recently received a major refurbishment.
The Thomson reservoir, Melbourne’s largest water supply, is just a 25 minute drive on a sealed road. Drive across the dam wall and take in the views.
Winter Skiing & Snowplay
Mount St. Gwinear is just half an hour away for sightseeing and snowplay, tobogganning, cross country, and snow shoeing. A great place for beginners or small children to enjoy their first experience of the Victorian snowfields. Slopes are patrolled and there’s a heated day shelter.
You can be on the slopes at Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort in just one hour via the South Face Road. There’s a kids’ toboggan run and a range of ski slopes to suit all skill levels, café’s and restaurants, and a luxurious spa where you can warm up after a day in the snow.
Remember to always carry snow chains!
Chains, ski gear and clothing are available for hire from Erica Ski Hire.
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.
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.