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Frequently-Asked Questions about Walhalla

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How do I get there?


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If you don't drive, and you can't persuade someone to drive you there, then it might be a good idea to inquire through a bus line whether they run tours up this way. Otherwise, a train can bring you as far as Moe, but that still leaves you some 50km south of Walhalla.

Since 1999, Ron Camier has been providing transport to Walhalla both for tourists who have booked with his "Copper Mine Adventure" 4WD tours, and also for Australian Alpine Walking Track bushwalkers. Prices range from $30 to $80 depending on the number of travellers and the day of travel, and they can normally pick up visitors from the Moe or Morwell Railway Stations. If demand for this service increases in the future, they may consider providing mini-buses (self-drive or driven) in conjunction with the V/Line Fast Train to Morwell.

We'd like to think that one day, the narrow-gauge Walhalla Goldfields Railway will again be able to take you north to Walhalla from Moe, but at present, it only runs as far south from Walhalla as the Thomson River, and that still leaves you with too far to walk. (You will occasionally see groups of cyclists on the road, but only the hardiest, because it's uphill most of the way.)


If you do drive, you'll find that Walhalla is an easy two-hour drive east of Melbourne on bitumen all the way, so getting there and getting home again from the suburbs will be a full -- but very worthwhile! -- day trip by the time you feel you've spent long enough sightseeing. Please note, however, that with the exceptions only of Tyers on the outskirts of Traralgon to the south-east, and a single servo in Rawson, fuel is not available north of Moe or Traralgon on the Prince's Highway some 50 kilometers to the south.


The simplest approach from the west is through the dairy and farming towns along the Princes Freeway, through the La Trobe Valley. From Pakenham, the road is a (well-policed) multi-lane 110km/h freeway all the way to Moe. Follow the signs to the north from the race-course. Or, if you're not in such a hurry, you could drive down the picturesque old timber road from Yarra Junction through Powelltown and Noojee, turning right at the foot of Mount Baw Baw and heading southeast through Hill End and Willow Grove, until you turn left and north onto the Walhalla Road at Tanjil South.


If you're a bit more adventurous, you could come over the top of Mount Baw Baw and down the new 28 km timber track known as the South Face Road. It's a well-formed but unsealed road all the way down to where it meets the Thomson Dam road on the northern outskirts of Rawson, however, and it is used by timber trucks on weekdays, presumably to bring timber down to the mill at Erica; and speaking from personal experience, it's a lot more fun to drive it going up than it is coming down.


Alternatively, if you're coming from anywhere east of Moe, which still accounts for a large part of Victoria, you'll probably find it easiest to come up from Traralgon through Tyers and the Boola Boola State Forest.

And finally, if you have a 4WD and don't mind taking it off the beaten track, (or if your car has good ground clearance and we've had reasonably fine weather), there's an unsealed road down from Woods Point via Aberfeldy to the north-west. This road is however quite unsuitable for caravans, and in winter it is decidedly only for those in 4WDs. Other than out-and-out bush tracks, this is the only remaining unsealed public road into Walhalla.

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Is it an easy drive?


Home These days, though it's still an engaging drive, it's certainly a lot easier than it used to be. It's even less hazardous if you understand what makes the area different, and what some of the risk factors are:



Wildlife


With clearly-signposted exceptions, the road to Walhalla is a speed-limit run for most of the way north to Rawson, but one that winds through native forests for a lot of the way, so keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, especially around sunrise and sunset. Along that road, signposts warn of kangaroos and wallabies, and you will sometimes see wombats, echidnas, rabbits, foxes and possibly even a sizeable deer, but only rarely during the middle daylight hours of the day.

If you have the misfortune to have one of these emerge onto the road in front of you, the best advice is to brake if you can, but resist the temptation to try and swerve to avoid it unless you're confident that you can retain control of your vehicle. Even if it means that you have to walk home, at least you'll still be able to walk ...

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The road

If you grew up with your grandparents telling horror stories of vehicles going off the Walhalla road and coming to rest hundreds of feet down the hill, rest assured that those stories relate to a much earlier time, and things have changed. In those days, not only was the road twisting and unsealed and narrow for most of the last 15kms or so into Walhalla -- if you had the misfortune to lose control, it's true that there wasn't much to slow your progress (or descent!). For most of the first half of the last century, in fact, one of the most striking features you would have noticed about Walhalla was its lack of timber, stripped from the hills for many kilometers in all directions to feed the ravenous appetites of the furnaces that powered the mines.

These days the road is sealed all the way, and two lanes wide, but it's still quite twisting, so if you find yourself being trailed by someone who seems to know the way, or who is in more of a hurry than you want to be, consider paying him or her the courtesy of pulling over, in one of the spaces provided, to let them pass.

However, if you're reckless enough (or unlucky enough) to lose control of your vehicle on the road today, it will probably come as cold comfort to know that you will almost certainly be stopped by a tree very soon afterwards, where you will no doubt have cause to marvel at the amazing regenerative capabilities of mother nature when left to her own devices.

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Landslides



Walhalla is in a geologically unstable area -- maybe that's what it takes to produce a region that in its day yielded so many tonnes of gold. It's certainly not unstable enough to have accumulated any history of mine collapses, for example (in over 120 years of their continued use), but it's still just unstable enough to cause the occasional landslide adjacent to the road or railway line that can temporarily inconvenience drivers or train travellers. So far, these have always seemed to happen when noone was around, but I guess that if you stood still in the one place for long enough -- a very long time -- and it was the wrong place ...

When it does happen, the local authorities and VicRoads have shown themselves to be capable of working together very quickly to clear and stabilize the affected area.
 

If you have any reason to doubt whether the road is open or not, click here to go to the VicRoads website, where you should be able to find Road Traffic Information.

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What is there to do in Walhalla?


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There's plenty to do!

  • Take a leisurely stroll from one end of the valley to the other.
  • Take a tour of what was one of the world's richest gold mines.
  • Take a ride on the Walhalla Goldfields Railway.
  • Take a deep breath before you climb up to the cricket ground.
  • Take a peek
       into our unique
         Fire Station museum
            that straddles the creek!
  • Take a walk along the timber tramway track above the valley.
  • Take a picnic lunch to Stringer's Park.
  • Take a Mountain Top Experience guided four-wheel drive.
  • Take a hike on the Alpine Walking Track.
  • Take a look at the heritage trail signs that we've installed all the way up the valley!

And while you're in the neighbourhood ...

Why not stay longer in the area and visit the Walhalla Museum or the Gold Era Shops, Band Rotunda, Mechanics Institute, hillside cemetery or other historic and natural attractions in the area?

Elsewhere in the region, and depending on the season, you can camp, swim, fish, fossick for gold or simply go walking. In winter, go skiing on nearby Mount Saint Gwinear. Visit Mount Erica, over 1500 meters above sea level on the Baw Baw plateau, or the massive Thomson Dam, Moondarra Reservoir or Moe's Blue Rock Dam on the Tanjil River.

And if Walhalla whets your appetite, you might also like to visit the Old Gippstown Pioneer Township at Moe, which opens up the whole of the Latrobe Valley and Strzelecki Ranges National Park area for your discovery. If food is more than a passing interest, you will certainly enjoy Yarragon Village and the gourmet deli country back towards Drouin and Warragul.

An abundance of BnB's in the neighbourhood provide comfortable and convenient places from which to launch your exploration of the region. Click here to find out about local and regional accommodation.

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Why is it called "Walhalla"?



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Lithograph of Walhalla in 1888
Walhalla in 1888


Walhalla was originally named Stringer's Creek for Ned Stringer, one of a party of three gold prospectors who first found gold in the valley after working their way down the Thomson River valley from Woods Point, in late December of 1862. By 1863, a busy mining town had sprung up along what had promptly been called "Stringer's Creek". As the mining settlement developed into a community, the Walhalla Gold Mine was one of the town's earliest, largest and richest mines. It was to eventually yield some 144,000 ounces (4,100 kg) of gold and distributed some £228,478 in dividends during the period 1864 to 1881.

In "Old Walhalla", Raymond Paull says:

"The author and choice of Walhalla's name, like other aspects of its origins, is clouded by controversy and contradiction.

One version, quoting Richard Archer, manager in 1890 of the Great South mine, attributes authorship and circumstance to a conversation in 1864 between Captain John Johnson and Henry Rosales, the first manager of the mine on the No. 7 North claim. According to Archer, the two men, in a discussion on Scandinavian mythology, conceived the happy inspiration of bestowing the name Walhalla on the mine. The analogy lay in the magnificence of the Valhalla of Norse legend -- the abode of the heroes slain in battle. 'This was done', said Archer, 'and the word was subsequently gazetted as the name of the township.' The Walhalla mine earned this distinction from its foremost place on the field when the surveyor cut up and auctioned the township allotments. In addition, Johnson, a squatter at Mewburn Park, a property of 30,000 acres, was an elected member representing North Gippsland in the colonial legislature, and as such, a person of some influence.

Another version, which may not be unrelated to the first, ascribes the authorship to Johnson alone, saying that during a visit to Europe from which he had just returned he had seen the Wagner operas in Paris.

The case for Rosales as sole author of the name is supported by Miss Constance Tisdall, who was born on the creek in 1877, nine years after her renowned parents, Henry and Lucy Tisdall, founded the unique State School, S.S. No. 957, Walhalla.

Miss Tisdall, in her account, relates the incident to the inaccessibility of the township, which had given rise to the opinion that nothing short of flying would take one there. To Bertie Tisdall (an older brother), the idea suggested the Christian Heaven, but to Mr Henry Rosales, the then mining manager, it suggested the Nordic Valhalla. The name, accordingly, was changed to Walhalla, pronounced by most of the miners, 'Woll-oller'."


According to John Adams in "Mountain Gold", "By the end of 1864 the first quartz mining companies were registered for Stringer's Creek. ... in December the Walhalla Company was formed with John Canute James Johnson as applicant. The name, Walhalla, was probably given by him, commemorating the abode of the Nordic heroes slain in battle ... The rush of miners to Stringer's Creek was soon followed by storekeepers and publicans, but two years were to pass before the township assumed a more permanent form. ... In April 1866, it was recorded that William Dawson, the surveyor, had laid out the township which he named Walhalla from the leading mine of the time ... Stringer's Creek was appointed a place for a Court of Petty Sessions in February 1866, and in June, J. J. Cahill arrived in the township as Clerk of Petty Sessions and Warden's Clerk. Warden Butler opened the first Court of Mines in Stringer's Creek on 29 January, 1867. ... A police reserve was established near the Reefer's Arms Hotel, on the site of what was later the railway station yards, but the shift of settlement to the 'Junction' led to police barracks being established between the sites of the Star Hotel and Grand Junction Hotel. This shift helped to establish the real town of Walhalla, and in 1869 the Courts of Mines and Petty Sessions were re-registered as for Walhalla instead of Stringer's Creek."

Rosales, the mine manager, was himself apparently of Scandinavian extraction, although Raymond Paull felt that "his surname is more likely to have had a Latin origin". We have records of a handful of births in the town in 1865 still having been registered as having occurred at Stringer's Creek, but from 1866 onwards they are all registered as "Walhalla"

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What picnic facilities are there?



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Picnic pavilion and lawn area in Stringer's Park



There's a centrally-located picnic pavilion in Stringer's Park with gas-fired barbecues that are available at no charge, on a first-come, first-served basis, although a regular, constant supply of drinking water cannot be assured, and for this reason, you might find it most convenient to bring your own supply. Shops, a parking area and public toilets are all situated nearby, in a huge, natural amphitheatre on the banks of Stringer's Creek, that was formerly the timber supply yard of the Long Tunnel Mine, and where you'll find yourself within handy striking distance of most of the town's historical landmarks.

Walk across the road to visit the Walhalla Gold Museum and the Gold Era Shops, including the Heritage League's Corner Store.

Naturally, when you've enjoyed your meal, we'd ask that you leave the area as tidy as you found it.

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What is the Walhalla Goldfields Railway?


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The Walhalla Goldfields Railway is operated by a dedicated band of volunteer train enthusiasts, who in the course of the last 10 years have rebuilt this historic line, once fêted as the most scenic railway route in Australia, all the way up the picturesque Stringer's Gorge, from the Thomson River to Walhalla.

When the line was reopened, in March, 2002, Tim Fisher, a fellow steam buff, disclosed that their stretch target is now to reopen the line as far back as Erica by 2010. We wish them the best of luck in their future endeavours.

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Where does the railway operate?


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The railway runs from Walhalla via Happy Creek to Thomson, on the Melbourne side of the Thomson River road bridge.


Ample car parking is available at both ends of the line.



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When does it operate? How much does it cost?
Does the railway cater for charters or group excursions?

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The Walhalla Goldfields Railway is staffed by volunteers, so it only operates on weekends, Wednesdays and public holidays (and by arrangement during periods of road closure).

For booking information and schedules, fares and charter fees, see their timetable page on the railway's website.

Note that the train does not operate on declared days of TOTAL FIRE BAN in the Eastern Region.

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The Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine Tour


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What is it?

It's an easy walk into the historic heart of one of the world's richest gold mines, that doesn't involve any climbing or machinery. All tours are accompanied by a guide, and all working areas or areas considered to be potentially hazardous are securely fenced off. For your own protection, hard hats (which are provided) must be worn for the duration of the tour, which lasts for approximately 45 minutes.

All accessible areas have been carefully made safe and secure, and are subject to regular inspection by qualified engineers and officers of the relevant authorities.

How much does it cost?

For details of family, children's, adult's and concessional ticket prices for the mine tour, phone 5165 6259. Group tour costs and times are subject to negotiation -- again, phone 5165 6259. Your ticket also admits you to the mining museum adjacent to the ticket kiosk.

When are tours conducted?

Mine tours are conducted on weekends and during School and Public Holidays at varying times. Bookings are not required.

For full details of tour departure times, prices, etc., you should direct your inquiry to the Walhalla Crown Reserves Board of Management, who manage this property, or to the mine's own website.

Special tours can also be scheduled by prior arrangement -- phone 5165 6259.

Is it suitable for handicapped visitors?

Limited parking is available for disabled visitors near the entrance to the mine. The path into the mine is however not suitable for wheelchair access.

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Is there any fishing in Walhalla?


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The person who asked this question most recently made the point that you probably wouldn’t come to Walhalla at all if your main objective was fishing -- you come for the unique history, the quiet, for something different. However, he added, whilst there (like anywhere else!), serious fisher-folk will always see if there is a place nearby where they can drop a line in the water for a couple of peaceful hours' getaway.

Here's one we prepared earlier ...

Given the dizzying speed at which they change their names and structures, I'm reluctant to recommend any government department's website by name, but the best advice I could give might be to point your google machine at "fishing near Walhalla", and see what turns up.

At the moment, for example, some of the best pointers are contained in Latrobe City's guide to local rivers, which includes the following tips, blended with information from other sources. Note that many of these sites will require 4WD access, even on a good day, and remember that there is no fishing permitted within 200 meters of the Thomson Dam.

 
Tyers River, above Moondarra Reservoir - crosses Erica/Moe Rd, approx 20km north of Moe.
Fast flowing clear stream running through steep forested country with a gravel bottom. Access is limited to road crossings. Contains brown trout, blackfish eels, tupong and spiny crayfish.

Jordan River, Aberfeldy - Access limited to road crossings and forestry tracks.
A small fast, clear flowing mountain stream running through steep forested country with a rock and gravel bottom. Numerous deep holes but most of the river is wadeable. Contains brown trout, rainbow trout, short finned eel and river blackfish in the upper reaches. This was also a spot for gold panning in the gold rush days, so 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 River and BB Creek. The tracks are Jericho Track and Red Jacket Track. Do not rely on a GPS -- get maps from the DSE or the local Information Centre at Walhalla Post Office.

Aberfeldy River, Aberfeldy - access by conventional vehicles is limited to the Walhalla-Aberfeldy Rd and track crossings for 4WD vehicles. Some off-road tracks may be closed in the winter.
A clear mountain stream running through steep forest. Rock and gravel bottom with areas of exposed stream bed and gravel banks joining deeper pools. Most of the river is wadeable. Contains brown trout, short finned eel, river blackfish, Australian smelt and occasional rainbow trout.

Thomson River:

Above Thomson Reservoir - access limited by road closures to road crossings and forestry tracks, while many of the smaller tracks are subject to a seasonal closure from May to November.
A clear fast flowing stream running through steep forests. It is mostly shallow but there are deep pools. Rock, rubble and coarse gravel bottom. Most of the river is wadeable. The area provides pleasant fishing with large brown trout from the reservoir entering the river during May/June. Contains brown trout, rainbow trout and river blackfish.

North Cascade Creek, Thomson Reservoir - Access is from the Thomson Valley Road.
A small fast-flowing tributary of the Thomson River, running into the western side of the Thomson Reservoir, through native forest. Width is 2-3m with cascades and rapids and shallow water. Sand and rock bottom. Contains small brown trout and rainbow trout.

Thomson River Bridge (Horseshoe Bend Tunnel) - accessed by turning right off Tyers-Walhalla Rd (from Tyers) onto Cooper's Creek Rd, go 1.2km along this road, crossing a bridge. Immediately after the bridge on the left take a narrow one vehicle track from which the tunnel is signposted.
Containing trout, blackfish and in season freshwater crays. The minimum legal size for a freshwater cray is nine centimetres.

Thomson Reservoir to Cowwarr Weir - access is limited to a few road crossings. There is access by conventional vehicle to downstream of the dam, to the flow gauging station. The Low Saddle Track (off the Narrows Track) is accessible only by 4WD because of its steep gradient.
Flows its entire length through steep forests with dense native vegetation. There are extensive reaches of fast, shallow water, and numerous deep pools up to 4.5 metres deep (e.g. at Bruntons Bridge). The river bed is almost all a mixture of rock, boulders, rubble and gravel, with small areas of sand in the pools or on bends. The best fishing area is from the dam wall downstream along the Narrows Track/Road, but some walking is necessary to reach most of the river. Contains brown trout, good numbers of large river blackfish, eels, tupong, small Gippsland spiny crayfish, Australian smelt, common galaxias, pouched lamprey, short-headed lamprey, southern pygmy perch and occasional Australian grayling downstream of the Walhalla Road bridge.
The numbers of all fish are low at the Coopers Creek and Bruntons Bridge road crossings and these are not good fishing areas although the latter site is a very pleasant picnic/camping area (no facilities).
Catch of the day at Brunton's Bridge
The one that didn't get away
Marcus Pirchan might disagree about Brunton's Bridge

Remember, Happy Fishing is following the rules set out by the Department of Sustainability and Environment -- a fishing licence is a must, as is a bag limit brochure!

 



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Are there any trail bike tracks in Walhalla?


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There are no trail bike tracks in Walhalla. There are many tracks in the bush around Walhalla and in the surrounding areas, but there are also many undocumented, abandoned and overgrown mineshafts. It's certainly not an everyday occurrence, but one or two have been known to swallow even passenger cars in recent years ...

It is also worth noting that police in the area have been cracking down on unregistered and unroadworthy bikes, and unlicensed riders, as indicated by the poster shown below, which appeared in the window of the Walhalla Mechanics' Institute in late 2007.

Warning poster for trail-bike riders


The text of the poster reads as follows:

DO YOU HAVE A TRAIL BIKE?

If you own a trail bike, or you know someone who does, here is an important message.

While visitors are welcome, people who break the law are not. Over the next few months, a police blitz on trail bikes will be in operation in the Walhalla, Erica, Coopers Creek and Rawson areas.

Note the following:

  • All trail bikes must be registered.
  • Pee-wee, quad or monkey bikes are illegal.
  • Children cannot ride unless on private land.
  • Bush tracks and road-side are NOT private land.
  • Fines will be issued to parents of children riding.
  • Rec[reational] reg[istered] bikes must not enter towns.
  • Road laws apply on ALL bush tracks.
  • Bikes can only use tracks that a 4-wheel road vehicle can use -- walking tracks are NOT motorbike tracks!

UNREGISTERED = $322 FINE.
UNLICENSED = $537 FINE.

Enjoy your stay, but please do the right thing. If your bike is unregistered, if you don't have a licence, or if you planned to let your unlicensed kids ride pee-wee bikes ... DON'T.

Leave your bikes on the trailer! You have been warned.



Sorry if that sounds unduly harsh, but it's probably a fairly accurate summary of the neighbourhood's feelings about such matters, too. It shouldn't be taken as an attempt to deter responsible, compliant trail bike riders in any way, but you should be especially careful if you are considering branching off from obvious tracks into unused bush pathways.

Be aware also that trail bike riders are among Walhalla's most Frequent Fliers with the air ambulance, often with the most urgent need for such services, and that according to Rural Ambulance Victoria, "it's very rare for a ride in our helicopter to cost less than $2000 these days", even if you're just around the corner from the hospital you'll end up in (and no, you don't get to choose your destination, either), what with a call-out flagfall of almost $900, a per-kilometer tariff of just over $1 and a meter that ticks at just over $10.50 per minute -- out and back.

The retrieval of bikers from accident sites is -- almost by definition -- usually not easy, often not painless and sometimes even (regrettably) not altogether successful, either ... (and in case that link doesn't work, you can try this one). ...

WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

Kiddy trail-bikers

Maybe not all (or not all completely) unskilled, but certainly
unregistered,
unlicensed,
uninsured,
underaged
kiddy trail-bikers photographed recently
on a public road
rounding a blind corner
into Walhalla's main street.

... which leads us to say a few words about ...

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The Walhalla Cemetery


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The Walhalla Cemetery


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Where is it?

The Walhalla Cemetery is located on the eastern hillside just to the north of the railway station. Look for the large pine trees.

Like many of Walhalla's points of interest, however, it requires some degree of exertion on your part to get to it, up a fairly steep pathway. Be thankful you were never a pallbearer here!

Of course, there is still a very easy way to get to the cemetery ... you just wouldn't be in a position to enjoy it quite so much when you got there ...



When is it open?

It's actually open all hours. It just gets a lot darker, and even more isolated, after sunset. To some people, that makes it spookier. To most sensible people, it makes it even more likely that you'll trip over something and fall down what is a very steep hill and possibly do yourself some real damage. Then you'll begin to realize how far it is to find anyone who can help you ... and that's when you might wish you'd paid more attention to that paragraph about the Air Ambulance above.

Visitors are requested to respect the solemnity and sanctity of this area and its enduring, deep significance to the surviving relatives of those who are buried here. Contributions towards the maintenance and upkeep of the cemetery and its environs are of course very welcome.

One of the last funerals at the Walhalla Cemetery

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Where can I get information about who is buried there?


The cemetery is managed by the Walhalla Cemetery Trust. The secretary of the Trust is Mrs Yolanda Reynolds, of 3 Victory Court, Trafalgar, Victoria 3824, who can be contacted by phone on (03) 5633 2051.

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Walhalla Cricket Ground


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Walhalla Cricket Ground



Hilltop cricket ground

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Where is it?


The Walhalla Cricket Ground, secret weapon of Walhalla's sporting teams over the years, is on top of the hill immediately behind the Star Hotel. The path up to the Cricket Ground is actually opposite Spetts Cottage, a few hundred meters along the left branch road.

It takes you past the remnants of cottage gardens above the roadway. It is quite steep and in places can be quite slippery on a wet day.

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How long will it take me to get there?


You should allow about 45 minutes for the round trip. Once you get to the top, however, you may feel like sitting down for a few minutes to soak up the atmosphere and recover an oxygen debt.

This is a walk you should only consider undertaking if you are quite fit.

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What camping facilities are there in Walhalla?


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Walhalla welcomes campers, but camping is not allowed in Stringer's Park, nor within 50 meters of Stringer's Creek.

Campers should be very conscious that Walhalla is a living town with residents and property owners. Fenced property is private land and should not be camped on. Noise from campsites should be kept to a minimum and must cease after 11 pm. We ask you to respect your neighbours, both other campers and Walhalla residents.

The water in Stringer's Creek is NOT safe to drink. Bring your own water.

Respect the environment, take your rubbish home with you, and USE the toilets that are provided in the town. There are public toilets located at Stringer's Park and North Gardens, or if you can, you should provide your own.

We realise that this may mean a bit of a walk, but don't just "go" near where you are camped. This not only risks making somebody else's camping experience potentially unpleasant, it also fouls the waterway ... it's one of the reasons why the water in Stringer's Creek is unsafe to drink!

Petrol

As noted above, with the exceptions only of Tyers on the outskirts of Traralgon to the south-east, and a single service station in Rawson, fuel is not available north of Moe or Traralgon on the Prince's Highway, both some 50 kilometers to the south, so be sure before leaving there that your own supplies are adequate for the round trip of a little over 100 km, as well as any driving you plan to do in the vicinity.

Phones

No mobile phone network service is available, but there is a working public phone in the red phone box outside the General Store.

Campfires? Barbecues?

Campfires are permitted except during days of Total Fire Ban. You should bring your own firewood if you intend to have a campfire, and ensure that it is completely extinguished before you leave.

Stacks of firewood at houses and/or within fenced property are owned by these property owners, and removal of any of this wood (no matter how cold you are) is theft and will be reported to the Police.

For casual visitors, barbecues are provided in Stringer's Park in central Walhalla.

Provisions

The Walhalla General Store (see below) is able to provide general camping needs e.g. milk, bread, tinned & limited fresh food, mosquito repellent, torches, gas bottles etc.

Meals are available from The Walhalla Lodge Hotel, The Miner's Cafe (all meals, but reservations are required for dinner) and The Star Hotel (dinner only, and prior reservations are required).

Weather

Walhalla can get cold (even in summer) and very wet, so be prepared!


North Gardens camping ground

Suitable for tents, caravans and campervans.

Facilities

Basic - toilets are provided, but no shower facilities. There are no powered sites. A limited number of gas operated barbecues under shelter are provided.

Are bookings required?

No -- operates on a "first come, first served" basis. Be early during peak usage periods i.e. Christmas/New Year, Easter, Public and School Holidays.

Cost

Free.

Location

At the far northern end of Walhalla township.

Chinese Gardens

Although not yet operational, this area, which was the location of original vegetable gardens operated by Chinese immigrants during Walhalla's late nineteenth and early twentieth century gold boom, has been earmarked for development of serviced camping sites and cabins by the Walhalla Crown Reserves Board of Management. However, due to the terrain, caravans and campervans will not be admitted.


Walhalla (notice) Board (my little joke)

Elsewhere

There are various other camping spots, some more scenic than others, throughout Walhalla and the surrounding district.

The Walhalla General Store can cater for your ice, gas, groceries, milk, bread, newspapers and take-away food needs, plus a large range of maps and books on Walhalla and the area. The adjacent Walhalla Miners Cafe is open 7 days a week for reservations.

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Can we bring our pets?


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Walhalla is a township in which, like any other, most people love domestic pets. However, also like in any other township, all relevant state and local government laws apply, including those regarding the control of dogs, as outlined in the Department of Primary Industries' "Code of Practice for the Private Keeping of Dogs (Victoria)", which says, among many other things, that "Dogs should be kept on a leash at all times in public areas unless in an off-leash area at which times they should be under the effective control of the owner or carer."

This means that dogs must be restrained at all times except in designated "no leash" areas -- none of which have been proclaimed in Walhalla.

Savage brutes (10931 bytes)

Therefore, dogs are permitted in the township, including in the picnic grounds that are commonly used as camping areas, provided they are effectively restrained.

In practice, some dog owners do permit their animals to roam throughout Walhalla unrestrained, but this is a very risky proposition. Just like in any other township, stray dogs in Walhalla can be impounded. Also, dogs have their own views about when they might need to fight one another, and yours might not always be the biggest or most aggressive in the encounter. Or even worse, it might -- and you'll be exposed to the threat of legal action for consequential damages as a result. Depending on the damage it does, you could even end up being obliged to have your beloved pet put down.

So while there are no restrictions to prevent you from bringing your dog to Walhalla, you should restrain it in a responsible manner. Council rangers in the bush are possibly quite a bit less tolerant of strays than they are in the city, because of the threat they represent to livestock and wildlife, and for that reason, it's also not all that uncommon to see "I Shoot Ferals" as the bumper sticker of choice.

And if you're the sort of person whose dog tells you that it simply prefers being free to roam without the restrictions of a leash -- well, you might like to really think hard about the implications of that sort of a "conversation". Really hard.

Remember, there are many, more tempting attractions in the bush for a dog that's off the lead than there are in town, and these unfortunately sometimes include poison baits that have been legitimately laid in order to control vermin, so if your dog goes missing, sadly, you needn't always expect it to be coming back.

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I don't really feel like roughing it ...



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That's just fine, and we can cater for that, too. One benefit of the progress that has taken place since the nineteenth century is that hardship is no longer compulsory in Walhalla.


If you're interested in spending a night or more in or near Walhalla, the following local and regional establishments cater for those who are looking for an opportunity to get away from it all and relax in the mountains, while still retaining some degree of comfort. Facilities will naturally vary, depending on your budget, but you might consider some of the following sites in Walhalla or the vicinity:




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Manns Cottage behind the shops (8.42Kbytes)



Manns Cottage A re-constructed, cosy old cottage nestled into the hillside behind the Corner Store, in the heart of Walhalla. From here it's only a short walk to all of the attractions in town.

Pleasant views, fully self-contained centrally-located cottage that sleeps up to 5 people, with wood & oil heating, Fresh tank water & double electric blanket. Radio & DVD player provided.

No television or mobile telephone reception available here (guaranteed!), just perfect for getting away from all of the hassles & stress of work. For bookings, please phone 5165 3348.


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Creek Cottage

Creek Cottage, behind the Mechanics Institute

Creek Cottage is centrally located just 50 metres from the Post Office, in the middle of Walhalla's main street. Rooms are newly furnished and include kitchen facilities, a microwave oven and full-size fridge. Tea and coffee are supplied, and a DVD player is provided -- but BYO DVD's.

For bookings, fees, terms and conditions, see the website.



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MillHouse B'n'B (8.42Kbytes)

Walhalla Mill House Quaint country cottage accommodation in the heart of Walhalla. Fully self-contained and serviced, with microwave oven and electric blankets. Sleeps up to 5 people (no pets). - For bookings, contact Scott Gallop ph (03) 5165 6245, or 0427 070 463, or via email.


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Jacomb's Cottage

Enjoy a quiet getaway at Jacomb's Cottage

Jacomb's Cottage, 150 Main Road, Walhalla. Charming old-style cottage located on the Left Hand Branch of Stringer's Creek. Reservations can be requested by phoning Kath or Darrin Taylor in Walhalla on (03)5165 6237, or by contacting them via email.

Jacomb's is a charming old style cottage that replicates one of the outbuildings of the former Criterion Hotel built on this site at the height of the town's gold-mining boom. Jacomb's is a cosy, self-contained and self-catered cottage featuring rich, warm-toned floorboards, an open fire-place in the living room and electric heating throughout to provide plenty of warmth and atmosphere. The bedroom has a queen-sized bed, an electric blanket and plenty of warm blankets. The sofa in the living room converts to a double bed for 2 extra guests if required. All linen and towels are provided. The kitchen and dining area is fully equipped with crockery, cutlery, fridge, two-plate electric stove/griller, microwave, wood fuel stove, wooden kitchen table and chairs.

No pets or smoking are permitted in the cottage.


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Windsor House B'n'B (22.3Kbytes)

Windsor House Walhalla's original accommodation, established in 1878.

Windsor House has been restored to offer a fantastic experience in the heart of Walhalla. "Sleep in History" and enjoy a boutique hotel experience. A limit of only five guest rooms makes Windsor House more like a small country inn than a B'n'B, where you can relax in style with deep leather lounges and open fires. For bookings and enquiries contact your hosts, Darrin and Kath Taylor, in Walhalla on (03) 5165 6237; alternatively, contact them via email.


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Walhalla's Star Hotel

Star Hotel The perfect place to unwind and enjoy the stunning mountain scenery and the golden past of Walhalla's historic township. Relax in stylish suite accommodation with all modern amenities. Located in the heart of town directly opposite the famous band rotunda. For enquiries, contact your host, Michael Leaney on (03) 5165 6262 or by fax on (03) 5165 6261, or send an email..



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Walhalla Log Cabin

The Walhalla Log Cabin

The Walhalla Log Cabin is situated overlooking the Walhalla Goldfields Railway Station. It accommodates up to four people and features an open stone fireplace, double brass bed and full kitchen and bathroom amenities. This unique log cabin experience is your perfect base to explore Walhalla and the surrounding area.

Best of all, it's the only pet friendly accommodation in Walhalla -- yes, your pets are welcome inside!

Enquiries and bookings can be made to Scott Gallop on (03) 5165 6245, by mobile on 0427 070 463, or via email.



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The old Coach House

The Coach House

The Coach House, Happy Go Lucky Rd., Walhalla, is a 2-storey, 3-bedroom family holiday home located above Stringer's Creek behind Walhalla's Railway Station, providing affordable family or small group accommodation. It is private and secluded, yet only a short walk to the centre of town. The Coach House features a very comfortable lounge and dining suite, an extremely efficient wood heater, a pool table and a well stocked games cupboard plus plenty of books and puzzles for kids and adults.

Downstairs is a kitchen/dining room with a 4 burner gas cook-top and dining table. The bathroom features a deep bathtub and separate shower and there is a separate toilet. There is also a second lounge room with a fold out couch and views of the historic railway line. Polished timber floors and Middle Eastern carpets add to the ambience of this unique property. We now also have solar electricity, lighting, gas heating and oven, stove and fridge. There is a phone available for local and emergency calls only.

There is ample parking, a gas BBQ and outdoor furniture for guests. Check-in time is 2 pm, check-out time is noon. BYO bed-linen, but NO pets, and no smoking indoors.

Contact Anna Krohn on (03) 9531 6600 or mobile 0419 732 427 or via an email.


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Brewery Creek Cottage

Brewery Creek Cottage

Brewery Creek Cottage is a cosy, romantic cottage decorated in old world charm. Situated at the foot of the pathway to Walhalla's unique hillside cemetery, the cottage offers fully self-contained overnight or weekend self-catered luxury accommodation with all modern conveniences, sleeping as many as four adults.

Features include a timber spiral staircase and 4-poster bed, with quality linen, towels and electric blankets provided, as are a gas barbecue, CD and DVD player, TV, wood fire and remote-controlled reverse cycle heating and cooling.

Brewery Creek Cottage is an easy walk from most of Walhalla's historical attractions, and only a short stroll from the local hotel and shops. Late checkout is available for guests booking a minimum 2 nights stay. We regret to advise that the cottage is not suitable for children or pets.

Enquiries may be made to Kath Taylor by email or by phone to (03) 5165 6237.


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Wild Cherry Cottages (49014 bytes)

Dine with the wildlife at Wild Cherry Cottages

Wild Cherry Cottages B & B, Church Hill Road, Walhalla. Motel style double rooms with en-suites. Great views among the trees and wildlife. Full cooked breakfast. Your host is Scott Gallop ph (03) 5165 6245, mobile 0427 070 463, or via email.



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Rawson Village Scenic Resort and Convention Centre is set on 15 acres of bushland and garden, and is a pleasant site for conventions, weddings or other group activities, as well as an ideal base for exploring the Walhalla and Mountain Rivers Region. ph 5165 3200



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Back down on the highway, Yarragon Villas have two-storey, one-bedroom villas set in a cottage-style garden in the heart of Yarragon Village, each providing a spa bath, wood fire, television, video, air conditioning and stereo sound system, as well as a hearty do-it-yourself breakfast.

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Main street, Moe (15.4Kb)

Situated in Central Gippsland's Latrobe Valley between the Baw Baw Ranges to the north and the Strzelecki Ranges to the south, and with a history of its own dating back to settlement in 1846, Moe is a convenient centre for day trips to Walhalla, to nearby snowfields, beaches, rivers, Blue Rock Dam, Moondarra Reservoir, Thomson Valley Dam and Lake Narracan. Scenic lookouts offer views over the power stations of the Latrobe Valley. Several motels, B and B's and a modern caravan park provide a handy base for longer visits.

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Are there ghosts in Walhalla?


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If you believe in ghosts, Walhalla's probably a pretty good place to look for them!

By the middle of the twentieth century, it became fashionable to describe Walhalla as a "ghost town", but people who used the term really just meant that it was not as big and busy as it once had been. A true "ghost town" would have become completely unpopulated, as most of Walhalla's "suburbs" indeed did, but that never really happened to Walhalla proper, although it came perilously close.

Walhalla's days as a "ghost town" are now well and truly in the past, because not only does it seem to have survived its lowest ebb, it is now growing again from year to year as increasing numbers of visitors find out about its attractions.

Of course, there's always the odd strange happening, and we're more than happy to take you on a conducted tour of some of Walhalla's more popular "haunts", but as far as we know, none of the residents or visitors has recently reported having their sleep constantly disturbed by mysterious moans or rattling chains scraping across bare floorboards in the dead of night.

You might be luckier!

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How can we find out about great-great-uncle Fred?


Home Walhalla's underground wealth ensured that it quickly became a relatively large provincial centre in what was then quite an under-populated, small, new, late 19th-century state. (With the gold rush waning, by the time gold was discovered in Stringer's Creek in December, 1862, Victoria's total population was only 555,100.) As a result, after its equally dramatic decline in the early 20th century, lots of people, scattered all over Australia and throughout the world, sometimes in the most unexpected places, are able to claim that they are descended from the town's original settlers.

Lots of people. And understandably, many of them want to know about their forebears.

There are not very many of us here in Walhalla.

Not all of us are available (or inclined) to help to answer such questions. The work of those who do is entirely voluntary. (Can you see where this is heading?)

If you have a clear idea of what you're looking for, feel free to contact us and we may be able to arrange a suitable time for you to come to Walhalla and do some of your own -- supervised -- research in our archives. Alternatively, we can do it for you, but understand that any such research will necessarily be done at our own pace, and for a fee.

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What became of Walhalla's Water Wheels?


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If you'd read our magazine in February, 2001, you'd know all about them by now, including Warne's water wheel and others. You would have been particularly impressed by the story of how Charlie Wykes transported one of those large water wheels more than a hundred miles from Port Albert behind a bullock dray.

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Walhalla Mechanics Institute


Walhalla Mechanics Institute

Walhalla's Mechanics Institute in the centre of town


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Can I book the hall?

How much does it cost?

What facilities are provided?

Does it offer any facilities for the handicapped?


For full details, you should direct your inquiry to the Walhalla Crown Reserves Board of Management, who manage this property.

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Walhalla Mountaineer Brass Band Rotunda


Mountaineer Brass Band Rotunda


Walhalla's historic Mountaineer Brass Band rotunda
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Can I book the Rotunda?

How much does it cost?

Does it offer any facilities for the handicapped?


For full details, you should direct your inquiry to the Walhalla Crown Reserves Board of Management, who manage this property.

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Can you do my homework for me? (PLEASE!?)   (It's due in like tomorrow!)


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No.




Not even if it's not due in tomorrow.

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(... and just in case you're looking for a loophole in the fine print, the answer's still "No" down here ...)

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What's the world coming to?
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Mate, I wish I knew! Matter of fact, I was kind of hoping you might know ...





(OK, OK -- maybe it doesn't have anything to do with Walhalla -- but it's pretty frequently asked, all the same!)

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