The former gold-mining town of Walhalla sits frozen in time just a 2-hour drive East of Melbourne. Here’s the best things to do, adventures and short walks to explore this hidden gem and its natural surrounds.
Things To Do in Walhalla
1. Walk the Old Tramway Track (3.2km)
Appreciate a birds-eye perspective over Walhalla and discover mysterious, overgrown mine shafts. Park at the Southern end of town and walk up from the valley floor opposite the General store. Continue on the tramway right the way through to the Chinese Gardens and back through the main street for an easy 3.2-kilometre stroll.
2. Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine Tour
By torch light, disappear 300-metres into the huge underground workings of the Walhalla gold mine. Guided tours operate at 1:30PM every day of the year except Christmas and additional 12:00 noon and 3:00PM tours are allocated for weekends, school holidays and public holidays. The tour lasts 50-minutes and is valued at $50 for a family or $20 for an adult. Find more information here.
3. Visit the Walhalla Cemetery and Take a Ghost Tour
Walhalla is often referred to as a ghost town. Sceptics claim its merely the severe drop in residents that’s responsible; from 4000+ in late 1800’s to just 20 permanents today. But, locals speak of many hair-raising events and stories. A good place to start is the cliff-side cemetery in town; a short but steep walk from the public toilets just after the train station will take you there. For more, take a ghost tour of the town at night; enquire at the old post office.
4. Ride the Walhalla Goldfields Railway
Hover above Stringer’s Creek through the picturesque valley to arrive at the Thomson River. Passionate volunteers run the train service on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday each week. $50 family and $20 adult return tickets that take 60-minutes. See the timetable for departures.
5. Go 4-Wheel-Driving
Victorian High Country is a hotspot for 4WD enthusiasts. Rescue equipment on board and a decent clearance, sounds like you’re all set to explore the back roads of Walhalla. The Bruntons Bridge track is said to be good for beginners; otherwise, tackle a section of the Aberfeldy Track for something more difficult.
Day Walks Near Walhalla
1. Poverty Point Bridge
- Distance: 8.5km loop (allow 2 hours)
- Difficulty: Moderate (Suitable for most fitness levels)
- Start and finish: Thomson River Bridge
Walk 4-kilometres upstream along the Thomson River to find the Poverty Point Bridge. The bridge itself is a real spectacle stretching 48-metres across the valley, suspended over 10-metres above the river. Once there, pass across the structure and return back to the start on the opposite side.
A shorter but more difficult track (4-kilometre return) at the very end of the Steel Bridge Track can also take you there. However, you will need a 4WD and a good level of fitness.
2. Mushroom Rocks
- Distance: 4km loop (allow 1-2 hours)
- Difficulty: Moderate (Suitable for most fitness levels)
- Start and finish: Mt Erica Carpark
The start of the Mushroom Rocks walk is a good 40-minute drive from Walhalla but it’s well worth it to see huge granite rocks dotted in the Baw Baw National Park. Some of the rocks are over 10-metres tall and are covered in a thick carpet of moss. Snow also fall here during the depths of Winter turning the rocks a wonderful white.
Alpine Regions Near Walhalla
Walhalla has seen a dusting of snow in the past but you would have to be very lucky to witness it. Although, drive an hour North-West towards the Baw Baw National Park and things change a little. Mt St Gwinear and Mt Baw Baw reach over 1500m above sea level and see plenty of snow fall each Winter. They’re also epic vantage points to take in the views over the hinterland region.
Mt St Gwinear offers two toboggan runs, 12-kilometres of cross country trails and best of all, it’s free entry and free parking.
Mt Baw Baw Ski Resort is the real deal with downhill skiing and chair lifts. The runs aren’t as extensive as other resorts in Victoria but it’s a relatively affordable option at $56 per carload. Don’t forget the snow chain hire and lift pass though… it adds up quickly.
Camping in Walhalla
North Gardens Camping Area (Free)
A free, grassy site located right in the centre of town. Accessed by a bitumen road with flushing toilets and running water; it’s a campers dream. No vehicle access to dedicated grass area but small vans and motorhomes are suitable to navigate and park in the gravel car park. As always, first in best dressed. Follow directions to here.
Cooper’s Creek (Free)
A popular site on the banks of Thomson River, just a 15-minute drive from Walhalla. Coopers Creek Road is unsealed but accessible for 2WD cars and even caravans. Currently, this site is undergoing a major revamp of the facilities and is due to reopen in September 2018. Follow these directions to find the site.
Brunton’s Bridge (Free)
A river-side camping area for those looking for an isolated bush experience. Allow 30 minutes from Walhalla to reach the Brunton’s Bridge camping area via Happy Go Lucky Road. The heritage bridge is a sight to see and a dip in the Thomson River comes as a bonus but don’t set your expectations too high; it’s quite basic with drop toilets and patchy grass sites. 4WD access only – Follow these directions.
The Chinese Gardens (Paid)
Just a few hundred metres past the North Gardens is a paid campground much more suitable for motorhomes and large caravans. Visit the Walhalla Post Office for more information.
Walhalla Adventure Tips
- Coming from Melbourne, the last stop for petrol is in Moe.
- Dogs on a leash are permitted in Walhalla.
- Free Camping at Walhalla North Gardens.
- The road to Walhalla is sealed but very windy.
- Meals, coffee and basic supplies are available in Walhalla but keep in mind it’s a slow town that works on its own time.
Be sure to visit The Trail to find more hidden gems on Phillip Island.
I love filling my weekends with outdoor adventures. I spend a lot of time at Phillip Island surfing and have a dream of converting a van into a sleeper for some serious down under trips.