Location: 182 km east of Melbourne 48 km north of Moe and Traralgon.
A steep-sided, near idyllic mountain valley hides GippsIands most evocative and authentic historic town. The beautiful drive through dense mountain country to reach the hamlet makes it even more rewarding. In 1862 Edward Stringer found gold in the fast flowing creek, but it was the discovery of Cohens Reef - almost 2 miles long - that put the area on the map. Walhallas Long Tunnel Mine operated between 1865 and 1914 and was Victorias most profitable single mine. Its tiny population today belies the fact that 4,000 people lived in and around Walhalla during its peak years of 1885 - 1910. A fire in 1888 and a severe flood were just some of the hardships the pioneers had to endure. The old bakery (1860) is the oldest surviving building, but the museum, Spetts Cottage, the band rotunda Mechanics Institute and Windsor House also provides vivid memories of its heyday. Electricity has only recently been connected to this town, where a cluster of cottages cling to a hillside so steep that some of the cemetery graves were cut lengthways into the slope.
THINGS TO DO :
Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine ~ Take a guided tour deep underground to see the original workings of the Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine (LTEM), one of Walhallas richest mines. The mine was started as the Hercules United Gold Co. in 1863, but when this mine failed, it was taken over by the Long Tunnel Extended Company in 1871. It was simply fate that when the Hercules Mine hit Cohens Reef (the main gold-bearing reef in Walhalla) they turned left and found nothing. When the mine was taken over by the LTEM they turned right at Cohens Reef and hit extensive reserves of gold. A total of 13,695kg of gold was removed before the mine closed in 1911 when the operation became uneconomic. Today you can visit the mine and see the Regular tours of the underground workings are conducted and take 45-50 minutes to complete.