We couldnt resist the temptation getting awfully rich finding gold in the promised goldlands. This being all crap of course still led us on our journey to Walhalla.
Walhalla means Heaven for the gods in ancient mythology and this actually describes the town pretty well. The trip to Walhalla first takes us to Traralgon then onward to Morwell and Moe, where we get off the freeway and after driving right through the city Moe, the streets turned into roads and the roads turned into winding roads.
After about half an hour we arrived in a small town called Erica. We had a cuppa in the general store and enjoyed the quiet and peacefulness of the area. When we resumed our journey, we found ourselves in the middle of the Australian bush and everywhere we looked there were these enormously huge trees and the thing that made it so pretty was that they are all standing up perfectly straight. I saw the biggest wild ferns I ever seen in my whole life while the road got tighter and tighter.
Then next to a bridge a strain station appears, but we were just half way! The trainstation is part of the old train line that came all the way up to the town Walhalla but now its the end station of the Walhalla Goldfields Railway Line and volunteerworkers are still trying to get the track all the way back up again. Then the thickness of the bush gets a little less and we see some houses. We made it to heaven of the gods. Altough the area was extremely pretty we looked at eachother and couldnt believe this was it, just a few houses, a hotel, some shops and of course a pub and that was all of Walhalla.
When we parked the car and read the tourist information we learned that this town once had a population of around 2000 people but nowadays only 19! The town is situated in a small idyllic valley, with a cluster of historic buildings and old miners cottages scattered around and set into the hillsides. Stringers Creek runs through the centre of the town, winding through a steep and narrow cutting, and crumbling stone walls line the streets. You can follow a trail past old mine shafts in Walhalla and see all the historical buildings and monuments, like the fire station, the hospital, the old bank fault which once stored millions in gold and the old church.
All the mines in Walhalla are closed now but they think there is still plenty of gold to be found so there are plans to open up new mining projects in the near future. Hopefully the small Walhalla wont change because of that, because this is defenatly heaven for the gods and walking around makes you feel like a god yourself. We enjoyed lunch with pies and sausage rolls and began on our journey back.
We drove down to Tyres and then went towards Traralgon. This route went through even thicker bush and we had a bunch of great photo shoot opportunities. Then suddenly the bush ends and we find ourselves on the hills overlooking the Latrobe Valley. We could see the two power stations where the valley is famous for and the open coalmine where the coal to burn in the powerstations is extracted from. The cities, Traralgon, Morwel and Moe, the Princess highway going to Melbourne and the hills on the other side of the Valley. This really made a great picture.
Our day ended with dinner and pokies in Traralgon before we headed back to Heyfield without the gold we hoped for but with the golden memories of heaven of the gods.
Sorry for the boring text-only report, the pictures will be
added as soon as I find a way to get them scanned and on to this computer.
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Arjen (c) 2000.