Our top pick this weekend for our Sunday road trip was Walhalla. This is one of Victoria’s hidden gems, perfect for a day trip, or as we have discovered, a sneaky girls night away, sans electronic devices, with good food, great wine, and a whole lotta fun!
Walhalla was founded as a small gold mining town in 1863, and surprisingly was only added to the electricity grid in 1998. There is no mobile reception, only one TV, and no internet. It sits around 2 hours east of Melbourne, and the gorgeous picturesque drive out there is without a doubt a holiday for your soul.
The first time I ever ventured out to Walhalla, a few years back, I found it quite confronting, as its sleepy town centre is cut into a steep valley. Only one way in, and one way out, it does have a strange almost ‘closed in’ feeling. This is soon replaced by postcard perfect scenery – complete with a bubbling little creek, quaint little buildings, and uber friendly locals.
In fact, when we were walking back towards town, we heard a faint sound of bagpipes, and upon closer inspection, saw a man dressed in traditioinal Scottish attire standing atop an old mining outcrop playing the bagpipes. We asked one of the locals, and he told us that this man lived in Walhalla, and when the mood struck, he just walked up to the top of the hill, and began playing. Surreal experience….
The town has lovely B&B’s, a Hotel, Post Office, and an array of sweet little stores. One of their more well known attractions is their Public Cemetery. This has to be one of the eeriest, and most heartbreaking cemeteries around. The headstones tell stories of war heroes, mining accidents, and show the resting places of mothers, fathers, husbands, wives and even children. We have been told that there are a few pioneers who are buried verticlly, to save on space, as the cemetery is situated on the side of a steep hill.
There is also rumour that one of the graves is cursed… shhh we wont tell which one…… Yikes!
This truly is an amazing little place, steeped in history, and adventure. Accomodation can be found on the Visit Walhalla website, and we throughly recommend a little drive out there to soak up the history, and atmosphere, and enjoy some time exploring Walhalla, and its hidden treasures.
Walhalla even has ghost tours, its reported to be one of the most haunted towns in Victoria…. You be the judge…
And when in season, be sure to head over to the General Store & grab yourself a bag of delicious fresh chestnuts, ready to be roasted!!