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Weekend Wanderings – Walhalla

Just over 20 years ago I got my first SLR camera, a Pentax K1000 and loaded with black and film I started going around to different places to take photos and one of those places was Walhalla.

Walhalla, founded in 1863, is an old gold mining town in Victoria, and is East of Melbourne.  It was once a thriving town with over 2,500 people, and the valley it sits in was filled and overflowing over the nearby hills.  It must have been an amazing place just over 100 years ago. If you visit now it is a very quiet town, well if you go during the week there aren’t many around, and you might run into one of the 17 residents that still live there.

LeanneCole-walhalla-20140521-9098It is a very pretty town and when I decided that I would go back after all these years, I thought Autumn would be the perfect time.  I had spoken to someone there that said autumn was gorgeous there and I could see that it probably was, but while it was late in coming to the city, it was almost over in Walhalla.  There were still some leaves around and I managed to get some photos of them.

LeanneCole-walhalla-20140521-8758

Any town that had gold has to have a stream or river or something running through it, doesn’t it?  This is one of the first things we saw when we arrived and we stopped to take lots of photos.  It was like lots of little waterfalls everywhere and I really liked the autumn leaves in the background.

LeanneCole-walhalla-20140521-8932There aren’t a lot of shops there, not now, but the there are some treasures to look in.  We found this very old cash register, still in pounds and shillings.  We took lots of photos of this.

The birds there were amazing.  There were so many King Parrots and a couple of Rosellas.  The man in the lolly shop had special seed for wild birds and he fed them for us so we could take some photos of them.  I also found out that the King Parrots with the red heads are the males and the green heads are the females.  They were funny birds.  The Rosella is a Crimson rosella, according to Google Images.

LeanneCole-walhalla-20140521-9042This was a total surprise, the public phone box, I didn’t think any of these old red phone booths were still around.  The phone still works in it.  The building down the road on the left is or was the post office. According the man that runs and owns the general store the phone booth had a rounded top on it and something happened to it, which was from the 50’s and then it was replaced with this one, one from the 30’s.  It gives the box a very Chinese feel to it.

Walhalla is a lovely place to visit, quite different to when I was there 20 years ago, it has been cleaned up a lot, I think.  The other difference is that when I first went there the town had no electricty, but it had supply connected to it in 1998, the last town in mainland Australia.  It is a great place to go and get photos, although if I was going to go back I think I might spend the night there and so I could get some late afternoon shots and then some early morning shots.  During the week would be a great time, it is very quiet and you wouldn’t have to worry too much about other people.  If you plan on eating there then Wednesday to Monday the Wally Pub is open, we had lunch there and it was really nice.

There is a train there too that still operates, but it is only in operation on the weekends and on Wednesdays.  We had planned on going on the train, but we were a bit tired, it is a long trip from Melbourne, two and half to three hours.  It is doable as a day trip, but I think it would be better to stay over night if you can.  There are places to stay and if you contact their information website you can get the information you need.

I have more photos for you now, I will just pop them into a gallery.

118 Comments
  1. Leanne, This is a marvelous post. Great story, great history, and magnificent photos. Thank you. Jeff

    May 24, 2014
    • Thank you Jeff, it is all those things, great place for photos.

      May 24, 2014
  2. Such a beautiful town Leanne! Would love to see it.

    May 24, 2014
    • It is John, you will just have to come and visit Australia. Thanks

      May 24, 2014
  3. I love the birds on the roof.

    May 24, 2014
    • They were pretty incredible, and every time I looked up, there were more.

      May 24, 2014
  4. I like this theme. Very clean.

    May 24, 2014
    • Thank you, it is very clean, very minimal too.

      May 24, 2014
  5. Hey Leanne .. Fabulous pics as usual. The birds are glorious. What a lovely spot 🙂

    May 24, 2014
    • Thank you Julie, it is a great spot and so picture perfect too and the best part is it doesn’t cost anything to go there. 🙂

      May 24, 2014
  6. Beautiful images to refresh my 22 year old memories of Walhalla! We only spent a couple of hours there, on our way elsewhere but it was very quaint and picturesque. Looks like they have made it even better, or maybe that is just your excellent photography! Love those Rosellas! Thank you Leanne.

    May 24, 2014
    • I think they have made it even better Ardy, it wasn’t as well kept when I was there 20 years ago, it all looks very tidy now, perfect for taking photos. The rosellas were great, they really catch your eye. Thanks Ardy, hope it brings back nice memories, we were only there for a couple of hours too.

      May 24, 2014
  7. Bob #

    Looks like a nice place to visit and spend a couple of days.

    May 24, 2014
    • I think it would be great to stay a couple of days Bob, though if you want good photo opportunities, go during the week. Thanks Bob.

      May 24, 2014
  8. wonderful wanderings, a bit of paradise!

    May 24, 2014
    • A great way of putting it Cybele, thank you.

      May 24, 2014
  9. Beth Johnson #

    Lovely memories!

    History reminds us of our past, while the present gives new hopes–new ideas.

    May 24, 2014
    • That is fantastic Beth, love it, thank you.

      May 24, 2014
  10. What a gorgeous old town. Sometimes the best treasures are found in places like this, and your photos are lovely. You will have to go back earlier next year Leanne.

    May 24, 2014
    • Haven’t you been there Carol? I thought for sure it would be one of the places you had visited, you will have to put it on your list, I think you will love it. Yes, earlier and I think we might see if we can stay one or two nights and really do some exploring, though no internet could be an issue, haha.

      May 24, 2014
      • No, although we may well have driven through or past on our way to another place. Is it on the way to Bairnsdale?

        May 24, 2014
      • It really isn’t a place you drive through Carol, more one you make a detour too.

        May 24, 2014
      • I will look out for it next time we are driving through Victoria.

        May 24, 2014
      • Oh yes do, you will love it.

        May 24, 2014
  11. It would be well worth a visit if iIcould afford the fare.

    May 24, 2014
    • Oh yes, if you came here it would be a great place to visit. Thanks.

      May 24, 2014
  12. Really interesting – glad you named the colourful birds I can see why you would want to spend the night there. Just love the water pictures so well composed

    May 24, 2014
    • Thanks Diana, I have learned to find out the names when I can, people do want to know. It would be a great place to stay and just wander around for a day or so. Thank you.

      May 24, 2014
  13. Wow, these are great!

    May 24, 2014
  14. What a quaint little town. Your shots are amazing and it was quite a score to find the red telephone box. The last time I saw one of those was on the Zig Zag Railway line in the Blue Mountains.

    May 24, 2014
    • Thank you Suz, I love the red phone box too, couldn’t believe it was still there. I hear they are around, but there aren’t many.

      May 24, 2014
      • We have a red phone box in the heritage museum in town. I wish they were still around in the cities though.

        May 25, 2014
      • I wish they were too, it was nice to see one in a street with a working phone in it. I wonder how they managed to hang onto it. Thanks Suz.

        May 25, 2014
      • Too far for vandals to travel?

        May 26, 2014
      • I think you could be right about that.

        May 26, 2014
  15. What a trip down memory lane. My parents used to take us there about once a year back in early 70’s. Not much has changed.
    I remember sitting with my feet in the river thinking it was the most perfect place I’d ever been.

    May 24, 2014
    • I wonder what you would think of the place now Christina. I think it has changed since I was there 20 years ago. You will have to go back, I think they have cleaned it up a lot.

      May 24, 2014
  16. Looks like a beautiful place!

    May 24, 2014
    • It is a very beautiful, peaceful place. It is quite quiet too.

      May 24, 2014
  17. Iv never been to Australia and though I know there is lush places I have never seen them in photographs. Thank you

    May 24, 2014
    • There are many lush places here, especially in Victoria and Tasmania. I am glad you enjoy the photos. Thank you.

      May 24, 2014
  18. Stunning images and wonderful place! I’m going to google earth to see how it relates to the rest of australia. It’s amazing how much this town reminds me of some of the California Gold Rush towns.

    May 24, 2014
    • Oh yes, do the google earth, it is tucked away in the mountains. I think most gold mining towns have lots of similarities, probably because the people who went to them all came from the same sorts of places.

      May 24, 2014
      • I saw it and you. I honestly didn’t even know where Melbourne is. How bad is that??? Now I have an idea of how things relate to each other. Lots of trees in the gold mining area.

        May 25, 2014
      • That is great, we are right down the bottom of Australia, we are a long way down under, almost totally under. Yes, lots and lots of trees.

        May 25, 2014
      • Almost totally under lol.

        May 25, 2014
      • LOL, yep we are, depends on the time of the year, haha.

        May 25, 2014
      • 🙂

        May 25, 2014
  19. Leanne, beautiful post!!! And I love your new look as well! Thank you! xx Amy

    May 24, 2014
    • Thank you Amy, I’m undecided about the new look, but will stick with it for a week or so, see if it grows on my.

      May 24, 2014
      • It is such a drastic difference from your other look. You are wise to wait to see if it still resonates with you in a week or so. xx

        May 25, 2014
      • It is Amy, but I think in the long run it will be worth it, so many people have said how much they like it, and the big thing is the white background, people like reading from a white background it seems.

        May 25, 2014
  20. It does look like a pretty place, I’ve not been to that part of the state enough. Like your new theme 🙂

    May 24, 2014
    • Thank you Lisa, I don’t go to that part enough either, it really is gorgeous county up there. 🙂

      May 24, 2014
  21. Great story of the city and wonderful photos! The birds were favorites!

    May 24, 2014
    • Thank you Tiny, the birds were great, I thought they needed a gallery of their own.

      May 24, 2014
  22. Bart_B #

    Leanne first of all wonderful writeup, and putting all together with your photojournalistic point of view makes me want to book a flight…

    May 24, 2014
    • Thank you so much Bart, I appreciate that, and even more so for the last part, I feel I have done a good job when people say things like that.

      May 24, 2014
  23. I agree with John, so beautiful!

    May 24, 2014
  24. Wonderful photos! It looks like a fascinating place to visit with a photo waiting around every corner.

    May 24, 2014
    • It is a great place. I think it would be great to more time there and really get to see it. Must be amazing first thing in the morning.Thank you.

      May 24, 2014
  25. Osea pajaros por todo el lado! chaufa!!

    May 24, 2014
  26. Besides being a great post, Leanne, I love the new look of the blog. It’s fresh and clean and so readable. And compliments your website, which I had a look at yesterday. Kudos!

    May 24, 2014
    • Thank you so much Elen, it is so stressful changing themes, I don’t want to lose anyone, but it seems this has been a good choice and people find it much easier to read, which has to be good.

      May 24, 2014
  27. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez #

    Oh yes, this is much better than the black screen. I find it’s easier on my eyes to read as well. ❤

    May 24, 2014
    • That is fantastic Jackie, I am glad I did it now.

      May 24, 2014
  28. Also, Leanne. You must tell me what you think of Blog Lovin’ as I have been considering it. Thank you.

    May 24, 2014
    • I’ve been on it for a while, and I do get some hits from it, not a lot but some. I don’t know about a lot of the blogs on it, they seem so different to mine. I say try it and see what happens. It doesn’t cost anything and once it is set up, it requires nothing from you really.

      May 24, 2014
  29. Mining towns are such great places to shoot. Artifacts, scenery, buildings and stories. Loved that you shared so many photos. Most of the old mining camps I get to shoot are in the middle of the desert; no water, vultures for birds and snakes for wildlife. It’s really cool to see such a lush environment and well keep town. Oh – I must say “hurray” for the k1000. Do you still have it?

    May 24, 2014
    • We didn’t do enough exploring, I have to admit, I don’t either of us were really in the mood once we got there. I think it would be a lot better to go back another time and spend more time, at a leisurely pace, which is what I would like to do. Most of our gold mining towns are in fairly populated areas. I wouldn’t like yours. No I don’t still have it. I sold it a few years ago, sometimes I wish I still had it, but then again, don’t think I would want to shoot film anyway. Thank you.

      May 24, 2014
  30. Reblogged this on Disconnected Landscapes.

    May 24, 2014
  31. Great post and images Leanne……it does look like a very pretty place in Autumn and I love the Parrots 😊

    May 24, 2014
    • Thank you Mark, it is a great place to visit, the birds were incredible, we watched them for such a long time.

      May 24, 2014
  32. The gorgeous birds! The cash register and old phone booth. I thoroughly enjoyed this whole journey to Walhalla.

    And I do like your new theme. Your pictures show up better, in my opinion. I have had a little trouble finding where the “Comments” are, though, and have been missing it until now. But, here I am and I’ll be back!

    May 24, 2014
    • The birds were amazing, I was just saying we watched them for so long. That is great, I am so glad. Should I call you J, I feel bad not saying a name or something.
      That is wonderful, I am so glad people have been so positive about it, now that I have my sidebar on the left I couldn’t be happier. I am glad you found the comment thing, the button is under the date isn’t it? A very odd place, unfortunately not much I can do about that. I am glad you are here too and thank you so very much.

      May 24, 2014
  33. If you still have old b/w photos of this place it’d be awesome if you could share them

    May 24, 2014
    • I was thinking of doing that, but they are all negatives, so will have to drag them out, though if I remember correctly, they weren’t very interesting, it was at the very start of my photography exploration.

      May 24, 2014
  34. Reblogged this on dunjav.

    May 24, 2014
  35. As per usual, love your Weekend Wanderings. Love the first shot in the gallery where the sun is peeking through the trees. You’re right about the phone box looking Chinese…it’s red and looks a bit like a temple. It looks very wet there in Walhalla…I initially thought that it would be a rather dry town that doesn’t get much rain. Hope teaching has been great this weekend. This weekend is going by way too fast.

    May 24, 2014
    • Thank you Mabel, we had to stop and take photos of that, it was so lovely, we were seeing that sort of thing all along as we drove up there. Walhalla is up in the mountains, so, yes it does get wet there. It was nice teaching this weekend. my daughter was a great model for the class, and the fact that she has been my model for so many years helped, I think she enjoyed it too. It is going fast, nice though.

      May 24, 2014
  36. What a nice unspoilt place!

    May 24, 2014
  37. Absolutely beautiful! Such a gorgeous post.

    May 24, 2014
    • Thank you so much, it was a gorgeous spot and a great place for photos.

      May 24, 2014
  38. Wonderful old photos, Leanne. Do you know, we also have a place called Walhalla here in Germany in the state of Bavaria? I was there a few years ago and you reminded me to that trip. I just searched through my blog archive and found no post on that. So, I need to catch up with it.

    May 24, 2014
  39. Holy cow, those photos are so vivid. Gorgeous.

    May 25, 2014
    • That is great, thank you, I like vivid.

      May 25, 2014
  40. elmediat #

    Beautiful sequence. No doubt the phone booth is a TARDIS in disguise. 🙂
    Thanks for supporting my blog. It is much appreciated.

    May 25, 2014
    • You know, I should have done inside it, and looked, who knows 😉
      You’re welcome, thanks for supporting mine.

      May 25, 2014
  41. Wow, Leanne, these are gorgeous and historic photos. Love them.

    May 25, 2014
    • Thank you Nia, such a pretty town, you will have to come back one day and spend more than a couple of days, I could take you to some amazing places, but we’ll do New York first.

      May 25, 2014
  42. Thank you so much Leanne.I feel that I have been on an amazing trip, thanks to you! What an intriguing place; almost not real, with those birds and the incredible phone box! It looks as though it is straight out of Dr Who! (Do you know that t.v show)?
    Your shots of the water and trees are fabulous.
    Thank you.
    Karen

    May 25, 2014
    • It was my pleasure Karen, I am so glad you enjoyed it. I know what you mean about almost not being real. Oh yeah, yep, I know Dr Who we are big fans here. I thought the same thing when I saw it.
      Thank you so much Karen.

      May 25, 2014
  43. Beautiful birds! Some birds are just full of so much beauty! 🙂

    May 25, 2014
    • They were beautiful and not afraid of people at all. We have lots of colourful birds in Australia. 🙂

      May 25, 2014
  44. Great place, great story, and some beautiful images Leanne. I especially like the first one in the gallery, would love to be able to capture the same some day. 🙂

    May 25, 2014
    • Thank you, it was surprisingly easy to get actually, I was really surprised. 🙂

      May 25, 2014
  45. ladymaggic #

    Reblogged this on Sunrise…Travel Talk with Maggi and commented:
    Walhalla…..

    May 25, 2014
  46. poppytump #

    So fantastic to return to a place and not find it ruined or a disappointment Leanne .
    It does look very lovely in Autumn colours . And now you’ve reminded me I want to find some WATERFALLS 🙂 … Ah the Lady Baths (?) you photographed comes to mind now too Lol

    May 25, 2014
    • That is so true Poppytump, it is nice when that happens.
      You will have to go out and find some of those waterfalls. I look forward to seeing the shots. Thanks Poppytump. 🙂

      May 25, 2014
  47. After watching “Rio” I’m an absolute fan of parrots;) So I loved these shots!

    May 25, 2014
    • Lots and lots of parrots, that’s great that you loved them. Thanks.

      May 25, 2014
  48. Lee #

    Wow! What a beautiful area and great photography of it.

    May 26, 2014
    • It is Lee, really beautiful. thank you.

      May 26, 2014
  49. I love the cash register! Very memorable.

    May 28, 2014
    • It would be nice to spend more time with it, a tripod and macro lens. Thanks Michael.

      May 28, 2014
  50. Jen #

    Leanne, this is stunning and really marvellous! I’ve actually heard of Walhalla, so to see it is quite fun, and of course we all know we can trust your sight. 😉 The colours are so vibrant! I really like your shots of the seedheads (or grass seedheads?) and that solitary tree standing at the edge of the wood, as well as the light streaming through the trees. Just too much beauty for one post, very fine work!

    May 28, 2014
    • That’s amazing that you have heard of it Jen, most people I know have never heard of it. It is so small. Thank you so much Jen, it was very pretty the day we went. I’m glad you trust my sight, haha, you know I wear glasses.

      May 28, 2014
  51. So many places still to visit the next time we visit Aus. Shame it won’t be for a year or two.

    May 29, 2014
    • I am glad I am helping you by showing you new places Stevie. I’m sure there are plenty more to see yet.

      May 29, 2014

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