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.
It 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.
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.
There 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.
This 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.