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Walhalla, Victoria

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Once one of Australia's richest towns and home to over 4000 gold seekers, the sleepy mountainside township of Walhalla is now frozen in time and is home to only 20 residents. Walk through the lovingly restored centre with its heritage buildings, try your hand at panning for gold or take a tour of the surrounding area. Following the discovery of one of the largest gold reefs ever found in Australia in 1863 at Cohen's Reef, Walhalla experienced a typical gold rush boom. The profitable Long Tunnel Mine operated between 1865 and 1914. Today visitors can explore the mine and pan for elusive gold, or take a ride on the restored Walhalla Goldfields Railway, the Walhalla Transport Co horse and carriage, or the exciting Copper Mine Adventure four-wheel drive tour. During most of the 20th century Walhalla was virtually frozen in time; electricity was only connected in 1998. After nearly becoming a ghost town, many of its buildings and services have been restored to offer historic attractions and a range of accommodation, tours, shops and eateries. A signposted walk traces the history of Walhalla, taking in the Corner Store and Museum, the Old Fire Station, the Mountaineer Brass Band Rotunda, the Mechanics Institute, the Bank Vault, the local Post and Telegraph Office, St Johns Church and the hillside cemetery with its vertical graves. Walhalla is surrounded by stunning alpine wilderness, perfect for horse riding, climbing or hiking. Try your luck fishing in a clear mountain stream or explore the scenic trails along the Thomson River. Go cross-country or downhill skiing on the slopes at nearby Mt St Gwinear or Mt Baw Baw. Walhalla is 182 kilometres east of Melbourne and is 45 kilometres north of Traralgon and Moe via a sealed road.

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