After the Beechworth walk didn’t muster up to expectations I decided to check out the walking potential of the Walhalla region instead. I only had one more walk to include in our soon to be published Daywalks Around Victoria and Walhalla’s historic tramwaysd seemed to tick all of the necessary boxes for possible inclusion. Just to be sure I called Andy Gillham, Senior Ranger for Baw Baw National Park. He was really helpful and indicated that the Old Steel Bridge spanning the Thomson River was to be reopened this week. This was perfect timing as the bridge had been closed since the 2009 fires and was integral to our proposed circuit.
Karen and I set off from Thomson Station on the banks of the Thomson River. It was a perfect day, hundreds of wildflowers lined the path and the river sparkled in the sunshine. Parks Victoria have done a great job maintaining the old tramway which the walk follows. We walked up to the Old Steel Bridge, crossed over and walked along the tramway around Mormon Town Spur and up Stringers Gorge to reach Walhalla in the early afternoon. Named after the glorious place where slain Vikings would go to after death, Walhalla is one of the most celebrated gold towns in Victoria. Gold was discovered here in 1863 on Stringers Creek and between 1880 and 1885 Walhalla grew to a population of more than 4000 people. At that time there were 10 hotels, 3 breweries, 7 churches and even a newspaper. I can’t imagine how this frontier town survived with almost no level spaces. We had a great lunch in the cafe attached to the Star Hotel and walked on down to Walhalla Station. We bought our tickets ($12 each) and caught the 3pm Walhalla Goldfields train back to Thomson Station and our car. The walk was a winner.