I’ve spent many family trips around the Victorian countryside, but most of them have been within an hour or two’s distance from the Melbourne CBD. For some reason most Aussies that I know don’t do long road trips like we do in the USA.

In fact, the only times I’ve been further than “2 hours from Melbourne” by car have been with Addam. We took a train to Sydney in 2010. (Bad decision. Don’t do it. Most boring time of your life), drove to Adelaide for our honeymoon in early 2014, and did a road trip up to Canberra last year (Loved it!).

But traveling deep into country Victoria? Nope. Until now!

This is Walhalla:

Before this trip I had never heard of this town, and did not know that Victoria had its own “ghost towns”. Technically Walhalla is still inhabited, so it’s not quite a ghost town, but it’s down to 20 people so I’d say that’s close enough.

Walhalla, Victoria is 180km outside the Melbourne CBD, and took us just under 3 hours to drive from Hoppers Crossing. Addam and I are used to long road trips lasting 10 hours or more so this one didn’t feel too bad.

The journey was made interesting by the curvy, twisty roads that you have to wind around to get to this town. Walhalla is situated in Stringers Creek valley, and part of the Great Dividing Ranges. There are some gorgeous views. It was so quiet we were able to stop in the middle of the road to take some pics:

Finding Gold In Walhalla

If you’ve been to Sovereign Hill, or are just deeply interested in the history of the gold rush in Australia, you’ll want to see Walhalla. According to Visit Victoria, Walhalla was “once one of Australia’s richest towns and home to over 4000 gold seekers.” That’s because in 1862, gold was actually discovered in Walhalla. This started 40 years of gold mining in the Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine. Over this whole period of time the mine companies  produced 440,312 troy ounces of gold or 13,695kg.

These days you can’t mine for gold in Walhalla, but you can go on a 45 minute tour of the Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine. ($20 per adult) We went during off-peak season but there were still about 28 people on our tour. Most of the people on our tour were elderly, some of whom could barely walk.

There are no stairs involved in this tour, and it’s on mostly flat terrain. You have to wear a hair net and a helmet. And yes, you will bump your head and be grateful for your helmet.

A tour guide shares the long, sad history of many mining companies who tried to strike it rich in the tunnel of Walhalla.

We didn’t get a chance to ride the Walhalla Goldfields Railway, or walk into any of the small historic building in town, but it was fascinating just to drive through the area, and imagine  4000 people living there over 100 years ago.

There were quite a few B&Bs surrounding Walhalla, and we got the distinct impression, that while children are certainly welcome to visit, especially during the school holidays,  this town was more of a couples retreat.