We leave the city of Melbourne and travel towards the Gippsland area, through the sprawling suburbs that make Melbourne one of the world's most widely distributed cities.
Along the Princes Highway is the small town of Yarragon, which has been developed from a small service village, into almost exclusively a tourist stop. There can be some reasonable shopping here, depending on what you're looking for.
From Yarragon, we turn North and head for the hills. Climbing all the time, we pass through timber areas, on our way to one of the world's former richest gold mines.
Take a tour of the Long Tunnel Gold Mine, which contains an amazing central chamber, which at one time, contained the machinery for mining operations.
The mine has been tested again recently and is thought to be viable, owing to the continued increase in world gold prices.
After the tour, you probably feel like a bite of lunch. Depending on your preferences, we can have a barbeque lunch, or a more formal one in a local cafe. Please specify at the time you book.
After lunch, it's time to board a 4 wheel drive vehicle, for a trip into the backhills, through some rugged country. You visit deserted mining settlements and cross streams in the hills. Nothing dangerous, but all the same, an extremely interesting excursion which shows the extent to which some of the early miners would go, to pull minerals out of the hills. This tour takes about 1 1/4 hours.
There is also the option of a half-day 4WD tour, which would necessitate a change in the other sights on the tour, a later return, or an overnight stay in Walhalla.
For anyone with an energetic disposition (and maybe a medical certificate) you can always take the very steep 45 minute walk to the infamous Walhalla Cricket Ground. If you're training for your next marathon, this will certainly boost your training. At the very least, you will be applauded by the rest of us, when you return to the base.
You can only imagine what sort of disadvantage the opposition cricket team were at, by the time they made it to the summit.
Talk about gamesmanship!
A gentler walk, (comparatively speaking) is the one to
The Walhalla Cemetery, where many of the occupants are buried vertically.
That may be because if they were buried normally, they would slide back into town, because of the angle of the ground.
While some of the graves can bring a smile to your face, this is still a cemetery, so we are careful to treat it with respect. As with most historic cemeteries, it tells the story of the town.
Walhalla is an absolutely fascinating town, set in a very steep valley, which gives the town its character.
Walhalla is another place from another time. We know that sounds like so much tourist rubbish, but electricity was only connected here in 1998 (or so), after some objection from some residents, who felt it would spoil the town.
This place is magic, as long as you're not here during the weekend, or on a long weekend, when every 4 wheel driver in Victoria seems to use it as a base for bungling through the bush past Walhalla. During the week, you'd think you were 150 years back in time. Who needs Valium!
Don't miss it - truly.