Last weekend saw us escaping to our favourite bed and breakfast resort at Brigadoon Cottages in Newborough. Our friends, and original owners Rod & Margot have retired and Brigadoon is now being run in a very friendly and capable style by Ed and Michelle.
We like this area of Victoria because there is so much to do. We caught up with friends, including Geoff Pittaway who is now the minister at St Mary’s in Mirboo North. We gatecrashed a baptism lunch to speak with him for a few minutes and catch up on his, and his family’s news. Another night we had dinner with Rod & Margot at the pub at the nearby town of Trafalgar.
We spent most of the day on Saturday at Walhalla which has a history based around the discovery of gold. The first gold had been found in Victoria in 1851 and by 1863 prospectors had pushed far east of Melbourne into the trackless wilderness of the Great Dividing Range and located alluvial gold in what is now called Stringers Creek which runs through the centre of the town. By May 1866, the township of Stringer’s Creek had been surveyed and renamed Walhalla, after one of the most prosperous mines then working.
It is now a ghost town with only 20 permanent residents, but does attract a large number of tourists and day trippers. It was the last town in Victoria to be connected to the electricity grid. There is still no mobile phone service in the town. A number of old historic buildings – fires ration, hotel, shops, band rotunda and mining relics provide a lot of interest and memories of the good old days.
Walhalla is the start of the Australian Alpine Walking Track which travels for over 600 kms to near Canberra. A short way from Walhalla is Mt St Gwinnear where I have walked on a number of occasions across the Baw Baw Plateau and to Mustering Flat. The road to the car park climbs through some very attractive rainforest and crosses a number of very pretty mountain streams.