Tuesday, 3 July 2012

WALHALLA, VICTORIA

Walhalla is a small town in Victoria, about 180 kilometres east of the state capital Melbourne. It is located in the Great Dividing Range, in the steep Stringers Creek valley, approximately four kilometres upstream of the creek's junction with the Thomson River. The area around the town is designated as an historic area which then adjoins the Baw Baw National Park.
It was founded as a gold-mining community in early 1863 and at its peak home to around 2,500 residents. Today, the town has a population of fewer than 20 permanent residents, though it has a large proportion of houses owned as weekenders. It attracts large numbers of tourists and is a major focus of the regional tourism industry. The town's name is taken from an early gold mine in the area, named for the German hall of fame, the Walhalla temple (Valhalla from Norse legend).

Gold mining was already becoming largely unprofitable int eh early 20th century and the last of the major mines closed in 1914. With the disappearance of the main industry in town, the bulk of the population soon left. Until the growth of the tourist industry in the 1970s and 80s, Walhalla survived as a ghost town for most of the twentieth century. Several major public buildings including the Mechanics Institute and Star Hotel were destroyed in two fire events in 1944 and 1951 and a number of buildings were destroyed without being rebuilt. The school closed in 1965 and further fires, floods and neglect slowly chipped away at the remains of the town.

Since around 1977, Walhalla has experienced something of a renaissance with a booming tourist industry and the restoration or reconstruction of numerous historical buildings in the town, including the Star Hotel, Mechanics Institute, Windsor House, Elliott's Bakery and reconstruction of the Thomson–Walhalla section of the former narrow-gauge railway.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme.














14 comments:

  1. Hi there - looks a great place to visit - I think it would be good go there in the winter and find a fire to sit next to after a days walk.

    Stewart M

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  2. Well done with the photos. It's just the kind of place I like to explore.

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  3. What a remarkable story of the rebirth of a town! The photos are a great way for us to see it - you have done a wonderful job as a tour guide! Love the photo of the birds, by the way! They are so beautiful!

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  4. What a lovely and interesting pictorial and post!

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  5. Great tour of an interesting place. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  6. What wonderful shots. Love the old wooden buildings.

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  7. the countryside really surrounds the town

    I love the red brick building

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  8. Terrific, interesting post and marvelous captures as always, Nick! Such a charming little town in such a lovely place! I do love the colorful birds, too! A great look at your corner of our world! Hope your week is going well!

    Sylvia

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  9. A lovely little village. Almost like stepping back in time!

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  10. Lovely post and fantastic photos ~ Colorful bird captures ~~ thanks, ^_^ (A Creative Harbor)

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  11. Great post and beautiful photos.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Have a great day.
    Mette

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  12. I can see why people would want to visit there!

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  13. What came first to my mind, was, that it must be wonderful to breath in such environment.


    Please have a good Wednesday.

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  14. Cute village. I love those colorful birds.

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