Walhalla is Calling
The gold rush village of Walhalla is only 1.5 hours from Pakenham, located on the southern edge of the Victorian Alps. During the winter season, this region plays host to touring as well as snow play whether it is for the day or for a cosy weekend getaway by the fire. The winter season is a great time to take this short adventure to sample Baw Baw Shire’s enviable riches right next door.
Boutique wineries and toasty warm cafes punctuate your round trip to Walhalla. Depending on the weekend, you can drop in early to any one of the many markets in the area, such as the Warragul Farmers Market for local food treasures or a Lardner Park event as one of your prime destinations.
Continue on toward Moe where you will leave the highway and leisurely wind your way north through prime dairy land. The culinary bounty of this region has provided the foundation for exquisite farmhouse artisan produce such as the pioneers of Australian cheese making, Tarago Cheese Company, based in Neerim, with their heavenly Shadows of Blue cheese.
Follow the signs along C466 to Walhalla, step out for a stretch and enjoy a stroll through this ‘chocolate box’ village. Drop in to the Walhalla Lolly Shoppe followed by a spell at the Star Hotel by the fire or the Wally Pub for lunch. If you have time, rug up and take a short train trip through the Stringers Creek Gorge on the historic Walhalla Goldfields Railway or take a tour down Walhalla’s Gold Mine Tunnel.
Dominating the horizon is Mt Baw Baw, Melbourne’s closest alpine downhill ski resort offering a fun, safe and affordable snow play experience for the day or longer stays. Check snow and weather conditions if you are progressing on for a snow filled afternoon on the slopes.
With the waning winter sun dropping behind the foothills, set your GPS and aim downhill for Hogget Kitchen in Warragul for one of Gippsland’s finest local dining experiences. If it’s still late afternoon, swing by the Cannibal Creek Winery in Tynong North where you can enjoy a sampling of a broad range of wooded whites to robust reds, partnered with a charcuterie plate or a Tarago cheese platter. Your pallet may never be the same again.
A trip to Walhalla delivers a snapshot of Victoria’s gold history that is close to home and is well placed to take day trippers back in time, celebrating the local culinary rewards from the region, even if only for a day.