Stringer's Cottage is a charming fully self-contained one-bedroom miner's cottage on the outskirts of Walhalla, and just a short drive to Mt Baw Baw. Located in Gippsland and set in lush bush land, it is a great place to stay both summer and winter. Perched above Stringers Creek and the Walhalla Tourist Railway Line with views of the surrounding valley, it is a unique place to stay. It is an Eco-friendly cottage that runs on 12v solar power, LPG bottled gas and has tank water on tap.
The cottage features separate indoor toilet, shower and a galley-kitchen with fridge, gas stove, crockery, cutlery, pots and pans to meet all your cooking/dining needs. The kitchen bench is made of local timber and overlooks the creek and railway track, the perfect place to sit and watch the world go by while you dine. Alternatively, dine outdoors at the table for two in your own private garden setting and do some bird watching. Please note, the property is not fenced.
Towels, tea towels, bed linen, doona and pillows are all supplied so all you have to do is arrive and enjoy. There are even hot water bottles for those who like that extra bit of comfort! There are books, cards and a Radio/CD player for your entertainment, with an Ipod connection so you can listen to your own music. The spacious bedroom features an efficient sealed wood fire that is easy to use and will burn safely all night. Comfy armchairs complete the picture so relax in the peace and quiet of this cosy getaway, read a book, listen to music, or play a hand of cards. If you want some exercise, just take the staircase up to the road where you are just a short walk to the village. (Please note there are approximately 35 steps so pack lightly! However, parking is off- road next to the Coach House wood shed, and is all on the level for unloading when you first arrive. If there is none staying in the house feel free to use the driveway for access if this is more convenient).
Stringer's Cottage is named after Edward "Ned" Stringer. He was one of a group of prospectors who had been exploring in creeks flowing into the Thomson River valley and found gold sometime during late December 1862 or early January 1863. A claim was pegged out and former convict Edward Randel, registered the claim at the outpost town on Bald Hills on 12 January under his assumed name, Edward "Ned" Stringer.
Walhalla is located just 2.5 hours East of Melbourne's CBD and is an easy and scenic drive through Gippsland. Take the City Link, Monash Freeway (M1) which then becomes the Princes Freeway (M1), then take the Moe Exit. (Just look for the “Golden Arches”). From here, follow the brown “Tourist Drive” signs to Erica/Rawson. (C466) and Walhalla. Turn right to Rawson which is signposted 3km past Erica. Travel along this road through Rawson, then left to Walhalla 1km past Rawson (C461). The Walhalla Coach House is the first house you see as you enter Walhalla and Stringer’s Cottage is right next door. They are both signposted – to reach there take the first turn right up a dirt track which is “Happy Go Lucky Road” (also known as Bruntons Bridge Road), and is just after the “Walhalla” and blue “Bus Turning” signs. You will first pass the Log Cabin on your right. keep driving and look for the the cream picket fence to your right and the Stringer’s Cottage sign next to the gate and you have arrived. There are stairs down to the house from the road, or you can go down the Coach House drive and park next to the woodshed -parking is signposted. If people are in the Coach House try not to disturb them and use the staircase from the road.
NOTE: GPS, Google Maps Route Planners, Tom Tom and phone maps do not show this region accurately and you may not even get coverage past Moe.
Outdoor activities include bushwalking, fishing, bike riding, 4wheel driving, swimming, panning for gold or just relaxing in the beautiful garden listening to the birds and and watching the steam trains pass by. When outdoors, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife including lyrebirds, kangaroos, wombats, parrots and cockatoos.
Walhalla Goldfields Railway
This unique narrow gauge train offers a spectacular journey as it winds its way down Stringer's Creek Gorge from Walhalla, over the historic Thomson River Bridge and into Thomson Station. A group of enthusiastic volunteers have rebuilt the railway line from the Thomson River to Walhalla with further plans to extend it all the way to Erica.
The Train operates on Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, public and school holidays, leaving Walhalla at 11am, 1pm and 3pm (June - August no 3pm train). Return fares are $20 per adult and $15 for kids.
Long Tunnel Extended Mine Tour
This was once one of the world's richest gold mines and over 13 tonnes was removed from this mine making it one of the most successful in Australia. Today you can venture deep inside the hillside on a 45 minute guided tour.
Family (2 adults and up to 6 children): $49.50.
Concession and children under 16: $15.00
Mine tours are conducted on weekends and during school and public holidays at midday, 2 and 3 o'clock and Monday to Friday at 1.30pm.
Bring along your gold pan and try your luck in Stringer's Creek which runs through the town. They're still mining for gold in Walhalla and there must be loads more gold still around, so why not give it a go.
There are plenty of good walks to do in and around Walhalla.
First and foremost is the Australian Alpine Walking Track which starts right here in Walhalla and goes all the way to Canberra! (650 km to ACT). You can do a shorter section of this on a 40km, 2 day 3 night fully guided and catered walk from Mt Baw Baw to Walhalla. Check for details in the publication by John and Lyn Daly - "Take a Walk in Kosciuszko National Park".
Tramway Walking Track
Shorter and easier walks are numerous around the area, but one not to miss is along the old tram track, a picturesque walk overlooking the town on what was once a rail line taking timber to the mines. This gives you breathtaking views of the town and there are steep access paths opposite the hotel, the General Store, at the band Rotunda, the mine and at the North Gardens Camping Ground. For the non climbers you can drive up to the mine and it is a flat walk from there. You can walk this all the way to Thomson Station, though the last section is a steep downhill walk (approximately 6 kms). You can then catch the train back to Walhalla if you've timed it right. (Adults $15 one way).
Walhalla Cricket Ground
If you are still keen, another well known trek is up to the Cricket Ground. It begins opposite Spetts Cottage, on the right hand side of the road between the Star Hotel and the Long Tunnel Mine. It is a steep 45 minute walk, but worth it to see the ground which was carved out of the top of the hill when flat land was at a premium.
Wander along Stringer's Creek, or take the more energetic track to old Maidentown and hunt for relics from last century. Take the train to Thomson Station and do the 6 kilometre return walk which ends up skirting the town on the old tramway line. A little further afield is the beautiful walk to Mushroom Rocks, a fascinating geological formation.
Get out your bikes and ride the Rail Trail from Thomson Station to Erica, or try some of the many bush paths and 4WD tracks. There's plenty of wildlife to see such as wallabies, kookaburras, lyrebirds and black cockatoos, not to mention snakes so do take care. Enjoy the fresh mountain air and beautiful vegetation including tree ferns, mountain ash and native orchids.
In Winter, the snow fields of Mt St Gwinear are just half an hour away with excellent snow for sightseeing, tobogganning, cross country skiing or snow shoeing. The slopes are not at all crowded so it is a great place for beginners or small children to get their first taste of the Victorian snowfields. Slopes are patrolled and there is a heated shelter for day trippers. Equipment is available for hire from Erica just 20 minutes away.
Alternatively, for downhill skiing the South Face Road gives easy access to the Mt Baw Baw Alpine Resort. This is a one hour, 45k drive and the first half is sealed, the second half gravel, but no 4WD required. Be on the ski slopes in just one hour. There is a kids' toboggan run with toboggans for hire, and a range of ski slopes to suit all levels of skier. Food, drink and souvenirs are available at the Resort. Ski gear is also available for hire at Mt Baw Baw or Erica. Always carry snow chains or you may be refused entry. These are also available for hire from Erica Ski Hire.
There is great fishing to be done in the upper reaches of the nearby Thomson River, while enjoying the region's beauty and solitude. Fly fishing for trout will challenge the most ardent angler.
There is safe swimming in the waterhole on Stringer's Creek, just a short walk up the road towards town. You can also take a 15 minute drive to Coopers Creek where there is good swimming with a waterhole and swing rope, mini rapids to go down on with the lilo, and some great exploring to be done up the river.
Museum, Gift Shop, Information Centre & Post Office
Open 7 days a week and run by the Walhalla Heritage and Development League, a group of like minded members who share a love of Walhalla and look after it. The Corner Store and Museum has many and varied souvenirs to remind you of your time in Walhalla and is well worth a look through. Call them for information on day tours and activities in and around Walhalla, including bookings for the Ghost Tour.
These exciting and informative tours run 8.30 p.m Saturday nights during Daylight Savings, and 7.30 p.m all other Saturday nights. Extra tours on holidays and Halloween, or by appointment. Adults $25, children $18. Boo