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The perfectly preserved town of Walhalla is amongst my favourite spots to visit, with only 16 permanent residents in a town that seems to have stood still through the times. Everything in Walhalla has a story to tell, from one of the richest towns in Victoria at the beginning of the gold boom in 1863 to despair, loss, financial hardship and eventually closure of most services. The township not only survives today but is one of the most significant tourist towns in Victoria and sees hundreds of thousands of visitors descend on this tiny town each year.
One of the major drawcards for the year is the annual Vinter Ljusfest, a Swedish tradition to bring in the winter. Walhalla celebrates the dark and cold of winter by illuminating it with light, moving vision and sound.
Walhalla has no street lighting and was the last Victorian town to have power connected, which was in Dec 1998 ( only 16 years ago). So having a big lighting display in Walhalla only seems apt to show everyone how this small town shines.
The town will be lit up each night from the 1st - 31st of August from 6:30pm with this year's theme being China. It's free to view all the lights but don't miss out on taking the train ride.
Take the Walhalla train to the Thomson Station return to view some of the light show as part of the moving vision. The train will have two departure times every Saturday evening in August at 6pm and 8pm. Tickets can be purchased online here and they cost $35 per adult and $25 for children/concession for creek side tickets and $30/$20 for embankment side tickets. Groups of 4 or save 30% with tickets costing $99/ $79. Tickets can be purchased on the night but with no guarantee if they are fully booked. To read my full review on the Walhalla Goldfields railway click here.
If you're making the trip to Walhalla you may wish to stay the night. Have a look at these great accommodation options with the Star Hotel which includes one night's accommodation, a two course dinner, bottle of wine, continental buffet breakfast, a Ljusfest scarf or knee blanket for $290 per couple. Jacombs & Brewery Creek Cottages are offering one night's accommodation with buffet breakfast and a Ljusfest scarf or knee blanket for $198 per couple.
For families the Silvertop Cottages located just out of Erica are offering 4 nights self contained accommodation with a Ljusfest scarf or knee blanket for $570 per family or $480 for 2 adults.
Some other things to see in Walhalla include the old post office which remains largely as it was left after the post office was decommissioned and the postmistress passed away. The fire station is not the original building as it was burnt down, but holds some of the original historic firefighting equipment on display.
The mines are what made Walhalla a town in the first place and a tour of the Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine is a must do, it gives you a wonderful sense of the town's history. You can read more about the mine here.
Don't forget to have a look at the Walhalla cemetery perched on the hill, it's not something I would usually recommend but it tells such a large story of the town's history and the view over the town would have to be one of the best.