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A weekend in Walhalla

by Mal Noble
First published in AQA News Link

Recently after reading a Getaway segment in the Sunday Age on Walhalla's Star Hotel and it's attractions, including the fact it had a disabled suite, my wife Lesley and I headed off for a quiet couple of days at Walhalla.

Historic Walhalla.

Walhalla is one of Victoria's tiniest towns and is set back into the deep mountainous valleys of Gippsland. It was an old gold-mining town that yielded more than 75 tonnes of gold in the early 19th-century. Today there is not a lot left of the bustling mining town that was the fourth richest in Victoria, however if you look you can find an exciting insight into the rich history of Walhalla and what it was like in those rough and tough days.

Walhalla scenery and the old steam train.

The scenery and ambience in the old town is fantastic, there is an historic railway through the valley and a mine tour through the Long Tunnel Extended Mine, both are wheelchair accessible and well worth the time. In fact the whole Main Street and most of the buildings are wheelchair accessible. For the "ablebods" there are some great walks to the old cricket ground, the haunting old cemetery perched on the steep slopes above the town and plenty more.

The whole town is heritage listed with the Star Hotel one of the most impressive buildings. The owner Michael Leaney rebuilt the Hotel as a faithful reconstruction from early photos of the original pub that had burnt down nearly 50 years earlier. It looks like a nearly perfect replica on the outside and a real surprise on the inside.

Walhall Star hotel wheelchair access suite

The Star Hotel's facilities include 12 beautifully furnished guest bedrooms with king sized beds and ensuite (there is one disabled unit that is very user friendly), a private guest lounge with coffee-making facilities and mini bar, and a quality à la carte restaurant with a tempting menu. Buffet breakfast is included and dinner is available every night. Lunches and nice coffee and cakes etc are available in the Grey Horse Cafe alongside the Hotel.

Walhalla is about 180 kilometres from Melbourne via the Princes Highway. Interesting places to visit are the Thomson Dam and the town of Aberfeldy. The normal rate is $199 per night, however Michael said if you mention this article he would extend the special rate of $250 per couple for dinner, bed and breakfast.

We thoroughly enjoyed the warm and welcoming atmosphere of the Star Hotel and found plenty to do in Walhalla to fill in a couple of days.

You can contact the Star Hotel on (03) 5165 6262.

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