Walhalla lights up and sings out

Troy Longson Walhalla 1

WALHALLA // There’s a lonely goatherd, and goats, high in the hills around Walhalla this month as the former gold mining town lights up for its annual Vinter Ljusfest.

Above: Walhalla Vinter Ljusfest. Photos: Troy Longson

First published in the 14 August 2015 edition of the Warragul & Baw Citizen. Get your copy for free from retailers across Baw Baw today.

The hills are alive with song and strudel during the festival of lights, as the town celebrates the 50th anniversary of the movie The Sound of Music.


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The annual festival is about lighting up a town that has no street lights. During August, Walhalla glows at night with vibrant colours and exciting projections, which bring to life a different theme each year.

There were fears the fifth Vinter Ljusfest might not go ahead for lack of funding. However the state government came through at the last minute with a $3,000 grant under its Country Victoria

Events program.

The well-known songs from The Sound of Music, written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, will echo around Walhalla’s Valley of the Gods when the Double the Black a’capella vocal group sings in the streets on Saturday 29 August.

Each Saturday night the Vinter Ljusfest Light Train will be running and there will be Ghost Tours at the mine.

Kids will love the free High on a Hill puppet shows in the mechanics hall twice each Wednesday and Saturday and there will be stroganoff and strudel every night from 5.30 at the Greyhorse Cafe.

Another highlight is the Walhalla Vinter Ljusfest Beer Fest tomorrow night (15 August) from 6pm. The German Lederhosen Dance Troop from Melbourne will create the perfect atmosphere for a night of music and dancing. The fire will be burning and many Austrian and German beers will be available at bar prices. Tickets for the entertainment and supper are $40 per person.

Keen photographers can erect their tripods on Wednesday and Saturday nights during August for the Walhalla Vinter Ljusfest Photography Nights. There are prizes to be won for the most breathtaking photos.

The popularity of Walhalla Vinter Ljusfest has been growing from year to year. Being a Swedish concept, it was only fitting that the theme for the first festival in 2011 was Sweden. Then in 2012 the town celebrated the 40th anniversary of Neil Diamond’s number one charting album Hot August Night.


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2013 saw an acknowledgement of Walhalla’s 150 years of gold. Last year it was China.

Before heading up for the 2015 Ljusfest, it’s best to check events on the Visit Walhalla web site. The lights go on at 6.30pm each night during August.

Climb whatever mountains you need to, to get to Walhalla Vinter Ljusfest. It will definitely end up on your list of favourite things.

Find more by Greg at greatergippsland.com

Troy Longson Walhalla 2

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2 responses to “Walhalla lights up and sings out”

  1. Geoff Anderson says:

    Just to add that there are Mine Tours conducted at the Walhalla Long Tunnel Extended Mine at 7pm every Friday evening during August – and to put the record straight, there are no ghosts at the Mine!

    LTEM Mine Manager

  2. Sam Styrene says:

    Ah, once again we have the appallingly lack lustre event called Lustfest up there in them thar hills. The annual money sucking event with fictitious heritage reappears once again. Has anyone ever seen a breakdown of the expenditure? Three Grand down the shitter would be a fair assessment. It would make the average taxpayer vomit, and with more colour than the Lustfest itself. The imagery published by the Citizen bears no resemblance whatsoever to the reality. The magic is in the PC software. Photoshop shows how drab localised spots of light can be magically merged, manipulated and overlayed several times to transform a cold wet miserable night into a kaleidoscope of colour. So sad, but 2/10 for persistence in the face of harsh reality.