Wandiligong is an aboriginal name whose actual meaning has been lost. It may mean “meeting of the waters” or “spirit place” – both being apt for this lovely little town. The National Trust (Victoria) classification for the Wandiligong Valley describes it as a ‘small valley of great charm’ where the ‘buildings achieve an excellent affinity with the landscape-a pleasant mosaic of patterns, forms and colours woven carefully together to achieve a satisfying blend.’
Just a few minutes by road from Bright or easy 5km ride on the cycle trail, this picture-perfect village on Morse’s Creek is nestled in a valley patch-worked with apple orchards and nut groves.
This preserved village once buoyed by agriculture and the gold rush, is full of quaint little buildings, including miner’s cottages, the Manchester Unity Hall of 1874 and the town’s century old general store. On the road behind the hall is the Alpine Park established more than a century ago, which in its day had a majestic two storey pavilion, gardens and an ornamental lake and band rotunda.
In the 1860s Wandiligong teemed with gold miners and in its heyday its 2000-strong population built schools, churches, shops, a public library and hotels. Many still stand and today the entire town and its landscape are National Trust-classified. Wandiligong also boasts the largest apple orchard in the southern hemisphere, the Nightingale Apple farm where you are able to purchase apples, juice, jellies, chestnuts and walnuts in season.
Wandiligong set in a charming valley – preserving the past and maintaining the beauty.