Old Chiltern Town

Now Australia may not be as old as Ancient Rome and the medieval fortress towns within Europe however this tiny toddler of a nation of mine can still pack a mighty punch.

There are so many towns scattered around this country with history dating back to colonial times. Having just recently celebrated Australia Day, it seems fitting to share a tiny piece of my country.

Coming home from our recent camping trip to the Murray and Mitta Mitta we detoured into the old gold mining town of Chiltern, located just off the Hume Highway, about 32kms from Wodonga.

Blink and you’ll miss it, it’s one of those towns. This is the railway station.

But it’s worth a visit, with its rich gold mining history and 21 heritage listed buildings that line the Main Street.

Wander through town and check out the Grape Vine Hotel which boasts the largest grape vine in Australia, planted in 1867.

A few years ago we camped at Chiltern over a long weekend when a pro rodeo was in town. The streets came to life with horses, cowboys, stock whips and western action.

Tash, our young horse mad daughter at the time, was enthralled at the excitement of the whole event. The next day however all was tranquil again.

It’s that sort of town.

Quiet, sleepy yet with an undercurrent of action when something exciting hits town.

You know, like those western movies when all is silent, then suddenly a gun slinging cowboy comes sauntering out of a saloon.

Instead, here it’s just little ole me.

I’m hardly a cowgirl but it’s a place that inspires movie buffs.

The town’s been used in a few Australian classics, like Disney’s Ride a Wild Pony.

Little wonder as there are plenty of old historic buildings with colorful facades that look straight out of a movie set.

However, they’re the real deal. Few props are needed here.

Cafes, pubs, museums and and quirky gift shops make for an easy afternoon amble.

Even on the Australia Day holiday weekend it was quiet.

No cowboys were around on this day.

If there was one place buzzing with activity it was the Bakery along Main Street. Now this is one place you can’t miss.

Home made pies, apple turnovers, shortbreads and custard tarts to die for!

There’s nothing old about the pastries and cakes here. They’re all made fresh on the premises every day and are absolutely delicious.

I know. I sampled a few.

Time is slow and sweet here. It’s the sort of place where you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time.

Who’d think that so close to a busy major highway could be such a tranquil little township with such a big old heart.

So if you’re travelling the Hume Highway between Sydney and Melbourne look out for the Chiltern turnoff.

It’s worth it.

It’s proof once again that if you look beyond the ordinary you can find something worthwhile and extraordinary.

In something old there’s always something new to discover.

Take the road less traveled and who knows what little gems you might find.

Happy travelling everyone and have a wonderful week ahead.

Sharing for Frank’s TBC: Old

and also for Jo’s Monday Walks


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74 thoughts on “Old Chiltern Town

        1. the places, the people, the whole community spirit .. was only 7,000 when I lived there and my sister wondered how everyone knew she was a visitor … but if they don’t know you they know of you 🙂

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  1. Love the photos…I used to live in Wodonga just up the road…a great little town Chiltern often missed. My carers brother and wife and daughter (a paralympian) go there every christmas. Isis also does dressage there as well. They love it…

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  2. It’s fun to know more a bit of your country Miriam..i almost didn’t realized that your country like any others had a beautiful history to tell, yes despite if the fact that it may not be as ancient as Rome nor as old as Greece..

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  3. Miriam, I was reading and looking at your photos and kept thinking it was just like a movie set when you said exactly that!! I wouldn’t at all have been surprised to see a cowboy riding down the road, the odd gun battle taking place. Wonderfully atmospheric photos and a gem of a town-thank you for sharing!😀

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    1. Thanks Andrew. Yes we did. We had a number of gold rushes in Australia that turned small colonies into more progressive cities. Lots of interesting history here.
      Have a great week yourself. x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a sweet, fun town! Such a crowd at the train station…hehe. Did you practice your sauntering before coming out of the saloon? Oh that bakery did look yummy…what did you have? I can see why Disney would use that setting for a movie, it’s perfect. Hard to believe they had a rodeo there, that must have been such fun…especially for Tash! Did you mine any gold??? Love the Dow’s Chemist & Druggist…Horse & Cattle Medicine…what about people medicine? Lol…it looks like the perfect town if you’re looking for some peace and quiet oh and maybe some gold or a long grape vine. xo 🙂

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    1. Funny you mentioned mining gold cos Doug did do some panning in the river the day before. We met a man and his family and this guy had all the equipment. Lots of fun though unfortunately Dougy didn’t unearth too many riches. The whole trip was lovely and dropping in at peaceful Chiltern on the way home was just a little added extra and a nice lunch stop. What did we eat, mm let’s see … Cornish pasties, I had a big fat egg and salad sandwich and we also tried out the shortbreads and custard tarts. All so yum. Hope you’ve had a good start to your week. Big sauntering hugs xo 🙂

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      1. Ohhh send him back, tell him to try harder…lol!! The trip does sound like it was so wonderful, especially with Bella and all. My week has started off pretty well….so excited about this week…between the Moon and Planting Dreams it’s an extra exciting week!! You made me laugh out loud with your sauntering hugs…hehe!! Big sauntering hugs back xo 🙂

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        1. Smiling here too. Yes, I’m excited for this week as well, even amongst all my insurance woes. Hope the sky clears a bit so we can see the moon. At the moment it’s forecast to be cloudy till Thursday. Hugs xo

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  5. What a nice looking little town, Miriam, and that is the dinkiest railway station I ever saw. 🙂 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing. With a cake shop like that it absolutely qualifies for a Monday walk. 🙂 Not sure when it will appear on the blog. I am restricting my online time over here. It’s nice to step back for a while. But it’ll be up sometime in the next couple of weeks. Thanks a lot!

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  6. Love that tiny little train station. It’s adorable. 😁

    “In something old there’s always something new to discover.” I stopped and pondered that line for a moment. How true that really is! If you take a moment to genuinely look past the obvious, it’s amazing what you might discover. That’s one of the most delightful joys of life. 😊

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  7. I love Chiltern and all those little towns on the road less travelled Miriam! I just wish I’d been around when you were up my way so we could have caught up again. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on Chiltern and your photos show it just as it is, a small sleepy town. A great read 🙂

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  8. Great presentation Miriam!!! Indeed, that town looks and feels like old American towns with County Sheriffs…I am sure that Old Chiltern is a place where everybody knows everybody and community help is a must!

    It can easily make us think about how big towns have become so anonymous and selfish!!

    Cheers!
    François…Or Frank…Or Frankie!!! HAHA!!

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    1. Hey Frankie, my delightful French friend. Thank you for your lovely comments on old Chiltern town where you’re probably right, everybody knows everybody. Your presence on my blog always brightens my day. Cheers and merci xo 🙂

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