Great Alpine Road Visitor Guide

THE GREAT ALPINE ROAD VISITOR GUIDE I PAGE 33 • Blueberries • Raspberries • Loganberries • Boysenberries • Taiberries • Blackberries • Black Currants • Red Currants • Silvanberries BUY DIRECT Free Admission OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK From 8.30am to 5.00pm CLOSED CHRISTMAS DAY NO EFTPOS Phone/Fax: (03) 5759 2507 Mobile: 0418 574 362 HARRIETVILLE/SMOKO Last stop before the big hill The picturesque village of Harrietville is the last town along the Great Alpine Road before the climb into the mountains towards Mt Hotham. Harrietville is an old gold mining town that was settled in 1852, the quest for gold, first by alluvial mining then reef mining and finally dredging, continuing unabated until the mid 1950s. The rich soil of the valley floor and the river that flows through ensures bountiful crops and produce for the local farmers. Tobacco, vegetables, trout, salmon and berries thrive in the unique conditions. Tourism has been a vital component in Harrietville’s existence since its beginning with a host of alpine services catering for those who wish to travel in the mountains. Ski hire, accommodation and 4WD hire encourage visitors to explore the magnificent High Country. The town offers visitors an all seasons destination where you can do as little or as much as you like. Motor bike and push bike enthusiasts alike will love staying in Harrietville with great cafés to fuel up before they ride on a multitude of roads, tracks and tours available. Harrietville is conveniently placed allowing visitors to enjoy a myriad of activities including cross country or downhill skiing in the winter, and mountain bike riding, bush walking, four wheel driving, off road and on road motor biking, and fishing. Surrounded by Alpine National Park, the world-renowned Mt Feathertop and Bon Accord walking tracks depart from Harrietville. DREDGER’S LEGACY The Tronoh Company operated its bucket dredge not far from the centre of Harrietville between 1942 and 1954, eliciting 54,000 ounces of gold, and leaving behind a magnificent legacy in the beautiful and tranquil lake of today. At 167 metres long and weighing 4813 tonnes, the bucket dredge was the biggest in the southern hemisphere and could dredge to a depth of approximately 41 metres. It was built in western Victoria and required the installation of an electricity line to power from Bright. With gold mining having played a pivotal role since 1851 in the development of Victoria, the site is now of historical and scientific significance to the state of Victoria as a characteristic example of an important form of gold mining. In recent years the local community has developed the lake for community and tourist recreation, preserving its history and heritage for future generations. It is the largest man made body of water in the Ovens Valley, surrounded by steep mountains on the southern and easterly sides, adjacent to the east branch of the Ovens River. Walking tracks, picnic tables, barbecue and swimming facilities, native revegetation and an historical interest sets it as a major tourist attraction. A snap shot of Harrietville’s past can be seen at Pioneer Park and its gold prospector statue.