Our preceding stop was in Gunning NSW, and we are now continuing our trip to Perth this time stopping in Chiltern, Victoria.
Chiltern is a town living in the past, to all intents and purposes, however there is a growing “modernisation” complementing the lovely ancient shop fronts of the main street in Chiltern.
What is there to do in Chiltern?
Chiltern is located in the centre of several very popular towns, Beechworth and Rutherglen, which by their nature are very different from Chiltern.
Chiltern is a sleepy little hollow, there is the pub of course, a tavern with country music artists on busy nights, as well as a fantastic bakery, IGA and other small specialty shops.
Being located within a National Park, Chiltern – Mount Pilot National Park there are various viewpoints to visit, including Woolshed Falls on the way to Beechworth, and the Black Ball Mine Dam Bush and Reserve just out of Chiltern on the Chiltern-Barnawartha Rd . The local swimming pool does a roaring trade on hot summer days.
The Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park also covers areas between Chiltern and Beechworth. One notable location is the Mount Pilot Fire Tower Lookout which can be accessed via Old Coach Road by turning left from Chiltern Beechworth Rd. This lookout gives you some fantastic views of the whole National Park, in addition there are significant aboriginal sites in this region, one of which is:
Yeddonba Aboriginal Cultural Site, 175 Yeddonba Rd, Chiltern VIC 3683
There are a multitude of tracks throughout this area, none of which are that hard, but may be slippery on wet days and quite difficult after a lot of rain.
Some areas are closed to the public unless a permit is sought (and granted) but most areas can be freely driven by anyone, but please consider the bush and tread lightly.
The surrounding areas include Yackandandah, Eldorado, Wangaratta, Corowa, Howlong and as already mentioned Beechworth and Rutherglen.
Each of these areas is as picturesque as the other in their own way, and they are all an easy day trip from Chiltern.
Other areas in the region to free camp
The popular townships of Beechworth and Rutherglen are great places to visit each with their own special features. Rutherglen, has several of the well known wineries and Beechworth is famous for its gold rush heritage.
There are numerous camping locations along the Murray River from Rutherglen to Howlong and more, these are listed in a “pdf” available from within this website.
In particular, the Murray River which flows past Rutherglen presents many camping options, from Howlong, Rutherglen to Corowa. Access to these places is usually totally dependent on the weather, for example we have been to Stanton’s Bend near Rutherglen and had to leave the following day as the river had risen dramatically overnight and was within a metre of our site.
Many other occasions, we have camped there for up to a week without drama. In these regions though, especially in summer, campers need to be aware of bushfires, floods or sunburn. The ranger will come around to warn of impending situations, but do not rely on this for your own safety. Tune in to local radio stations and keep aware.