The nearest information centre is in Eildon, tel: (03) 5774 2909. There is an information board at the service station which outlines some of the town's attractions. A day tour of Lake Eildon is outlined in a pamphlet available from the Eildon Visitor Information Centre.
Jamieson is a very popular destination for anglers. Fishing, camping and gold panning can be enjoyed along the Goulburn and Jamieson Rivers.
A half-dozen scenic walks are outlined in a brochure available from the town's motels, the caravan park and other outlets. It can also be obtained from the visitors' centre at the old railway station in Mansfield, tel: (03) 5775 1464. They investigate both sides of the river, the Cemetery, 'The Island' and the scenic views available from School Hill and Laidlaws Rd.
Another brochure (available from the same outlets) outlines a walk which indicates the town's old buildings and their historic associations. Start at the corner of Bank St and Chenery St. Just north of this intersection, along Bank St, is Ridge's Cottage (c.1864), on the right-hand side of the road.
Head south along Bank St. On the left-hand side are the former Diggers Exchange Hotel (late 1870s), Matthew's Cottage (c.1900) and, by the Perkins St intersection, the Duck Inn which was built in 1867 as the Colonial Bank.
Cross Perkins St. To the right is Townsend's Cottage (c.1860s), once a butchery and baker's. To the left, at the Cobham St intersection, is Hoskin's Cottage (late 1860s).
Turn left into Cobham St, At the end of the road, to the right, is Juddy's Hut (a typical early miner's cottage).
Return along Cobham St, taking the first right into Brown St. To the left are the old police stables (1862) on the site of the original police camp. The Canadian Redwoods were planted in the 1860s.
Cross over Perkins St. To the right is McQuilton's Cottage, built in the early 1890s at Ten Mile, on the road south to Woods Point. It was transported after it survived the 1939 bushfires which destroyed the rest of the town.
Turn left into Chenery St. On the other side of Nash St is the primary school, built in 1878 (the original school was built in 1867). To the rear, adjacent Laidlaws Rd, is the teacher's residence (1891). Laidlaws Rd will take you up the Jamieson Valley. A track which branches off behind the school residence will take you up School Hill. It is very steep but the views are outstanding).
Alternatively, walk south along Nash St. To the left are Mountford's Cottage (c.1890) and St John's Catholic Church (c.1900) which replaced a timber chapel built in 1863.
Cross Perkins St. To the left is the old courthouse, built of hand-made bricks in 1864. It now houses local archives and material pertaining to local history and is open on weekends and public holidays between November and Easter from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m., or by appointment, tel: (03) 5777 0592.
Head west along Perkins St to the Grey St corner. To the left is the old post office (1872). To the right is the memorial hall, built as the town hall in 1883.
Turn right into Grey St. On the right-hand side of the road is 'Wywurri' (c.1860s). With its canvas walls and dirt floor it is considered a typical early building. It was once the grainstore for a local hotel. The mud-brick extension is of later vintage. Just past it is St Peter's Anglican Church. Built of local bricks in 1865, it is surrounded by oaks planted last century. The porch and vestry were added later.
The Big Pool is a popular swimming hole and picnic area with coin-operated barbecues and a childrens' playground on the riverbank at the southern end of Grey St. The Little Pool is a shallow swimming hole for young children located near Brewery Bridge, at the eastern end of town (named after the brewery which operated nearby from 1864-1901). If you follow the riverbank southwards there is another swimming spot known as The Brewery Hole.
Cross over Foots Bridge, on the western side of town. On the far side, to the right, is a little tree-covered peninsula known as 'The Island' which juts out into the junction of the Goulburn and Jamieson Rivers. The apple trees are remnant's of an orchard established by the town's first doctor who owned the land at one time. This is a good area for picnicking, fishing and walking.
Cemetery and Licola Road
Cross over Brewery Bridge and take the first road to the left. To the immediate left is Dr Pomeroy's Cottage built in the earliest days of settlement. Tobacco was grown on the river flats here for many years. Continue along the road and take the first right into the Licola Rd. There is an historic cemetery on the right after 1 km.
The road to Licola (91 km south-east) is unsealed, steep, of varying quality, winding and subject to closure in the winter. However, it is also highly scenic. 8 or 10 km out there is a picnicking and bushcamping area (with toilets) by the Jamieson River at Grannys Flat Reserve. Mt Skene, 48 km from Jamieson, has colourful wildflowers in summer.
The road which winds around the southern boundary of Eildon Lake National Park from Jamieson to Eildon is serpentine, steep, unsealed in sections, but highly scenic, passing through substantial forests and up hills which offer spectacular views of Big River State Forest to the south and Lake Eildon to the north. 4WD tracks head off this road, into the park, past various camping areas and through to the lake (see entry on Eildon) for further information on the national park.
Scenic Drive to Walhalla - 1 (Jamieson to Kevington)
The road south to Walhalla (132 km) is mostly unsealed, hilly, rough in places, winding and subject to winter closure but it is an interesting and highly scenic drive which initially follows the Goulburn River, passing through forests, old goldmining villages and some excellent camping and picnicking spots. In the 19th century, people travelled along this route via narrow, twisting tracks with women in panniers and children in gin cases strapped to pack saddles.
The main road is manageable in a conventional vehicle unless it is very wet but, if you have a 4WD, you can investigate the side roads which lead through some of the state's finest countryside.
About 4 km from Jamieson is Doctors Creek Reserve and at 7 km Skipworth Reserve (both bushcamping areas). 11 km from Jamieson is the small rural settlement of Kevington, known in the 1860s as Mac's Creek. The Kevington Hotel (1862) is the only hotel in the district which dates from the gold days, tel: (03) 5777 0543. There is a camping area adjacent.
Scenic Drive to Walhalla - 2 (Kevington to Knockwood)
It is about 8 km from Kevington to Tunnel Bend Reserve where there is a campground with picnic facilities and a swimming hole. The tunnel was created to alter the course of the river so the old riverbed could be gleaned for gold. The goldmining settlement of Ten Mile was located nearby. It started in 1864 as a log-and-canvas store on the road to the Woods Point goldfields and, by the 1880s, was a small but well-established settlement but was destroyed in the 1939 bushfires.
Just past Tunnel Bend are, in order, Twelve Mile Reserve (bushcamping), Blue Hole Picnic Area, Snakes Reserve (bushcamping) and Knockwood Reserve (bushcamping). Knockwood and Ten Mile are also extinct goldmining settlements with a few historic relics. At this point the road bends to the south-west following Gaffneys Creek, an anabranch of the Goulburn River.
Scenic Drive to Walhalla - 3 (Gaffneys Creek and the A1 Mining Settlement)
37 km from Jamieson is the ghost town of Gaffneys Creek where the first goldstrike on the Jamieson-Walhalla goldfields was made by a man named Gaffney in 1860. It retains some tiny old miners' cottages, a tavern and old mining ruins such as the remnants of an old stamper battery, dry-stone walling, stone chimneys, terraced sites and other abandoned equipment.
4 km further on is the historic A1 Mining Settlement which clings perilously to the road in the narrow Raspberry Creek Valley. The A1 Mine (worked to a depth of 700 m) started operations in 1881 and was worked almost continuously until 1992.
It is about 9 km to Scotts Reserve (bushcamping).
Scenic Drive to Walhalla - 4 (Woods Point)
55 km from Jamieson, where the Goulburn River swings back in from the east, the road passes through a valley where you will find Woods Point which was, for many years, the main settlement of the Upper Goulburn River Valley.
Gold was first discovered here in 1861. The town began to develop shortly thereafter around a store set up by a man named Wood. By 1865, when Wood's Point was declared a borough, there were 2000 people living in three suburbs and working in 50 large mines and hundreds of small claims. There were 30 hotels, dozens of grog shanties, a brewery, police station, lock-up, hospital, six banks, a post office, churches, private schools, a newspaper, two factories, numerous stores and business premises and even a town crier. Inevitably the gold began to run out and the town declined. The last remaining mine had virtually ceased operations by 1927.
Much of the village was burned down in the 1939 bushfires (as recorded on a memorial beside Morning Star Creek). Today there are about 30 residents, a fine country pub (rebuilt after the fires), an antique petrol station, a general store, picnicking-camping areas and the Woods Point Museum which contains items pertaining to the town's history as a goldmining settlement (open in holiday periods pending staff). Bushwalking tracks, taking in local goldmining relics, are currently being constructed and guiding pamphlets printed, and the Little Comet Mine is also being reopened for tourist inspection (enquire about both at the general store). The 200-km McMillans Track can also be started (or completed) here. 2 km from town, beside the Goulburn River, is Comet Flat Reserve where there is bushcamping (4WD access).
Scenic Drive to Walhalla - 5 (Matlock and Branches)
8 km further south, on a barren ridge top, 1370 m above sea-level, is Matlock, another old goldmining village which had numerous stores and hotels in its goldmining heyday (the 1860s). It later prospered as a timbergetting community but was also destroyed in the bushfires. It is now little more than a locality. There are some outstanding views from the roadside, toilets, a picnic area and a snow shelter for winter.
A road heads west from here. It follows the border of Yarra Ranges National Park to Cumberland Junction (55 km) where other roads extend west to Marysville and south to Warburton. Just before this intersection, Dry Creek Rd (4WD only) heads off to the right. It eventually joins up with the Eildon-Jamieson Rd.
Scenic Drive to Walhalla - 6 (Matlock to Erica and Walhalla)
Alternatively, you can head south-east from Matlock to Aberfeldy (30 km). 2 km further south is the grave of Kitty Feldy who operated a shanty here after retiring from a career as a dancer. Upon her death she weighed 158 kg. Plans to bury her at Aberfeldy were abandoned as the pall-bearers could not manage.
18 km south of Aberfeldy the choice is to head south-west to Erica (21 km on a sealed road) or south-east through Beadmore to Walhalla (21 km).
For further information on the area between Jamieson and Woods Point ring (03) 5733 0120. From Woods Point to Walhalla ring (03) 5172 2111.