Erica

An historic mountain timber town which was once the highest point on the Moe to Walhalla narrow gauge railway in the Gippsland region. With a strong timber history, one of its former timber mills - Micha's Mill - still operates. The King of the Mountain Wood Chop is held every Australia Day in January.

Heritage features: Walhalla Goldfields Tourist Railway

Brief history: The area was generally known as Upper Moondarra in the early 1900s, the township of Erica beginning to grow after construction of the railway line from Moe to Walhalla, which passed through the area. When the station opened in 1910 it was named Harris, but had been renamed Erica after a nearby mountain by 1914. As a consequence, the Post Office opened on 14 July 1910 as Upper Moondarra and was renamed Erica in 1914.
The township of Erica survived mainly on forestry and agriculture, and after Walhalla's decline by the 1920s it became the largest town on the Moe-Walhalla railway. The section of line past Erica closed to traffic in 1944, save for occasional goods services to Platina station, and the line from Moe to Erica closed completely in 1954.


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Erica still maintains agricultural and timber industry connections, as well as being a service town for numerous local tourist destinations such as the Thomson Dam, the Walhalla Goldfields Railway, Mount Baw Baw and Mount Saint Gwinear.

Things To See and Do

Seninis Campground

Moondarra State Park (24 km south): known for its wildflower displays, particularly along Seninis Track where sixteen species of native orchid have been recorded. Scenic drives, bushwalks, picnicking, swimming, camping, fishing and nature study are popular activities. Some roads are suitable for bike riding. Spring is the main wildflower season and along with summer, are the most popular times to visit the park. Although, there is plenty to do all year round.
A 7km section of the former Walhalla Railway is publically accessible in the Park. The trail crosses the Moondarra Resevoir Road soon after the turnoff from the main road. The trail is not formally maintained - there are no signposts and some sections are partly overgrown.

Surrounding Area

Baw Baw National Park

Covering a substantial part of the Baw Baw Plateau and sections of the Thomson and Aberfeldy River valleys, Baw Baw National Park offers colourful wildflowers in early summer and open grassy plains with Snow Gum woodlands. Mount St Gwinear, Mount Erica and the Baw Baw Alpine Village are ideal bases for bushwalking. The Thomson River downstream of the Thomson Dam offers some of the best white water rafting in Victoria. Several tour companies provide rafting tours all year round.

Mt St Gwinear is a back-to-basics snowfields, making it ideal for families. Located at the north-east end of the Baw Baw National Park, it is perfect for a day of toboggan rides, snow play and cross-country skiing.

Tours

Activities

Walks Around Erica

Hotel Creek Walk: Starting 150 metres to the south of the Erica Hotel, this walk skirts through forested areas and around the perimeter of farmland to the west and north of Erica. Rolling hills and fresh green pasture, steep forest gullies and heavily wooded areas remind the walker of the magnificence of the area, reminiscent of the early colonial days. The return to Erica Hotel, via the main road, is ample reward. Grade: Medium to difficult. Distance: Approx 8 km. Time: 3 hours return.

Farm Walk: Start at the Erica Hotel and wander down Mathieson’s Rd with the bush on one side and lush farms on the other. Detour a little and experience the tranquility of the Erica Cemetery in its forest setting. Further on are the remains of one of Erica’s last sawmills. At the end of the road take the right hand fork onto the bush track which is, in season, a profusion of wildflowers. Make a left turn along the fence line. At the top of the hill you will find spectacular views of Mt Erica. Follow the track across the creek at the bottom of the fence line and turn to come back along the opposite side of the farms. This track will bring you out at the Mill Park after which a short wander through the town will return you to the Erica Hotel. Grade: Medium. Distance: 9 km. Time: 3 hours.

Petersons Lookout, Tyers Park
Tyers Valley Rail Trail: This 11 km trail is a favourite for enthusiasts who like gentle riding or walking in the bush. The trail passes through rainforest, fern gullies, messmate and stringybark forest, and there are plenty of birds, mammals and seasonal wildflowers. Petersons Lookout in Tyers Park has views of the Tyers Gorge and Latrobe Valley from a viewing platform, and picnic facilities. The Walhalla Goldfields Rail Trail is nearby.

Mushroom Rocks (Mt Erica): starting from the Mt Erica car park, a foot track climbs steadily through mountain ash forest passing a rocky outcrop, which provides good shelter. About 2kms from the car park the forest begins to open out as an area of huge, rounded granite boulders is reached. McMahon’s Bush Hut is nearby. A cave provides further shelter and there are good views from the top of the higher rocks.
Mt Erica summit: from Mushroom Rocks the foot track climbs steeply for 3 km, to an open lookout area near the summit of Mt Erica, passing through attractive forest on the way. On clear days the lookout on Mt Erica provides excellent views south across the farmlands of Latrobe Valley beyond which rise the distant Strzelecki Ranges.

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