The village of Korong Vale lies on the edge of Victoria’s famous Golden Triangle and is only a dozen or so kilometres north-east of Wedderburn, one of the state’s richest gold-mining towns.
Although the glory days of the big rush are long gone, fossickers are still striking gold in the district and nuggets worth an estimated $20,000 were plucked from a Wedderburn backyard in 1950.
The area is richly sprinkled with museums, old diggings and batteries that all play their part in recalling the golden history of the top end of the triangle.
The wildlife sanctuary of Wychitella Forest Reserve is only a few kilometres north of Korong Vale, while Mt Korong to the south will keep the rock-hoppers and bush walkers in trim. Wychitella might be small as Australian parks go, but its 3780ha are packed with colour and variety.
The vegetation ranges from mallee scrub to melaleuca scrub to box and ironbark forest. The colour erupts in spring when the flowering of the wattle, flame heath, hop bush, correa, grevillea, hakea and, dominantly, orchids. The native orchids are so profuse that it is impossible to walk the forest floor without standing on some blooms.
The surrounds of a man-made lake on an entrance track at the Koronga Vale approach to the park is a favoured camping spot.