This former gold town has preserved its history and forged a new identity as a haven for artists and those wanting a quiet life.

Story John Dunn   Photo Matt Staggs

The pretty Victorian rural village of Yackandandah, just south of Albury, is a fascinating mix of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Certainly the National Trust and the Heritage Commission think so, because both have classified much of unhurried High Street, the dreamy main street with its lovely, leafy oaks shading its collection of old period buildings, many of them charmingly unchanged since the town began 170 years ago.There are attractive blends of local granite and weather-beaten weatherboard, with rust on the galvanized iron roofing adding to the ambience. There are classic constructions from the middle of the 19th century being used for new purposes – the 1856 post office is the Visitor Information Centre, the 1860 Bank of Victoria is a museum and the 1863 courthouse is a community hall.

Gold brought ‘Yack’ into being, but the miners have long since been replaced by a fascinating mix of business men and women who happily commute to work in nearby Albury, Wodonga, Wangaratta and Beechworth, retired folk and creative people. They not only love history of the town, but also embrace its future – Yack is the state’s most solar-powered town, with every second house connected and all the rest planning to be solar-powered by 2022.

This story excerpt is from Issue #131

Outback Magazine: June/July 2020