"Beechworth & Surrounds" Top 5 Page for this destination Beechworth by leffe3
Beechworth Travel Guide: 51 reviews and 134 photos
First settled by Europeans in 1839, Beechworth boomed with the discovery of gold in 1852 and quickly became one of Australia's richest goldfields. The wealth of the town is reflected in many of the grand sandstone buildings that line the two main streets of the town along with extensive number of awning-fronted shops, highlighting by-gone days. The grand Post Office building, dating from 1870 (following a fire that devastated the town) opitimises the grandeur. Regarded as the best preserved of all the Victorian gold rush towns, Beechworth is not, however, a living museum or somewhere stuck in its past. It's a thriving town of approximately 3,000 people, a town that caters for its many tourists that visit throughout the year, has a student population as a result of the LaTrobe University campus and serves the agricultural community of its hinterland.
To be honest, Beechworth took me by surprise. I had anticipated a few days using the town as a base in exploring the rest of the area. But Beechworth has so much to offer that whilst we did explore the local area, more time was spent than anticipated in Beechworth itself. It has so much to offer! And it's an incredibly attractive town, providing more reasons to hang out!
There are more than 30 historic buildings listed in Beechworth, with a number to be found in the Historic and Cultural Precinct opposite the Information Centre and Town Hall. But there plenty of others to be found dotted round the town. And of course, the town is associated with the legend of Ned Kelly and his gang.
Beechworth Historic Park is made up of a number of significant goldmining sites that surround (and in some places impinges the outskirts) the town. Eucalyptus and native cypress pine forests, gushing creeks, waterfalls, steep gullies and rugged granite outcrops make up the park, interspersed with the occasional evidence of fossicking for gold in days gone-by. The one-way Gorge Drive is a great way of seeing a great deal in a shortish time (but allow time to stop) - or walk one of the many tracks. And just 5kms from the Post Office, the imposing Woolshed Falls are to be found.
Nestled as it is in the foothills of the Australian Alps, Beechworth is also in a great spot to go further afield and head towards the ski slopes (summer or winter) - with the closest being the spectacular Mount Buffalo - now a National Park.
If that's not enough, there's also the Gourmet Drive - the small village of Millawa and the King's Valley (20kms south) being the centre of the renowned independent olive, cheese and local wine production. But there's also plenty of other boutique vineyards to keep you occupied (including two within walking distance of the town - useful if you want to make use of the tasting sessions).
All in all, delighted with our stay in Beechworth - 5 days where we were kept busy with activities but which were all pretty local that did not involve too much driving. But our stay was enhanced even more by the contact with local people - the openness, helpfulness and genuineness truly outstanding. From our first encounter - with the incredibly helpful and fun women at the Information Centre - through to discussing, with the owners, the food post-eating at the great 'Wardens' restaurant, they made it memorable. Perhaps this point was summed up by approaching the Beechworth Proveador, having been told by Wardens, that they stocked a particular local wine we wanted to purchase. Sadly they did not, but suggested we tried Bank Antiques and Wine. We bought the last bottle (a fantastic Battely's Dourif). Two days later, the woman from Proveador stopped us in the street and asked us if we had been lucky! That left us astounded - and that left us with a lasting impression of Beechworth!
Gorge Road runs through Beechworth Historic Park to the north of the town. Heading from Yackandandah to Wangaratta, the... more travel advice
It's a small, historic gold-rush town in the shadow of its bigger and more galmorous neighbour, Beechworth, but 'Yack'... more travel advice
leffe3's Related Pages
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Latest: Nov 17, 2013