A Weekend in Beechworth
Beechworth is a beautiful historic town in North East Victoria, located 3+ hours drive from Melbourne and within 1 hour of Albury airport on the NSW border. Recently voted #6 in the Australian Traveller’s Top 100 Regional Towns to Visit, largely due to the wonderfully retained gold rush era architecture from the 1850’s, but also the links to Ned Kelly history and increasingly the impressive food & wine scene being developed in the region. Here’s a suggested itinerary for a weekend in Beechworth:
Take off from work early and get to Beechworth on time to dine on a Friday evening. There’s a choice of fine dining including once hatted restaurant the Provenance (book well ahead) or just superb al la carte at Ox & Hound or go for possibly the best pizzas outside of Italy at the Bridge Road brewery along with the lively atmosphere at this very popular local (don’t forget to sample the large range of locally brewed award winning beers).
There is a myriad of accommodation offerings in and around Beechworth. We like the idea of staying close to the town centre and being able to walk home after an evening’s dining. Prices, styles and tastes vary wildly. Starting at the budget end, the charming and social Old Priory is on the edge of the main town, a wonderful old building that will take you back in time. Perhaps a more romantic, quieter B&B such as Freeman on Ford, with incredible decor, hospitality and great breakfasts. The Provenance also offers luxury accommodation – again need to book well ahead – or slightly further afield (we are talking 10 min walk max) is the George Kerferd Hotel set amongst stunning manicured grounds where the odd koala is spotted (there’s also a great French menu on offer here at the hotel restaurant).
Breakfast, Then Coffee!
Beechworth has some of the best little cafes in regional Victoria, all within 200 meters of the main town centre, so you can walk, view and pick whichever suits you best. If you like an outdoor setting on a nice day there’s a small courtyard at the back of the old world Provider Cafe (see pic), or for superb coffee try the new Project 49 or Blynzz Coffee Roasters
Beechworth is at the start of the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail and no visit to Beechworth should be without a brief cycle on this fantastic safe and well maintained cycling path. Being 500 odd meters above sea level, it’s pretty much all downhill from Beechworth, so unless you’re happy to cycle back up that same hill, it’s advisable to book a day tour which includes pick up and return transport up the hill! (See our Tour de Pedal to Produce which includes wine tastings, lunch, bikes and return transfers from Milawa, a great day out on the bike). It’s also fun just riding around the town itself being relatively flat and easy, or perhaps the touch more challenging Gorge Ride (click here for PDF map: beechworth_town_ride) which provides incredible views down the huge gorge from the elevated Beechworth town.
Enjoy a Spa
You’ve enjoyed a great breakfast, a few hours cycling around Beechworth or down to Milawa, and you’re ready to relax. Beechworth also has indulgence options, our pick being The Spa Beechworth housed in the beautiful historic Mayday Hills building and offering the ultimate in spa escapism for the ladies, but also for men, couples and even mums to be!
Visit the Stanley Pub
Whilst technically not Beechworth, very close by is the charming almost village like town of Stanley, a short 15 minute drive from Beechworth. but more importantly offering up the Stanley Pub and its’ famous bistro. Well worth the short drive, and a locals favourite, it’s the perfect Saturday night dining option and another perspective on the gourmet offerings of the region.
Sunday – Hit the Beechworth Cellar Doors
Beechworth is surrounded by wineries, some of which you would have visited already if you enjoyed the Pedal to Produce cycling tour on your Saturday. A full list of Beechworth wineries can be found on this handy website, with some of our favourite cellar doors close by being Pennyweights, Indigo & Amulet. If you’ve run out of time or prefer a quicker approach, pop into Cellar Door Wine Store on the main street, which displays & sells a large selection of local wines (also has great coffee and cakes!).
It’s sadly time to make your way home, but a small diversion to Milawa on your way is worth it, including a visit to the Milawa Cheese Factory to stock up on locally made and delightful cheeses (make sure you try their Gold!), the Mustard Factory store, or the bigger, more famous but equally impressive Brown Brothers winery, voted by Gourmet Traveller Wine as one of the more impressive cellar doors in Australia.
However you spend your time in Beechworth, it is a gorgeous town with so much to see and do.