Once again I am happy to share one of my favourite places to visit within Australia. My last blog talked about the town of Bright, tucked away in north east Victoria which is the southernmost state of mainland Australia. The reason I mention it is if you are visiting Bright, you may as well include in your travels another picturesque and interesting town nearby. About an hour away by car is the town of Beechworth.
Beechworth was originally named Mayday Hills and was only cattle grazing land. In 1852 gold was discovered and the gold rush began with people arriving from not only Australia but from UK, USA and Asia in the hope of finding their fortune. The population suddenly rose to 8000 and the town became a thriving mining town. The name was changed to Beechworth in 1862.
Today Beechworth is a popular holiday destination. As you enter the main street you will see it lined with historic old buildings, some constructed of stone. The town even has a historic prison in the main street. The buildings are still standing and now house businesses, cafes, gift shops, restaurants and hotels.
The town is full of historic interest with no shortage of things to do. One of the hotels has a laneway at the back where the famous bushranger, Ned Kelly, is said to have kept his horse hidden while he went for a drink.
If shopping is your thing there are some interesting shops including Beechworth Honey and the popular Beechworth Bakery. The town has breweries and is surrounded by wineries and forest. One of the caravan parks is beside Lake Sambel which is a man made lake built for the gold processing industry in it's day.
For those who don't scare easy, I recommend a visit to The Old Mental Asylum, and do the night time ghost tour. It is both entertaining and a good history lesson. The building is said to be one of the most haunted buildings in Australia. I must say many sceptics, including my wife, left the tour with a different point of view.
Beechworth is another place I love to return to, interesting and great for photos.
If you go to Beechworth I would also recommend a day visit to the nearby town of Yakandandah which is only a 15 minute drive away. It's a smaller town but also has a gold rush history. A pretty little place with a few cafes and bakeries. A bit quieter than Beechworth.
More can be seen at my website.