Beechworth is one of Victoria's best preserved former gold mining towns, situated in the north-east of the state between Wodonga and Myrtleford, and is a popular detour when travelling along the Great Alpine Road between Wangaratta and Bright.
Beechworth's commercial centre extends along Camp Street and Ford Street, presenting an almost unbroken series of elegant buildings and historic shop-fronts, many of which date back to the 19th century. The post office was built in 1869, the former Bank of Victoria (now a gold jewellery store) dates back to 1857, and there are several historic hotels and churches located in the town centre.
The Historic and Cultural Precinct, located in Ford Street, is a major attraction, comprising of the town's old court house, telegraph station, town hall, a museum, and a dark cell which at one time housed the infamous bushranger Ned Kelly.
Beechworth is known for its attractive streets and parks lined with deciduous trees which create an intense colourful display in the autumn.
La Trobe University's Beechworth campus occupies the site of the former Mayday Hills hospital (Beechworth Lunatic Asylum) which was established in 1867. The hospital closed in 1995 and visitors are welcome to explore the site's historical buildings and attractive gardens, located at the southern end of Albert Road.
Located just east of Beechworth's commercial centre is the Lake Sambell Reserve. The reserve features a picturesque lake surrounded by BBQ and picnic areas, with the lake itself being a popular venue for water and boating activities. Fronting Albert Road, the reserve also includes a Chinese garden with a couple of ponds, honouring the district's Chinese gold rush pioneers. Lake Sambell is the starting point of the Beechworth branch of the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail walking and cycling path which links up with the main track that goes between Wangaratta and Bright.
For a scenic drive close to the town centre, follow the one-way 5 kilometre Gorge Road route. It begins at the junction of Sydney road where a the Golden Horseshoe Monument commemorates the election in 1855 of a local to parliament. It then runs along the edge of the Beechworth Historic Park with its network of walking trails, geological features and relics of the region's gold mining history including a powder magazine built in 1859. Scenic views towards the Beechworth township and countryside to the west can be enjoyed at a couple of large granite outcrops along the route. The bridge where Gorge Road crosses Spring Creek offers an interesting view of the creek as it cascades downhill along a rocky bed. Gorge Road ends at the Newtown Falls near Ford Street. A viewing platform provides good views of the falls and the Newtown Bridge which was constructed from granite in 1874.
Beechworth's location at the foot hills of the Victorian Alps offers visitors the opportunity to explore a number of surrounding vineyards and to enjoy several scenic drives through the countryside in the area. Lookouts in the area worth visiting are the Murmungee Lookout (south of the small town of Stanley), the Mount Stanley summit (7 kilometres south-east of Stanley) and the Mount Pilot lookout, around 15 kilometres north of Beechworth on the road to Chiltern.
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