Take a picturesque village built on gold rush architecture, add stunning natural beauty, a much-lauded food and wine scene, great shopping, and a little bushranger folklore, and there you have Beechworth. Three hours’ drive from Melbourne, Beechworth has 30 buildings listed by the National Trust of Australia, including the courthouse and gaol that famously hosted bushranger Ned Kelly, and the 1850s telegraph station in the Historic and Cultural Precinct.
These days Beechworth, with a district population of about 4300, is at the heart of a small number of vineyards tended by independent growers. It’s also renowned for its eateries, including the two-hatted restaurant, Provenance. There are plenty of places to get out and enjoy nature, from a walk around the scenic gorge in Beechworth Historic Park to cycling part of the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail.
For Ben Kraus, who grew up in Beechworth and founded Bridge Road Brewers here in 2005, it’s a great place to be. “For the family, the streets are quiet and safe… I don’t like crowded places and hate traffic, but the longest it takes getting the kids to sports activities or school is five or 10 minutes. I also enjoy the outdoors and the change of season.”
Beechworth is close to regional centres and has enviable amenities. “It’s a good place to live, and there are more business and professional opportunities than ever,” says Ben. “For getting out and about, good food, coffee and wine, we punch way above our weight.”
For more information, visit
Food and wine
The menu here reflects celebrated chef Michael Ryan’s respect for Japanese cooking techniques and cuisine.
. This eatery features classic French dishes and Italian-influenced fare such as pasta and risotto.
. A small biodynamic organic vineyard and cellar door. 13 Pennyweight Lane.
. Diners will find craft beers and pizza at this 150-year-old coach house on the main street.
. Cycle to farm gates, cellar doors, boutique providores, orchards and olive groves.
. Explore Beechworth’s goldmining past by car or on foot along the five-kilometre Gorge Scenic Drive with views of waterfalls and deep ravines. There’s also a walking trail to connect Lake Sambell to Lake Kerford.
Beechworth Farmers’ Market. On the first Saturday of the month from 9am to noon, meet the local produce growers. You’ll also find bread, meat, cheese, flowers and herbs. Christ Church, Corner of Church and Ford streets.
. A boutique retailer and wine bar offering
wines from local and international supplies, as well as cheese matches.
. This shop specialises in high-quality soaps, including Aleppo Syrian soap, as well as beauty products, brushes and mitts. 3
. Beautiful garments and accessories made from natural
fibres. Plus Australian-made beauty products.
Beechworth Emporium. A department store with affordable, good-quality men’s and women’s clothing and footwear. Stocking Australian and New Zealand knitwear. 24 Camp Street. (03) 5728 2625.
Snowline Fruits. A family owned farmgate business selling chestnuts, walnuts, honey and a range of orchard fruits. 507 Myrtleford-Stanley Road, Stanley. (03) 5728 6584.
Beechworth is 286 kilometres north-east of Melbourne via the Hume Highway and Beechworth Wangaratta Road. V Line offers a train service between Melbourne and Wangaratta departing daily, connecting by coach to Beechworth. Wangaratta Coachlines operates a service between Albury-Wodonga and Beechworth, Monday to Friday. NSW Train Link operates a service from Sydney to Albury. While Regional Express, Qantas Link and Virgin Australia offer flights between Melbourne or Sydney and Albury.
The median house price in Beechworth is around $387,000 for a three-bedroom brick home with a double lock-up garage on an 800-square-metre block, although you can pay up to $1.2 million, according to Rod Devlin, managing director of Devlin Beechworth. “We’re getting more young families moving in because we are 25–45 minutes from major centres, Wangaratta and Albury-Wodonga. It’s also got a good lifestyle with all the facilities, including a hospital, restaurants and a golf course. Plus, it’s a short drive to the Victorian alps and Rutherglen wine region.”
Beechworth has a variety of housing, from lifestyle properties to original Victorian homes. Rental properties are harder to find. “We are always on the lookout for rental properties to satisfy demand. There’s a huge opportunity for property investment in Beechworth,” says Rod.
Beechworth has four primary schools, including a Montessori school and early learning centre, as well as a secondary college.