Recently, we went to Beechworth. Our primary focus was visiting wineries; the taste of two regions festival in 2013 had done more than whet our appetites. And yes, we went to a lot of wineries, but we also packed in heap more. So, I thought it’d help to put it all together in one place. I have not been approached to write this post – I really just like the region so much!
We stayed at the Best Western in Beechworth. It’s on the main road (Ford Street) and hard to miss. It’s the smallest Best Western in operation, with just a handful of units. While the water pressure leaves a little to be desired (but what hotel’s doesn’t?), the units are large (we needed somewhere to put all the wine we bought!) and well maintained.
If you’re not planning to spend a great deal of time at the hotel (and to be honest, why would you? So much to do!), this is great in terms of good size, decent bed, clean and well maintained.
Wow! Where do I begin? There is so much wine to choose from if you’re staying in Beechworth.
There are plenty of wineries around Beechworth, including the notable Pennyweight Winery.
In Rutherglen (40 minutes from Beechworth), I love that all the wineries are within 5-10 minutes from the town. The standouts for us were Chambers Winery, where you can help yourself to modest tastings, Rutherglen Estates for their cheap and cheerful range, and Scion Vineyard for something truly different.
In King Valley, Dal Zotto is a great starting point – bright, airy and friendly, with great wines at good prices. It’s a professional operation without losing that authentic feeling. The surprise for us is Politini, with a great range of decent wines, followed by Sam Miranda – a busy winery known for the quality of the food and wine at its cellar door (don’t miss the Snow Road sparkling!). The start of King Valley (Cheshunt region) is about 90 minutes from Beechworth.
If beer’s more your thing, Beechworth is also the place for you. Try Bridge Road Brewers for a tasting of 10 beers for $15 and some of the best pizzas I’ve ever tasted. Bright Brewery (an hour’s drive from Beechworth) also has a decent (but smaller) selection of beers to taste, and I love their Bright Lager and Amber Ale. Don’t skip out on the big bowls of chips with delicious aioli ($9).
There are so many good food options in the region.
If you’re out in Rutherglen, clear away your afternoon and spend it at The Terrace restaurant, overlooking the gorgeous grounds and relaxing with one of their wines and a nice meal at this one-hatted restaurant.
If you’re after good quality artisan butter and breakfast to match, head to The Butter Factory in Myrtleford (on the way to Bright Brewery!).
For a dinner with a twist, you can’t go past The Green Shed in Beechworth, which remained one of our favourite restaurants throughout our entire trip. The food’s technically good while remaining hearty, and I really enjoyed the service.
For personalised elegance, you can’t go past Provenance restaurant. In fact, if you’re in Beechworth, you simply can’t go past this restaurant. This two-hatted restaurant is special for a range of reasons; not least the food.
We didn’t do as much walking as we normally do, but we made sure we got out and about on a few occasions.
With the recommendation from our host at Stanton and Killeen, we thoroughly enjoyed the 300m walk to the top of Mt Pilot, with beautiful views over the region. While not wheelchair friendly, this is an easy walk and a great place to have brunch or afternoon tea.
We also really liked exploring the old goldfields near Beechworth (what history!) on the Reids Creek Walk (taking less than two hours, and mostly flat) to the Spring Creek cascades.
Beechworth is in sub-alpine country, and as you head a bit further east and south you can find yourselves climbing the huge alpine roads toward Hotham and Dinner Plains. While very long, I really enjoyed this drive and seeing the different scenery – and it was fun to compare it to Snowy Mountains country (here and here).
If you’re after something different, try out the Beechworth Ghost Tour. Tours starting at 10pm can run a little late, but it’s certainly an eerie location, and fascinating to wander through the old asylum.