Beechworth, Victoria: Eat, Stay, Cycle

Beechworth offers tourists looking for an historic perspective of Australia something magical. Explore the numerous well-preserved buildings from Colonial Victoria dating back to the 1850s. A well preserved precinct is devoted to showcasing many of these fine samples of nineteenth century architecture. Beechworth still provides modern luxuries too, including plenty of fresh, seasonal food and fine art. Just take a trip here and find out for yourself.

Popular among locals and tourists, cycling promotes clean air and physical activity. This is why trails of many kilometers have been created along the historic railway line. Cycle from the Murray Mountains into Beechworth or take a Pedal to Produce tour with your bicycle and rented wicker basket. Show vouchers to local farmers and save while doing some two-wheel shopping. Though visitors may bring their own bikes, rentals are available. Guests may come away noting the clean air, thank to the promotion of human powered travel.

An association with the infamous Ned Kelly and gold mining are just two facets of local history spanning a century and a half. Kelly killed three policemen and robbed a bank before being caught and hanged in 1880. Beechworth jail still stands, though empty since 2004. View the macabre death mask of Ned Kelly plus artifacts from the Chinese and Aboriginal communities. Six churches dating from 1885 and earlier dot the streets. The Carriage Museum, housed in a working brewery, shows horse drawn vehicles from the eighteen hundreds. The 1870 Post Office makes a familiar landmark. Visit the site of the prison, no longer in use, and Beechworth Museum.

Shopping in Beechworth yields a mix of merchants selling local and imported goods, modern and less so. Stop in at an antique store which doubles as a wine shop. Everything inside comes originates locally or in Europe. Shop for Alpaca products such as clothes, yarn and pattern books. Locate gold jewelry and unique pottery created by Beechworth and international potters.

When you tour you get hungry, and everyone has to eat. All tastes differ, however. Some prefer goodies from a bakery. Others like snacks and a coffee. All day breakfast suits some appetites. Try eating your way through town for a few days, but you will never exhaust your choices of food and drink.

Taste award winning ales at Bridge Road Brewers. Ale sits best on a full stomach, so eat lunch or dinner during your visit. Gigis cooks up southern Italian food fresh every day using seasonal, local produce. Try a meal or a light snack and espresso .

The Hibernian Hotel offers families a venue to bring the kids, eat and stay. Accommodation includes four double and three family apartments. Rooms feature internet, air conditioning, TV and DVD. Continental breakfast is included in the price.

Tanswells Commercial Hotel dates back to 1852 and continues to be a popular stop in the centre of town. They make cyclists welcome with a bike shed for storing and maintaining bikes after a long ride. Along with twelve double and single rooms they offer pub food and a few yummy surprises.

Jasmine Zahara is actually a revered writer with an office in Beechworth and is well educated on this general vicinity of Australia. Jasmine is currently writing on just about all provincial Victorian themes and acknowledges Beechworth as probably the most pleasant country Australia areas.