Beechworth Honey shop has a large range of honeys - all available to sample before you buy. There are also creamed honeys with interesting blends - for instance, with ginger, or fig and ginger and also with other fruits.
We bought some Yellow Box Honey - delicious.
Bottles of Honey Nectar are available as well. All prices for goods seemed reasonable.
A range of other gifts and souvenirs can also be bought.
Its in the main street, at the top of the hill opposite a church - on the Corner of Ford and Church Street, Beechworth
Beechworth...with so much to see and do in this wonderful old Victorian gold mining town..make sure that you firstly go to the tourist information centre for all local sites and information..all of the old Colonial stone buildings and more than 30 are National Trust have history markers out front.....make sure you read them they are really interesting...
First thing in the morning is fresh bread and croisants and when in Beechworth make sure you put the bakery on your "must visit" list.. so many different pies..cakes..and pastries..and different breads all cooked fresh daily...open 7 days...6AM to 7PM....breakfasts...lunches..snacks...and dinners...sit on the balcony have tea and scones..or coffee and an "aussie pie" really nice pies and a good variety....it gets really busy...
The Brewery is open for free tastings from 10am-4pm. While you're there, you can also check out the Lighthorse and Carriage museum for $1 per person. There were some interesting old carriages and a variety of things used in the old brewery downstairs.
Upstairs you can have a taste of their cordials - they have a wide variety including Chilli, Lemon Ginger, Lemon Lime & Bitters, Spiced Apple, Brewed Ginger, Peppermint, Sarsaparilla, Mint Julep, Lime Juice, Raspberry Vinegar &
Portello. I really liked the raspberry vinegar.
There is also a large variety of jams and spicy sauces and things in the shop. I got a jar of Raspberry & red currant that is tasty.
The breweries and museum is a nice stop if you have extra time, but if you are pressed for time, I would skip this and focus on the historic buildings in town.
What's to do in Beechworth I hear you ask. Well, as one other VT site will testify, a lot more than you can see in two days.
The one place you must not miss is the Beechworth Bakery. In fact, if that was all the town had to offer I'd still go there and I'd still have to queue up to get a pie.
If Australia is a land of pie shops, this is one of the finest.
The owner even wrote a book about his success. My first experience came at the Echuca branch when we went in for a late breakfast. I was amazed, I could count 12 staff in this outlet on a Sunday morning in a country town and it was just short of being packed with customers.
Tom O’Toole has been described as John Cleese on speed. A self confessed kindergarten dropout, he is so sought after by the financial world that he delivers over 100 lectures a year at over $6,000 a pop.
O’Toole bought the bakery business over 20 years ago. He had previously owned the shop as a restaurant, flogged it off and went to W.A. where he learnt about baking. He then returned, repurchased the shop and it has now gone from two staff turning over $100,000 per annum to 4 stores, 160 staff, churning out over $10,000,000 at 20% nett profit.
The Beechworth Mayor has credited Tom O’Toole with single handedly getting Beechworth motivated into tourism. Bill Hotson says, “He was the catalyst, the reason we got into tourism.”
He’s now sold 75% of his business to others and the partners estimate Australia can handle over 300 of these stores. Personally speaking, I can’t wait till they open in Newcastle.
For mine the ultimate gem is what the bank said. In Tom’s words, “The bank was here, they said Tom we’re going, it’s dying, this town’s had it, and my accountant said you’re bloody mad, you’re overcapitalizing a town that’s dying. Today they all think I’m a guru.” Gotta love a man with that attitude. Pass me another apple pie please (they’re to-die-for).
If only I could induce the owner to open up in my home town.
Gold was first discovered in Beechworth in 1852. In fourteen years more than 4 million ounces or 115 tons of gold was found - with a value of around 3 billion dollars in today's prices.
Of course, there were no environmental concerns in those days so, where the gold was sluiced became a bit of a barren world that these days makes for some stark landscapes.
These shots were taken at Lake Sambell on my first afternoon in the town of just under 3,000 people.
I could have spent a lot more time (and money) in here than I did. This is one of those gems where you walk in and, who knows what you may find.
From art, photography, quilting to bric-a-brac in general, you'll find it all here.
Old volumes, forgotten styles of toys, I had ball just browsing from room to room.
It was designed and constructed in the 1860's by Donald Fiddes with the idea of it being a furniture and timber store with a residence upstairs.
Along with his brother William, Donald designed and constructed many Beechworth buildings. There was a saleyard and horse bazaar behind this site going to the next block and, at one stage, a garage with bowsers on the corner.
This is a place where you can indulge your sweet tooth. During its history since 1858 it has been a sweet shop several times but also a greengrocer, cake shop, funeral parlour and a tailor.
It's situated in Camp Street.
Strolling beneath the elms on a balmy spring day, what could be nicer? I'd like to say I did that but, honesty prevails, it was a crappy day with blustery winds. The elms however, were splendid, albeit dropping tonnes of beige buds all over the road to the extent that, on some pathways, they were thicker than a deep pile carpet, akin to a dry snowfall.
Elsewhere spring fostered in a wonderful array of colour (pics 2 & 3) in garden after garden. It was hard not to stop and admire the blooms, so I did, and enjoyed every minute of it.
Even the houses were lovely, with classic 1800s facades prevailing (see pic 4), even it they were built in recent times.
Rosemarie's gotten quite a habit recently. It involves shopping, no surprises there. She's worked out that country shops often have some wonderful fashions that she's missing out on in the large city department stores. Too much of a sameness.
To counteract this she heads into every second store with a dress in the window while we are in places like Bowral, Mittagong or Beechworth, three places I have suffered.
Thus it was that I was conned out of a three figure amount for a blouse that she purchased. Purchased, that is, after she'd already bought a jumper and something else.
With a reluctant sigh did my wallet open to part yet again with that folding stuff. As you can see in the picture though, one of us was happy.
What I loved about this place was the seeming contradiction of the sign. Beechworth Classic Apparel on the large part and "motor sport gallery" underneath.
Understandably, someone in the family is a petrol head and there's more than a few items of that ilk up the back in its own special part.
Here you will note three pictures, all having the appearance of churches but, alas (if you're religious), only one is still used for its original purpose.
The first one is now a Neighbourhood Centre but used to be the Methodist Church. They all date from the 1850s to the 1890s so are a wonderful time capsule of what Beechworth once looked like.
The second one is the Roman Catholic church, the only one of the three here still in use whilst the last is now an antique shop. The land on which this former church now stands was used as a cemetery prior to 1856. Later those interred here were removed to the present Beechworth Cemetery where they were re-buried in a special Pioneer’s section. The Sunday School was erected in 1858; the church was completed in 1869.
As I have oft stated about Australian architecture, it's the public buildings that generally stand out and post offices are definitely a highlight in most of the old towns.
This particular one replaced its burnt down predecessor in 1870 and is set right in the middle of town.
Between 1853 and 1870 a man called Harry Power, nicknamed the "Gentleman Bushranger", spent some time in the holding cells here at the back of the court house. It's always been a bit of a mystery to me how someone sticking a gun up your nose can be called a "gentleman" but that's another argument.
He was variously accused of horse stealing, armed hold-ups and coach robberies; in fact, he was implicated in hundreds of them and was a dubious mentor of Ned Kelly.
These sheds at the rear of the Town Hall (it doubled as a court house) had three cells and a garage for the local fire engine.
Harry Power died in 1891 and thus ended the "Golden" era of Victorian bushrangers.
I still haven't worked out where the Murray Breweries ends and the Carriage Museum begins but, when you get there, it's not the entrance on the corner. Otherwise you might end up wandering, totally disoriented, around the delivery yards and past "Do not pass" signs just to get out again......as I did. (see pic one)
Anyhow, the smoke stack makes it a readily identifiable edifice and, when you do find the entrance, the minimialist entry fee is value for money.
There's lots of things associated with beer (see pic 2), but there's also other items of interest such as the bread van, the like of which I remember bread being delivered in (pic 3), the sulky (pic 4) whose name I'd never heard of before and an interesting display of WWI memorabilia relating to the Light Horse brigade.
So, there I was, strolling down main street, when I spotted it. "It" being the tow truck of course. A classic Chevvy, lovingly cared for and still in use. It must be a town icon, no doubt even listed by the heritage people.
Of course, I couldn't resist a quick snap, though Rosemarie couldn't understand what all the fuss was about.