Latest Tourism News
Tourism Media Releases
History repeats itself at the Burke Museum
History will repeat itself in the Burke Museum with the halls once again echoing to lectures of knowledge and wisdom. It all dates back 150 years ago when the Beechworth Athenaeum was renamed the Robert O’Hara Burke Museum (Burke Museum) in honour of the Burke & Wills famed explorer after his death at Coopers Creek in 1861. The former Athenaeum was renowned as a place of intellectual refinement and learning hosting scholars, philosophers, scientists and dignitaries giving lectures on a range of subjects to educate the local community.
Burke Museum and Historic Precinct Manager Patrick Watt and the friends of the Burke Museum have has been working on a series of events leading up to the sesquicentennial celebrations. The start of the celebrations is a lecture similar to those hosted back in 1863 with prominent local speakers providing deep thought, laughter and scepticism.
“To celebrate the 150 year anniversary of the museum we will take a step back in time to the day of the athenaeum and host a lecture evening with a bit of a modern twist,” Patrick said.
The evening will host Beechworth Bakery’s Tom O’Toole to lecture on Common-sense, Tact & Humbug; Golden Guitarist Peter Denahy will be speaking on Comic and Satirical Poetry and local Beechworth sceptic Michael Evans will discuss Scepticism. It will be a night of inspiration and a chance to open your mind to new ways of thinking.
Thursday 30 May at 7pm. Tickets are available from the Burke Museum at $15 per non-members and $10 for members. A fine supper will be provided along with wine. Contact the Burke Museum on P. 03 5728 8067.
Indigo Shire Events Videos
Indigo Shire has received funding from Regional Development Victoria to undertake a 2 year project of filming the regions main festivals and events. The project will produce a range of high quality film footage of our best the regions festivals and events to be used in promotional campaigns and online opportunities. Media Release Indigo Shire to shine in new tourism videos.
Gran Fondo - Cycle
Grand Fondo cycle tour will be held in Beechworth from 19 - 21 April 2013. There will be a range of cycle routes around the Beechworth, Chiltern, Yackandandah and Stanley area. For more informatino on the routes and road closures click on the link below for more details.
Festivals & Events Autumn Guide 2013
Indigo Shire's new Autumn 2013 guide to festivals and events is now available. Click here to go to the full calendar or contact the tourism department on 03 5728 8000 or via email if you'd like to receive a hard copy.
Best B&B's in Australia
Freeman on Ford, Beechworth's 5 star B&B, has been awarded the top B&B in Australia in Trip Advisors Travellers Choice for 2013. Owners Heidi Freeman and Jim Didolis are thrilled to be recognised by this award which is voted by former guests of the accommodation. The B&B also received international recognition thru ranking third in the awards' South Pacific category. The beautifully restored historic building offers the perfect retreat with delicious cooked breakfast and high teas. Recently Heidi and Jim have renovation the downstairs of the original building which includes a private swimming pool and spa, three new bedrooms, commercial kitchen, lounge room, extneded dining room and undercover parking.
As a testament to the quality of B&B's on offer in Beechworth, Albertines Beechworth also ranked highly in the Travellers Choice Awards with a ranking of third place.
Calling All Cycling Team Captains to Step Forward!
The Gran Fondo Beechworth event offers teams a chance to compete with and against the Drapac Professional Cycling Team, on Saturday 20 April 2013.
Gran Fondo Beechworth (GFB) is a multi-day cycling immersion that offers two closed road events for serious riders to compete to win the beyondblue Cup! On offer is a 173km and an 83km challenging timed ride against the backdrop of the Victorian Alps! Both rides include a 10km mountain climb to Stanley – which will test all competitors. Drapac Professional Cycling team can attest to this!
The event provides a great opportunity for cyclists to ride along side Drapac Professional Cycling Team, as well as network on the saddle with corporate riders. The closed road event, guarantees a safe ride where participants can ride quickly and efficiently along unfolding terrain in one of the best cycling locations in regional Victoria.
The beauty about this unique three-day event is it offers a broad range of cycling events which guarantees there is a ride for everyone. A cycling fanatic can sweat it out on the closed road events, whilst their partner slowly grazes their way around the country side on two wheels!
Event collection includes:
- Gran Fondo - 173km closed road circuit (Drapac Cycling Team participating)
- Medio Fondo - 83km closed road circuit (timed)
- GIANT Cyclo-Cross - A Dirty Deeds custom 2km circuit
- Gourmet Fondo - Pedal to produce (open road)
- L’eroica - Vintage salute to yester-year (timed)
All registrants will have the exclusive opportunity to WIN an amazing 10 day* holiday for two people to Botswana and Zimbabwe (land only, no airfare*) valued at $11,000 ($5,500 per person). Competition entry is qualified by registering in a Gran Fondo Beechworth event, as well as answering three questions for the chance to win a holiday!
As the official training program partner for the GFB, Director Cycling Inform David Heatley said “One way organisations can boost a team’s morale is through physical activity. Assembling the right mix of talented people, with the hope that they will eventually perform well together as a team requires vision, dedication and guidance.” Cycling Inform will be providing training tips on GFB’s website, as well as a custom training program DVD for the serious contenders.
The Gran Fondo Beechworth event proudly supports the beyondblue national depression initiative and encourages participants to fundraise for the worthy cause. The beyondblue Cup will be awarded to the best individual rider and the best team, on the basis of two criteria, being your ride time and your fundraising success for beyondblue, and the two are equally weighted.
beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell AO said with one in four Australians experiencing depression and/or anxiety during their lifetime, events like the Gran Fondo Beechworth are great ways to raise awareness about this important issue.
Ride hard, ride slow, ride long or ride short, it is all about coming together and sharing the journey highlighting historical towns, vineyards, fields and mountains.
For further information about the Gran Fondo Beechworth or to register for the event, please visit www.granfondobeechworth.com.au
View Drapac Professional Cycling Team training on the Beechworth circuit! View showreel: http://vimeo.com/57495653
Michael Hands, Director Gran Fondo Beechworth 0402 255 727 email@example.com
Photo Opportunities in Beechworth
Clayton Neil, Director Gran Fondo Beechworth 0417 116 571 firstname.lastname@example.org
London Olympian to present trophies for the 147th Rutherglen Regatta
When: Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 January 2013
Where: Lake Moodemere, Wahgunyah
The 147th Murray Rowing Association Annual Rowing Regatta on Lake Moodemere, Wahgunyah will be welcoming around 700 competitors to its shores in January. Australia’s oldest rowing regatta, the event has been growing in strength over the past decade and continues to draw huge interest from across Victoria and interstate rowers.
The regatta predates famous races, such as the Australian Henley, from its humble beginnings with the first races being between paddle steamers’ boatmen berthed at the Port of Wahgunyah. The regatta went on to be established on Lake Moodemere in the 1860s.
Local rowing clubs will be well represented at the regatta with Rutherglen Lake, Corowa and Wahgunyah clubs in attendance.
“We are also hopeful that the Yarrawonga Rowing Club will be able to attend the regatta as it has been fifteen years since they have raced in a Rowing Victoria regatta,” Paul Somerville MRA President said.
Racing commences at 8am on Saturday, January 12 and 7am on Sunday, January 13 with races scheduled every three minutes. A highlight of this year’s regatta is the Victorian Sprint Championships being held on the Sunday. The sprint championships include the single scull, double scull, quad scull, pair, four and eights for both male and female crews.
“We are excited to be hosting the Victorian Sprint Championships which will draw in some of the state’s finest athletes to compete,” Paul Somerville said.
Olympian Robyn Selby Smith will be presenting the winning medals on Saturday. Robyn competed in the women’s eight crew at the London Olympics.
Entry to the event is free and all are welcome to come along to witness one of the region’s largest sporting events. Refreshments will be available at the event.
Chiltern celebrates a great Australian author
Henry Handel Richarson's Birthday Celebration
When: Thursday 3 January 2013
Where: Lakeview House, Victoria Street, Chiltern
Chiltern is set to celebrate its links to the great Australian author, Henry Handel Richardson on 3 January 2013. The celebration is an annual highlight of the Chiltern calendar recognising Ethel Florence Lindesay Richardson (pseudonym Henry Handel Richardson H.H.R.) who was born on 3 January 1870 and spent some of her childhood years at Lake View House.
The author of such classics as The Getting of Wisdom and the three-part The Fortunes of Richard Mahony, Richardson drew heavily on her childhood experience in Chiltern for the final book of the ‘Fortunes’ trilogy, Ultima Thule. Henry Handel Richardson’s literary achievements are entrenched in Australian literary history.
The 2013 celebrations marking Henry Handel Richardson’s 143rd birthday will commence at 6pm with a BYO picnic tea in the lovely Lake View gardens overlooking Lake Anderson. A feature of the evening will be presentations and readings from the winning authors in the Henry Handel Richardson Society's recent Writing Competition, as well as the launch of Bruce Steele's biography of HHR's father, Dr. Walter Lindesay Richardson.
All are invited to attend the birthday celebrations. For more information on the evenings activities contact the Chiltern Visitor Information Centre on Ph. 03 5726 1611.
Chiltern Mo Ride attracts hundreds of riders
The inaugural Mo Ride held in Chiltern on Sunday 25 November has proven to be a huge success with around 300 riders of all ages participating in the event. Mo Ride was coordinated as part of the fundraising activities for Movember, attracting people from across the region as well as from Sydney and Melbourne, to participate in the cycle event.
Event Organiser Matt Williams said that the fundraising day raised around $15,000 toward the foundation through cycle entrant’s fees and various Mo Bros and Mo Sistas activities throughout the month of November. A total of $7,600 was raised from the riders’ entrance fees and an additional $7,400 was raised from the growing of moustaches.
“Around $15,000 was raised throughout November in Chiltern with all of the cycle entrant fees being donated to the Movember Foundation,” said Matt Williams Event Organiser.
Funds raised for the Movember Foundation are directed to Prostrate Cancer Programs and Beyond Blue. Event organisers were pleasantly surprised by the amount of support the event attracted with cycle participants and volunteers.
“We had around 300 riders participate in both the main cycle ride and family ride, along with around 90 volunteers assisting on the day,” said Matt Williams Event Organiser.
So successful was this year’s event, event organisers have locked in for 2013 with Sunday 24 November for the next Mo Ride.
Festivals & Events Summer Guide 2012/2013
Indigo Shire's new Summer 2012/2013 guide to festivals and events is now available. Click here to go to the full calendar or contact the tourism department on 03 5728 8000 or via email if you'd like to receive a hard copy.
TOURISM INDUSTRY REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND (TIRF) GRANTS
The Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism have announced in June 2012 48.5 million in funding over four years to assist the industry in reaching the Tourism 2020 growth targets. The TIRF Grants Program will offer funding amounts from $50,000 - $250,000 for innovative tourism projects and existing infrastructure. Applications close on Friday 14 December 2012. More information can be found at www.ret.gov.au/tirfgrants.
Festivals & Events Spring Guide 2012
Indigo Shire's new Spring 2012 guide to festivals and events is now available. Click here to go to the full calendar or contact the tourism department on 03 5728 8000 or via email if you'd like to receive a hard copy.
Ned’s Needles to honour the art of the beard Combining sensible Winter warmth with a celebration of Beechworth’s hirsute history, Ned’s Needles is a brand new competition for those who love to knit (or crochet, felt, or in any other way create with wool)...wearable beards!
Combining sensible Winter warmth with a celebration of Beechworth’s hirsute history, is a brand new competition for those who love to knit (or crochet, felt, or in any other way create with wool)...wearable beards!
Entries are now open for Ned’s Needles with the competition culminating in the official judging and launch of an exhibition of around 30 of the finest, most creative knitted beards at Beechworth’s Burke Museum on Thursday 19 July.
The exhibition, which will continue throughout July/August, will be a fitting warm-up for the town’s famous Ned Kelly Weekend taking place across the first weekend in August.
First, second and third prizes will be awarded in each of the categories of Most Creative and Most Realistic, with an overall Best in Show winner awarded the inaugural Ned’s Needles commemorative trophy.
Entry details and Ned’s Needles knitting patterns (like those being worn by our handsome models pictured right) are now available from the Burke Museum website at www.burkemuseum.com.au
All Ned’s Needles entries will also feature in an online exhibition at www.burkemuseum.com.au, also launched on 19 July.
Ned’s Needles Knitted Beard Competition: Burke Museum, Loch Street, Beechworth
Official opening Thursday 19 July, continuing through August.
Pictured top right, Beechworth Historic Precinct tour guide, Keith ‘Harry Power’ Warren, gets into the spirit of the Ned’s Needles competition.
Winter Festivals & Events Calendar 2012
Visitors to this lovely part of the world can choose from dozens of fabulous festivals and events taking place throughout the cooler months.
Our new Winter guide to what’s on in Beechworth, Chiltern, Rutherglen and Yackandandah is now available and features a plethora of reasons to don the woollies and spend some time in Indigo Shire during June, July and August.
Winter highlights include Chiltern’s huge Visual Arts Exhibition in June and Antiques Fair in August and, across the June long weekend, Victoria’s original wine festival, the Rutherglen Winery Walkabout. In Beechworth, three favourites return – the prestigious Fabric & Fibre Award in July and the Ned Kelly Weekend and the Kelly Country Pick bluegrass festival in August.
To view our full festivals and events guide for Winter 2012 please click here
State Government support for Chiltern Discovery Centre - $15,000 for Chiltern’s Mt Pilot Discovery Centre Plan
Left to right: Indigo Shire Mayor, Cr Larry Goldsworthy, Eileen Collins from Friends of the Chiltern Mt Pilot National Park, Chiltern Tourism & Development Inc President, Kevin Mayhew, and Hon Bill Tilley, Member for Benambra, at the announcement of the $15,000 State Government grant.
Indigo Shire Council will develop a strategic plan for the proposed Chiltern Mt Pilot Discovery Centre with the help of $15,000 in Victorian Government funding, Bill Tilley, Member for Benambra, said today.
Mr Tilley said the plan would investigate the need for the facility through consultation, determining the possible economic and social benefits to the community and research similar facilities throughout the country.
“The plan will also look to identify possible centre locations, potential partner organisations and tourism markets and statutory requirements and impediments,” Mr Tilley said.
“It will also make recommendations regarding the various options available in seeing the project become a reality.”
Mr Ryan, Deputy Premier said the Chiltern Mt Pilot National park was one of the few remaining large tracts of Box Ironbark Forest in South East Australia.
“The park is recognised as a nationally significant habitat for rare and endangered birdlife and is fast becoming a major tourist attraction for bird watchers,” Mr Ryan said.
“The proposed Chiltern Mt Pilot Discovery Centre will target the growing national and international bird-watching markets and develop an eco tourism focus for the town.
“It is intended that the Centre will also provide educational resource materials and facilities relating to the natural assets of the Chiltern Mt Pilot National Park which can be used by the community, tourist groups and the education sector more broadly.
“The centre has the potential to deliver significant economic benefits to the township of Chiltern and nearby towns within Indigo Shire by providing a unique tourist attraction that could become a strong drawcard for the region.”
Mr Ryan said Victorian Government funding for the $20,000 Chiltern Mt Pilot National Park Discovery Centre Strategic Plan project would be provided to Indigo Shire Council through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund’s Putting Locals First Program.
“Putting Locals First is a $100 million initiative that enables regional communities to devise and deliver service and infrastructure responses that reflect local priorities,” Mr Ryan said.
“It is supporting stronger and more sustainable regional communities by building their capacity to drive development in their region.”
The project is expected to be completed by December 2012.
Media contact: 02 6024 4488
Official launch for new Indigo Gold Trail projects
Indigo Shire Council has celebrated Heritage Week 2012 with the official opening of a suite of new projects completed as part of the Indigo Gold Trail, a major tourism initiative which links the towns and historic sites of the area by the common thread of gold.
State Government grants totalling $130,000 under the Sustainable Small Towns Development Fund, together with contributions from Indigo Shire Council, have enabled the refurbishment of the Rutherglen Gold Battery including a new visitor viewing area, audio visual production, interpretive signage, landscaping, building repairs and carpark upgrade. The Rutherglen Gold Battery Committee, supported by the Rutherglen Historical Society and Indigo Shire’s Economic Development and Tourism teams, has seen the refurbishment project to fruition.
The launched included:
- a package of entertaining Indigo Gold Trail Audio Tours which take visitors on an entertaining journey of gold discovery around Indigo Shire, bringing to life the sites, colour and the characters of the goldfields. The Audio Tours are now available on MP3 players (pictured) at Visitor Information Centres in Rutherglen, Beechworth, Chiltern and Yackandandah and online
- The Indigo Gold Trail website – www.indigogoldtrail.com - equipped with a downloadable Gold Trail brochure, soon to be available in simplified Chinese, as well as audio tours, videos and comprehensive information about the gold history of the area
- Indigo Gold Trail touch-screens equipped with new software offering visitors a virtual tour of some 40 key gold sites across our Indigo Shire, to be installed at each Visitor Information Centre in Beechworth, Chiltern, Rutherglen and Yackandandah.
Believed to be the only Government Battery in Victoria still in working order, the Rutherglen Gold Battery was built in 1908 to extract quartz recovered from reefs in and around Rutherglen. It was in use until 1994 yielding 5650 ounces of gold (worth close to $100 million in today’s currency) from 6549 tons of quartz crushed during that period. The Battery is considered historically as well as scientifically significant because of its rarity and its intactness.
The State Government grant has also assisted the refurbishment of the National Trust-listed Powder Magazine, one of a number of nationally significant gold era buildings comprising the Beechworth Historic & Cultural Precinct.
The Indigo Gold Trail is a key plank of Indigo Shire’s Tourism Strategy and aims to bring tangible benefits to the community by giving visitors of all ages a new reason to explore the area, bringing economic benefit to local accommodation and hospitality providers, restaurants and cafes, retailers and ultimately, the broader communities of the Shire.
This year marks the 160th anniversary of the discovery of gold in Indigo Shire – the rush began on the banks of Spring Creek in Beechworth in August 1852.
Autumn Festivals & Events 2012
Autumn is the perfect time to visit the historic towns of Indigo Shire. The weather’s great, the scenery is beautiful and there’s plenty happening. Our latest Festivals and Events calendar for the region has just been released and is packed with food and wine, music, cultural and historical events for all ages.
A highlight is the annual Tastes of Rutherglen in March, where 21 of our famed wineries match their produce in a true feast for the senses. The Yackandandah Folk Festival in March is an annual highlight for music lovers. Vintage and veteran cars and bikes will take centre stage in Chiltern in April for the Cancer Cruise, Car and Bike Show, while Beechworth’s biggest annual event, the Beechworth Bakery Golden Horseshoes Festival, returns this Easter long weekend with a packed program for the whole family.
To view our full festivals and events guide for Autumn 2012 please click here.
Last updated: 22 May 2013