Published on 19th May 2016
by Linsey Rendell

Crisp mountain air and a bountiful food scene await you in the High Country.

There’s something exhilarating about rising before dawn and leaving the city to arrive in a new setting before breakfast.

If you’re thinking about doing just that, then Beechworth is a particularly good-looking destination to point the car towards. With its preserved gold-rush-era architecture set among the undulating landscape of the north-east, it’s a beautiful spot with plenty to keep you occupied for a weekend or more.

The autumn scenery is peaceful and majestic. In winter, nearby Mount Buffalo is blanketed with snow. There’s a great cycling culture here – both slow and leisurely – the old rail tracks have been converted to bike trails, so you can coast between wineries and restaurants. There are also steeper climbs for the altitude-minded adventurer.

Provenance, a highly awarded restaurant inside a grand former bank built in 1856, is a draw in itself. But the region is home to an array of worthy food experiences. The fertile soil and cool climate mean the area is rich with vineyards and farms. Stanley is renowned for its chestnuts and apples, while Beechworth counts many cellar doors (and a great brewery) among its charms. Between the numerous roadside farm gates and the provedores, you’ll return to the city with a sizeable bounty.

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Welcome to High Country

STAY

From an eco-lodge in a lush garden, to a charming heritage cottage, it's easy to hibernate near a fireplace, while wearing a fluffy robe, in the High Country.

DO

Cycle between farm gates and cellar doors, or take to the hills on foot to explore the natural terrain of this mountainous pocket. Reward your efforts with a spa treatment, or curl up in front of an open fire.

Itinerary

A cosy overnight stay in High Country

The cooler months are for catching our breath and curling up by a fire. Here’s a plan for a slower-paced weekend of restorative lounging and excellent local food and wine.

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10am

PROJECT Forty Nine

46 Ford Street
Beechworth VIC
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Project Forty Nine

Start your day with coffee and biscotti at this Beechworth newcomer. The cafe also serves simple, flavourful dishes that pair its strong deli offerings with produce from local farmers.

12pm

Feathertop Winery

6619 Great Alpine Road
Porepunkah VIC
(03) 5756 2356
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Feathertop Winery

Take a drive out to beautiful Porepunkah to visit this family-run winery. Taste a selection of the vineyard’s 22 varietals, before picking a glass to enjoy with a DIY cheese and charcuterie board from the deli.

2pm

The Spa Beechworth

1st Floor, Birches Building Albert Road
Beechworth VIC
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The Spa at Beechworth

Spend a few hours enveloped in a robe and tucked under towels at this eco-minded day spa. Cups of herbal tea and soothing essential oils will slow the mind. A massage will ensure you’re truly moving at a country pace.

5pm

PlaneTrees Lodge

819 Stanley Road
Stanley VIC
(03) 5728 6589
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PlaneTrees Lodge

Check into your accommodation for the evening. This eco-lodge feels like a log cabin in the woods, complete with fireplace and plenty of blankets for keeping snug. Save the stroll around the lush gardens for the morning.

7pm

Provenance

86 Ford Street
Beechworth VIC
(03) 5728 1786
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Provenance

Set in a grand 19th-century bank, this highly awarded restaurant exudes opulence, yet has a homey and welcoming atmosphere. Locally grown and foraged produce is translated into Japanese-influenced regional fare. Opt for saké to start, then leave it to the team to match wines accordingly.

9pm

The Press Room Wine Bar

37 Camp Street
Beechworth VIC
(03) 5728 2360
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The Press Room Wine Bar

Finish the evening with a digestif at this cosy tapas den. Settle into a comfy lounge beside the fire. The intimacy of the space means you’ll quickly get to know the locals.