There’s exciting news from Beechworth for everyone attending the second weekend of the Oceania 2019 orienteering carnival.
1. Model course at Beechworth Gorge
On the afternoon of Friday 4 October a Model orienteering course will be accessible at Beechworth Gorge from 1pm till 5pm. Orienteers will be able to experience terrain and control setting very typical of the Oceania Long and Middle distance events. To ensure we have enough maps available, please indicate on Eventor whether you might be attending, but pay $5 for a map on the day.
2. Saturday night presentations and dinner at Old Beechworth Gaol
The evening of Saturday 5 October will see the social highlight of our week of orienteering at Old Beechworth Gaol. From 5pm come and socialise with fellow orienteers, and enjoy soft and hard drinks and snacks (pay as you go), before the historic venue plays host to the Oceania Long presentation ceremony (and no doubt a few well-chosen words from event organisers). Then from 6.45pm, as a special treat a strict maximum of 200 lucky guests who register and pay in advance via Eventor can also enjoy their last meal inside the old gaol – for only $35/adult, $22/junior (<16 y.o.) you could even be having a drink in Ned Kelly’s cell. (vegetarian and vegan choices available)
3. Accommodation & tourism
Beechworth is ‘Ned Kelly country’ and his goldrush/bushranger heritage makes the town a very popular tourist destination.
The carnival is occurring during school holidays, so book your accommodation early. In addition to local hotels, motels, B&Bs etc, at Stanley Recreation Reserve 8km from Beechworth camping (unpowered) is available for $15/night per vehicle with limited hard floor accommodation also available in the Recreation Hall (limited drink, heating and cooking facilities) for $5/night from Friday till Sunday, 4 – 6 October. Register your place via Eventor, but pay at the Rec. Reserve on arrival.
Speaking of tourism, Beechworth’s restored historic and cultural precinct offers a wonderful glimpse into the past, with a museum, parks and gardens and the courthouse where the infamous Ned and his mother were tried. You can visit the cell where he was held in his youth and see the gaol where he, his mother and sympathisers were imprisoned, and the court house where his final trial commenced. More than 32 buildings are listed by the National Trust and Beechworth is regarded as Victoria’s best preserved historic gold mining town, containing a rich legacy from the last century.
But wait, there’s more…including a fantastic selection of specialty produce in this region. Orienteers are especially encouraged to visit Billson’s Brewery, one of Australia’s oldest breweries, and a proud supporter of Oceania 2019. Their story is about a comeback, a return to quality and the revival of craftsmanship. Visit Billson’s to experience rich heritage, sample artisan cordials, small batch sodas and craft beers, and unwind with delicious food, drinks and great company in the café.
And in one final nod to Ned:
Up around Beechworth it is big country, big hills, the bush is wilder and when you look at the horizon at times you see just a flicker in the corner of your vision that could be men on horseback, just disappearing from view…
In this half light
That is not of day
Yet not of night
Our shades still gallop
Racing over hills and plains
In hazy twilight
Man and horse linger
Black against silver sky
The land that is ours
Gullies and ranges alive
With memories and shadows
Creaking of leather, scent of smoke
Lingering voices drift through tall gums
Here yet not, never truly gone
- Mollie Schollum