Postcard: Highlands to Beechworth then Daylesford

Here we are settled into our second motel for the trip…in beautiful but CHILLY Daylesford. My word the chill has set in the past few days…everywhere it seems but definitely here in Victoria where it was -6.9 degrees.

We left home later than we had planned (of course when you get overexcited on Friday night end of term and drink too much and not pack at all). When will I learn? But we got away via Canberra so we could drop a car off for Rob at the airport when he flies back next week and first stop was lunch at Jugiong. I stopped here maybe 4 years ago when on my last road trip with the girls from Melbs to visit the Long Track Pantry. This fabulous place put the tiny town of Jugiong on the map again and everyone I knew was saying detour off the Hume in there…and I could see why. This time though it was all about The Sir George, a pub originally built in 1852 and recently renovated to create the very best country pub experience. Gorgeous interiors, an amazing space inside and out with great food and drink. I LOVED this place and will now be sure to tell YOU that you must stop in. You must!

Another place to visit on the way in this little gem of a place is Curators Collective which I didn’t get to this time…but as I said we will be back!

Jugiong Spots
The Sir George (accommodation renovation coming later this year)
The Long Track Pantry
Curators Collective

From there we drove down to Beechworth where we were staying for the night. I am all for the drive up motel especially when there is a family suite involved and the Armour Motor Inn and it’s 3.5 star rating did not disappoint! $20o for a great room (sure no one slept) but it was great. We had a quick snatch and grab dinner with a 2 yro and a bigger kid not well so didn’t get to some of the great places to eat in the area but I got lots of messages suggesting some of the following places:

Beechworth Spots
Project 49 – great Italian & Coffee
The Cellardoor Winestore – amazing wine & coffee
Bridge Road Brewers – Craft beer & pizza goof for kids
The Pressroom – good tapas & cocktail for dinner only cosy fire
The Ox & Hound – good food & cute restaurant
Tanswell Hotel – best pub in town great food & music
Provenance – amazing food, hatted food
Beechworth Bakery

This morning we were up and off to stop into two little (adult stops). Brown Brothers Miliwa to just check in on that Prosecco and then onto a little hidden gem of a gin distillery run out of a shed called Hurdle Creek Still a small batch gin that was both very good and run by a lovely couple who we had a lengthy chat with and of course sampled and purchased a few bottles.

From there we stopped in at Glenrowan for the world’s most frightening animatronics display at the Ned Kelly experience, as Harps said “it was both weird AND wonderful!” I would say mostly terrifying and I’m sure I heard Mags mumbling to herself tonight “just pretend Mummy. JUST PRETEND!”

After a comforting vanilla slice I had purchased from the BeechWorth Bakery we drove (in nightmarish slumber for the kids after seeing Ned raise from the dead) to Daylesford through some gorgeous old Victorian towns of Woodend and the like to our stop for the night. We are staying in another pearler of a place The Central Springs Inn (we are in an awesome loft style family room with beds for the 5 of us for dead set $170). The girls sat and wrote in their journals, we had a wander through town where I got to catch up with Victoria from Manteau Noir who I first met years ago when she was at Scarlet Jones in Hawthorn. I got a squeeze, a look at her shop, some shopping ROB BOUGHT ME A CUSHION I SWEAR TO GOD and she took a gorgeous family photo of us all. Look!

We had a great early dinner at The Farmer’s Arms hotel and while we could spend a few days just here we are off in the morning to Ballarat to discover and explore the Winter Festival.

There’s complaining, there’s tantrums, there’s been headaches and fights and it’s never all smiles, but I DO love a road trip with my family. I love exploring new towns, I love reading the history of the towns to my family on Wikipedia as we drive through when no one listens. I love rubbing my third kids leg as they fall asleep “RUB MUMMA!” even though it makes me woozy and uncomfortable as I turn around. I love that someone, or everyone sleeps badly. And that they are all permanently scared by the ghost of Ned Kelly, just like I was in 1984 when we took family holidays down here. It’s never perfect, but like anything in a family, it never is.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.


  1. I love the whole Beechworth/Glenwroan area. And my sis lives in Woodend. It’s our weekender!

  2. Bahahaha!!! This is hilarious! Actually sounds like the road trip from hell but in a very lovely way. I hope it gets better from here xx

  3. Lynn Ann says

    Baby Mac – welcome to Ballarat’s Winter Wonderland! Unbeknownst to you, we have been virtual friends for a few years now (love how the interwebs does that) – thrilled you are visiting my home town and would like to put forth the following recommendations that I think you and your beautiful family would really enjoy: TUMMY: Mitchell Harris Wine Bar (lovely place to grab a prosecco), The Forge Pizzeria (awesome wood fired goods), Kittelty’s Cafe (nestled next to the Art Gallery – great cakes & coffee), FIKA Coffee Brewers (for serious coffee), Saltbush Kitchen (next to MADE, great food with a touch of Australian Native Foods), Le Peche Gourmand (amazing French patisserie located in Creswick – go easy -#notafatmoleforforty!). SHOPS: Crafty Squirrel; on Skipton Street all next to each other: Hattie And The Wolf, Tilly Mint, Vintage 216; Upholstery Gallery on Mair Street. PARKS with PLAYGROUNDS: a stroll through the Botanical Gardens is lovely, Lake Esmond, MADE on Eureka Street, Vic Park up Sturt Street. I trust Visit Ballarat will take very good care of you and include all the major highlights (Sov Hill – RASPBERRY DROPS, Wildlife Park – PENGUINS!!!). Enjoy, hope the weather is kind, stay warm. Safe and happy travels. xo

  4. I grew up near Glenrowan and am still traumatised by that show from when I saw it more than 20 years ago, actually closer to 30 years!! I’ve stopped in a couple of times over the years with my kids and have never let them watch it! My husband thinks I’m crazy but I seriously was terrified for years from it! Sovereign Hill at night is pretty cool we went last year but so so cold! Seriously dress like you are going skiing!

  5. We drove from Brissie to Daylesford in January to catch with lovely friends. What a magic spot it is.

    I adore a family road trip! Enjoy!!

  6. Linda Jenkins says

    They will talk about this trip forever Beth – well done on creating some road trip memories !

  7. Gail Virgona says

    How I love a road trip. There is just something about the country motels and fun of discovering the best place for a coffee/donut/cushion. Are you coming to Melbs??

  8. Ah the good old Armour Motor Inn, I’m going to tell myself that as you stayed there AFTER I did, therefore I am the cool Victorian countryside adventuring girl who must have dropped that name into your consciousness somehow. Hush hush, JUST PRETEND, okay?

    My uncle and aunt lived in Woodend when I was a kid and visiting them was always great. Very long low house, verandah overlooking the hills, lots of exposed brick, complete with a small hill of vines, yabbying in the dam, listening to Yes kind of vibe. Loved it.

    Road trips are the best. Thanks for reminding me of some good times in super chilly country Vic!

  9. i am so excited you are in my neck of the woods – Victoria is glorious and just full of adventures! In fact i am attending a family reunion/week-end away in Daylesford this week-end and i don’t mind admitting i am disappointed you wont be there to share a glass or five or proscecco!!

  10. wow your eldest girl is getting so tall!!!! Lovely hearing about your trip! I remember dad used to tell us a story about the postal robbery where the mail van with all the letters was dumped in the forest, when we would go through the road near the big pine forests on the way to the Sunshine Coast (homefor us now) for holidays as kids, it was so spooky driving through at night and we all wanted to hear the story but geez we were scared. Not to mention the big Mt Tibrogagan that mum said looked like King Kong ahahah , funnily enough I’m telling my kids the same stories

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