10 things to see and do in Beaconsfield, Tasmania, Australia
Updated: Jul 5, 2021
Beaconsfield in the rural north-east of Tasmania is 40 kilometres from Launceston and situated near the Tamar River. This former gold mining town had a population of around 1300 in the 2016 census. While small, it is big on things to see and do, retaining its heritage and proudly welcoming new residents and businesses. I spent a day here wandering around enjoying the many delights the town had to offer. The park in town has free gas bbqs and is the perfect place to have a country lunch.
1. MINERS GOLD BREWERY
The old 1870 built Chief Engineers residence and office fell into disrepair years ago. It has now been lovingly restored and extended into Miners Gold Brewery. A video of the renovation shows in the bar area. Opened in 2019 this is definitely a place to visit if you want to taste home brewed delights. All beers are brewed on site using UZ and NZ hops.
Pub fare is available with all burgers and grass fed steak sandwiches being made on the premises. All food is Tasmanian produce. Vegan and gluten-free options are available.
I sampled the Fog on the Tamar beer. Wow. It was sweet and light with hints of passionfruit and pineapple and 5.4% alcohol.
Proud owners, Cathy and Brett, have spent the last 25 years in Tasmania. Brett started the process of home brewing at home, with friendly competion between mates. Their beer was so popular, they decided to open a brewery. I met Cathy on my visit and she loves the Beaconsfield community. They came from Adelaide on a holiday and loved it so much they moved here.
The large open fireplace is warm and welcoming if you want to sit inside. With a seating capacity of 50 indoors and 30 outside on the deck, this is a popular venue for locals as well as tourists.
Tours of the brewery can be arranged by contacting them before arriving.
2. GOATY HILL WINES
Started in 2003, this winery takes its name from the hill on the property - Goaty Hill. Their award winning wines are sold here at the cellar door and also some 9-11 bottle shops. Tastings and platters can be enjoyed inside, where it seats 20, or one of the 24 spots outside on the deck. Alternatively, enjoy sitting on the outdoor beanbags overlooking a firepit and the vineyards. Perfect!
Various events are held here and often you will find 200 people in attendance. Food vans and music are part of the fun at the annual Day on the Goat, held in November. They also host a Pizza and Pinot day.
Kim was a wonderful host at the cellar door, full of great information about the winery and the local area.
3. THE GOURMET BUTCHER SHOP
Many years ago there was a dedicated butcher in almost every Australian town, but these are often disappearing as people show in supermarkets more. Beaconsfield has a friendly local butcher shop that can supply exactly what you require for dinner or grab something to throw on one of the many free gas barbeques around the area.
4. MANIONS JUBILEE BAKERY
Country bakeries are filled with glass showcases of delicious, sweet delights. They also stock loaves that are made on the premises, sliced or unsliced. This is fresh at its best! The wood fired oven remains today. Opened in 1887 the original owner Paddy "PJ" Manion (an Irish-born Catholic) baked with "holy water", water collected from the roof of the church next door. Paddy was also an early motor enthusiast, and his son Cyril ran the garage next door for decades.
5. GEM AND STONE CREATIONS
This store specialises in Tasmanian gemstones, and includes a wide range of local minerals, crystals, lapidary material (petrified manfern) and gemstone carvings. They can also clean and repair your jewellery here. The chap in charge on my visit was very chatty and had a lot of interesting facts about the town. Well worth a stop here for local lore.
6. THE BEACONSFIELD WALK OF GOLD
The walk interprets 15 historical buildings in town along a 1.8 km walk along West and Weld Streets. Their signage is excellent, with historical photos to compare the early photos to todays building, and information about the site.
7. EXCHANGE HOTEL
Established in 1879, this magestic building also hosts 11 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. In 1884 hotel owner Richard Collins and his son George were accused of laundering notes from a bank robbery from the local Bank of Tasmania. They were held in temporary cells in their own hotel! Shut for a few years, in 2021 the building was purchased by the newest owners of the nearby mine. Locals hope the doors may soon be open and cold drinks once more served here.
The Bank of Tasmania has now been repurposed into a gift store, while still retaining its original signage.
8. CLUB HOTEL
In the 1880s this was a coffee palace, offering accommodation and refreshments, but no alcohol. Built as the second coffee palace in Beaconsfield, it soon became the fifth licensed hotel in town soon afterwards. In 2006 when two trapped miners were freed from almost 1km and two weeks underground at the mine in town, it was a place of riotous celebration!
9. UNITING CHURCH
The denomination has been active here since the gold reef was struck in 1877.
10. THE COUNTRYSIDE
The countryside around Beaconsfield is stunning. Green grassy pastures and rolling hills make a drive to this town almost as good as discovering the town itself. Each winding turn of the road brings a vista of beauty. My journey there and back took longer than I estimated as I kept stopping along the side of the road to admire the landscape and take photos to remember it by.
As the sun was setting and the fog rolled over the plains it was a beautiful ending to a perfect sightseeing day in Beaconsfield.
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