Beaufort, Victoria

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Main Street, Beaufort
Beaufort is located in Pyrenees Shire
Coordinates37°25′50″S 143°23′00″E / 37.43056°S 143.38333°E / -37.43056; 143.38333Coordinates: 37°25′50″S 143°23′00″E / 37.43056°S 143.38333°E / -37.43056; 143.38333
Population1,539 (2016 census)[1]
LGA(s)Pyrenees Shire
State electorate(s)Ripon
Federal Division(s)Wannon

Beaufort is a town in Victoria, Australia. It is located on the Western Highway midway between Ararat and Ballarat, in the Pyrenees Shire local government area. It is 387 metres (1,270 ft) above sea level. At the 2016 census, Beaufort had a population of 1,539.[1] The town takes its name either from Rear-Admiral Francis Beaufort or a Welsh village in Monmouthshire.[2]

The area was once occupied by the Wadawurrung Aborigines who called the area 'Peerick' or 'Yarram-yarram'.[3]


Thomas Mitchell passed through the district on his expedition of 1836. Early settlers in the area were the Kirkland Brothers and a Mr. Hamilton; the latter took up Trawalla Station in 1838. The station was taken over by Adolphus Goldsmith in 1841 and he developed the property into a rich grazing enterprise. Lake Goldsmith was named after him.

Gold was discovered in 1852, with another gold rush from 1854 at nearby Fiery Creek. The Fiery Creek diggings supported four townships, Beaufort, Yam Holes Creek, View Point and Southern Cross, during the 1850s. The population on the fields reportedly reached approximately 100,000 people at its height in the late 1850s and produced 450,000 ounces of gold over a two-year period, 1855–1856.[4]

The town was surveyed in 1857 and town allotments were sold from 1858. By 1860, Beaufort had become a small but strong agricultural, pastoral and timber district. Beaufort's Court House was built in 1864 [5] and the Post Office renamed as Beaufort the same year.


Beaufort has two state schools, Beaufort Primary School and Beaufort Secondary College. Adult education programs are run from the Beaufort Community House & Learning Centre.


Beaufort Railway Station

Beaufort is approximately 164 kilometres (102 mi) west from the state capital Melbourne. The Western Highway runs through the town and is the main highway between Melbourne and Adelaide.

The town is serviced by railway at the Beaufort railway station on the Ararat railway line.

Sports and culture[edit]

The town has an Australian Rules football team competing in the Central Highlands Football League.[6]

Beaufort is primarily known around the state for the five-day music and arts festival, the Rainbow Serpent Festival which has been held since 1998 during January on the outskirts of the town.

The poet Bernard O'Dowd was born in Beaufort in 1881 and spent his early years in the town.

Female singer Max Sharam grew up there.

Twin town[edit]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Beaufort (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 9 July 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Beaufort". Historical Towns Directory. Australian Heritage. Archived from the original on 25 August 2006. Retrieved 10 June 2006.
  3. ^ Smyth, R. B. (1878). The aborigines of Victoria With notes relating to the habits of the natives of other parts of Australia and Tasmania compiled from various sources for the Government of Victoria. Vol. I. Melbourne: J. Ferres. p178 Archived 2011-03-20 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
  4. ^ "History". Pyrenees Tourism. Pyrenees Shire. 2006. Archived from the original on 21 February 2006. Retrieved 10 July 2006.
  5. ^ "Beaufort Court House". Archived from the original on 9 April 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
  6. ^ Full Points Footy. "Beaufort". Archived from the original on 3 January 2009. Retrieved 25 July 2008.
  7. ^ "Beaufort Sister Cities". The International Association of Beauforts. Retrieved 1 March 2013.

External links[edit]

Media related to Beaufort, Victoria at Wikimedia Commons