Halfway between Ballarat and Ararat on the Western Highway, Beaufort is an ideal stopover on the drive from Adelaide to Melbourne.
In the mid-1800s, this was a town of substance and influence when the gold strike at nearby Fiery Creek swelled the population to beyond 100,000. Today its 1,200 residents enjoy a more tranquil life in a centre which serves the surrounding pastoral and agricultural producers.
Part of the town’s turbulent history is mirrored in the old courthouse, while the distinctly Victorian band rotunda and clock recalls days when life’s pleasures were far more basic than they are in today’s high tech age.
Beaufort is perhaps the only town in Australia that can boast a permanent garage sale - the local bric-a-brac store is labelled The Garage Sale.
Beaufort Lake on the town's fringe is a popular picnicking spot, while Lake Goldsmith, 15km to the south, is the venue for twice-yearly steam rallies which attract scores of collectors and their old puffing billies and assorted veteran steam engines.
To Beaufort's north-west, Mt Buangor State Park conserves 2630ha of fern and waterfall riddled bush which is networked by walking trails radiating from the camping area.