Dating to 1857 when it was the Beechworth Athenaeum, this is one of Australia's oldest museums. It was renamed in 1861 in tribute to the famous explorer Robert O’Hara Burke – police superintendent at Beechworth from 1854 to 1858 – following the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition. It shows gold-rush relics and an arcade of shopfronts preserved as they were over 140 years ago. Highlights include a taxidermy thylacine (Tasmanian tiger), Charles Dickens' writing desk, Burke's pistol and 'trench art' bullets from WWI.

The ticket here includes entry to the excellent Ned Kelly Vault.