Bendigo is one of Victoria’s best kept secrets. Only an hour south of the NSW/Victoria border, Bendigo is a vibrant city with historic and contemporary appeal.
Bendigo was put on the map during the Australian gold rush of the 1850s. Gorgeous Victorian and colonial architecture was designed and constructed with the wealth of gold that were found around the regional city as those who found gold flaunted their newfound funds. Check out the Bendigo Town Hall, Gothic Sacred Heart Cathedral, and the Hotel Shamrock for some of the city’s finest architecture.
Celebrating history is one of Bendigo’s biggest tourism draws. After you’ve marvelled at the architecture, why not take a look at where much of Bendigo’s gold came from? The Central Deborah Mine runs tours deep into the mine, which yielded over 1 tonne of gold before it closed. If going underground isn’t your thing, vintage trams run around the city between all the major attractions, with audio commentary adding depth to the ride. The Golden Dragon Museum is also worth a visit, celebrating the Chinese history in Bendigo.
Don’t let your visit to Bendigo be all about the food though. Bendigo is surrounded by some of the most fertile farmland in the country. Head to Rosalind Park on the second Saturday of the month to peruse the farmers’ markets, or pick up a ‘Food Fossicking Guide’ at the visitors centre and seek out the best local produce at any time. Rinse all that food down with a taste of the local shiraz at one of the many cellar doors around the region.
Supplementing the year-round attractions is Bendigo’s packed events calendar. If the history and food isn’t enough to convince you to visit this regional city, then the fantastic array of local festivals, exhibitions and more should provide more than enough enticement. Check out what’s on in Bendigo when you plan your trip so you don’t miss out on any of the amazing events the regional city has to offer.
Bendigo is the perfect day trip from Melbourne, sitting just under a couple of hour’s drive away from the capital.