Cosy bars and restaurants, artists’ workshops and boutique shops lie behind heritage façades in this regional city and living museum of gold rush-era architecture.
Bendigo is Victoria’s third-largest city and features some of the finest Victorian-era architecture in the region, due to its opulent gold rush heritage. Wander through the historic city centre to find stately buildings dating back to the 1850s, now occupied by boutique stores, art galleries and restaurants serving excellent local produce and wines.
Plan your trip in Bendigo at the Tourist Information Centre, located in the historic old post office in Pall Mall, the city’s main strip. Take a walking tour of the city centre or jump aboard the historic Bendigo Tramway and find the Chinese Museum and Chinese Garden. Here, you can learn about Bendigo’s rich multicultural heritage, which boomed during the gold rush years. Check out the magnificent Sacred Heart Cathedral, a towering Gothic structure dating back to 1896.
Near the cathedral is Rosalind Park, a charming green oasis with a fountain. Take the short but steep stroll uphill to the Bendigo Mosaic and Poppet Head Lookout, a tower constructed from an old mine shaft. Take in city views from the top. Also near Rosalind Park is the Bendigo Art Gallery, which has a distinctive historic façade complemented by a modern extension. The street opposite the gallery is a well-known antiques strip.
Visit the Central Deborah Mine, just outside of the city centre, to tour around the historic goldmine’s surface or deep into its eerie shafts.
As evening falls, head to Chancery Lane, a humming alley filled with atmospheric bars and restaurants. This spot is also a great place to visit by day for a fun shopping experience. Head to the Capital, Ulumbarra Theatre or Engine Room and see a performance or musical act.
Explore outside the city to find scenic wineries and farmsteads with restaurants or cellar doors. Try Bendigo’s famous shiraz or a locally brewed beer. Visit the Bendigo Markets and local farmers’ markets on alternating weekends to shop for Bendigo’s high-quality produce and crafts. Nearby Epsom features Australia’s oldest ceramics workshop, Bendigo Pottery.
Bendigo is just over 90-minutes’ drive from Melbourne. You can also reach Bendigo from Melbourne and Adelaide via Victoria’s regional V/Line railway service. Hot summers and mild winters make Bendigo a pleasant city to visit in any month.