Bendigo is located 133km northwest of Melbourne
in gold country. The 1850’s saw the discovery of a phenomenal amount of gold in these Victorian Goldfields, attracting many immigrants and achieving worldwide recognition as one of the world’s most prosperous goldfields.
The grandeur of the city is evident in the streets, with magnificent architecture, honorary monuments and landscaped gardens. Pall Mall in the city centre presents a touch of class combined with periodic architecture and style. The prominent Historic Post Office has been transformed into the Visitors Centre and is a good place to start your Bendigo experience.
The Vintage Talking Tram Tour
can show you around and tell you of the history of the historic gold mining town and how it became what it is today. The hop-on hop-off tours depart every half hour from 9.30am to 4pm from the Central Deborah Gold mine on Violet St in town and cost $15 per adult for a day pass.
Discover the workings of the historical underground gold mines at the Central Deborah Gold Mine. Take a guided tour below the surface and explore the mineshafts which provided access to the veins of gold beneath. Entry to the visitor’s centre with replica gold mine is free and fees apply for the mine tours. The centre is open daily from 9am to 5pm.
If you really want to get into the spirit of the gold rush then head on over to Gold World on Watson St. They sell and hire gold detectors, organise miners’ right permits and also operate a range of gold prospecting tours in the local Ironbark forests. Imagine finding your own gold nugget on your Bendigo experience.
The news of the gold rush brought immigrants from far and wide, predominantly from China. The Chinese presence is celebrated at the Golden Dragon Museum which showcases traditional Chinese costumes, art and crafts and the spectacular Chinese Dragons. The museum is open daily from 9.30am to 5pm and entry fees apply.
Adjacent to the museum is the Yi Yuan Chinese Gardens. Featuring walls of vibrant Chinese murals, sculptures and a prayer temple, the gardens are located off Bridge St, are open daily and entry is free.
The Joss House
on Thunder St is the Chinese house of worship. The house is open to visitors on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays between 11am and 4pm or by prior arrangement. Worshippers are welcome free of charge and a small fee applies to tourists.
Another house of worship is the Sacred Heart Cathedral. This spectacular building dating back to the 1800’s was built to perfection over 82 years. The exquisite interior of marble, granite and fine woodwork is decorated with tapestries, mosaics, statues and intricate stained-glass windows. This magnificent architectural masterpiece is open to the public, however the parish requests if the sacred liturgy is being performed to please take a seat until its conclusion.
On the scenic side of things Bendigo has the White Hills Botanic Gardens
. The gardens offer a peaceful atmosphere and have a picnic pavilion, lagoon and animal enclosures. Eastern Grey Kangaroos inhabit the gardens and there is a walk-through bird aviary with several varieties of brightly coloured Australian parrots, Golden Pheasants and Guinea Fowl. The gardens are located on Scott St and are open daily from 7.30am to sunset.
is a pleasant location to enjoy the outdoors. You can relax on the lawns, feed the ducks, walk around the lake on the pathway, utilize the barbeque and picnic facilities or have a bite to eat at the lakeside café.
Bendigo is an important part of Australia’s history with its recognised success in the gold industry. The grand façade it still exhibits today represents a city of gone but not forgotten gold rush fever, wealth, character and style. Gold put Bendigo on the map, drawing people in during the gold rush era and it is still drawing them in today.
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