Once, they came here lured by gold. Today, Bendigo’s cultural and culinary riches are the drawcard. This town at the geographic heart of Victoria boomed during the Gold Rush of the 1850s, a legacy of which are many grand Victorian buildings, parks, and surrounding villages. In recent years, Bendigo and its villages have attracted a new breed of tree-changers with experience in the arts, design, food and wine.
Just a 90-minute drive from Melbourne Airport or 90-120 minutes via V/Line from Southern Cross Station, Bendigo has plenty to offer visitors, whether they’re seeking exclusive exhibitions and festivals, world-class eating and drinking, or simply an escape from the frenetic pace of Melbourne.
While you're planning your trip to the Bendigo Art Gallery's Marilyn Monroe exhibition, be sure to check out other great things to see and do, as well as our accommodation recommendations and official Marilyn packages.
Where to eat and drink
Arguably the top local restaurant is Masons of Bendigo. Sitting pretty between the casual and fine-dining class, the restaurant’s English, French and Asian-inspired menu takes diners on a tour of the region’s flavours as husband-and-wife chefs Nick and Sonia Anthony source ingredients from local farmers. Central Victoria’s bounty of produce is celebrated and respected – pork from the old breed Berkshire pigs grown in a nearby farm is presented simply in Vietnamese-style salad with nuoc cham dressing, while aged beef from Inglewood (quite literally the next town over) gets the steak frites treatment with hand-cut Royal Blue chips.
42 View St. 03 5441 8896. www.bendigoartgallery.com.au. Daily 10am-5pm.
12 View St. 03 5441 2222. www.rocksonrosalind.com. Sun-Thu Noon-9pm; Fri-Sat Noon-10pm.
Chancery Lane, 0414 412 894. www.elgordobendigo.com. Mon-Thu 8am-4pm; Fri-Sat 8am-2pm & 5-11pm.
Bring a picnic rug and sample wines from from local winegrowers, feast on gourmet meals crafted from the freshest local produce while you’re serenaded by live music entertainment in the historic Rosalind Park. This ultimate pop-up cellar door event is family-friendly event, so bring the kids along.