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.
Image credit: Forever Marilyn by Seward Johnson ©1996, 2011 The Seward Johnson Atelier, Inc. Based on the photo by Bernard of Hollywood. Photo: Jim Marshall
Half a kilometre deep, the Central Deborah Goldmine Bendigo operated from 1939 to 1954 and yielded nearly a tonne of gold. Find your inner prospecter during a guided tour through the shafts and tunnels and keep an eye out for any remaining seams of gold.
76 Violet Street, Bendigo 3550. 03 5443 8255. Various times. $16-$83. Daily.
Bendigo Pottery was founded in 1857 and houses Australia’s oldest pottery kilns, which still operate today. Watch potters and artisans at work, peruse the museum, shop in the Antiques and Collectables Centre, or have a go yourself Ghost-style.