Bendigo is a charming and elegant regional city in central Victoria and an ideal base to explore Victoria's golden heritage. In the centre of town, gold era architecture nestles among century-old gardens, sidewalk cafés, contemporary art galleries and antique stores.
Take a walk and explore the city's heritage buildings and sites, including the Alexandra Fountain, the magnificent former post office that now houses the Bendigo Visitor Information Centre, the law courts, and the ornate Shamrock Hotel. Relax in Rosalind Park with its open air fernery, cascade waterfall and conservatory.
Head up View Street and discover Bendigo's arts precinct. It's headlined by the Bendigo Art Gallery (1887) containing a collection of Australian art dating back to the 1850s, as well as some show-stopping touring exhibitions. Also, check out the Performing Arts Centre (1873) and a host of smaller galleries and antique stores.
Duck into Chancery Lane for some laneway living, complete with artistic graffiti, boutiques, standout coffee and fine food.
Go underground at the restored Central Deborah Gold Mine, where visitors descend the equivalent of a thirty-storey building to explore the main vertical shaft. Take a ride on Bendigo's talking tram and explore the Chinese Dragon Museum, home to the world's oldest and longest imperial Chinese dragon, Sun Loong, who also delights crowds at Bendigo's annual Easter Festival.
The Bendigo wine region is home to approximately 30 wineries and is known for its impressive reds. Most wineries are small, friendly and family-run, so the people who pour your wine are the people who make it. The region's food and wine is showcased at the Bendigo Winemakers Festival on Easter Sunday and Bendigo Heritage Uncorked in October.
Bendigo is just under two hours from Melbourne on the Calder Highway.