Bendigo, Tourism Victoria

Population 81941

Bendigo was the place of one of the world’s most exciting gold rushes, with more gold found here between 1850 and 1900 than anywhere else in the world. Elaborate buildings and monuments from the golden past line the main streets, offering an ever-present reminder of the riches from the goldfields. Today modern life weaves itself around this legacy with a vibrant pace. The town’s new wealth can be seen in many areas including art, culture, dining, wine and shopping.  

Visitor Information

Post Office, 51–67 Pall Mall; (03) 5434 6060 or 1800 813 153

Nearby national parks

  • Kinglake National Park

    Surrounding the township of Kinglake, this bush retreat close to Melbourne offers views of the Yarra Valley, the city skyline and Port...more

  • Brisbane Ranges National Park

    In Brisbane Ranges National Park low mountains are dissected by rugged gorges and hidden gullies with basalt grasslands and woodlands. An...more

  • Yarra Ranges National Park

    Lofty mountain ash bathed in mist, rare and endangered plants and animals, snow in winter and pristine pockets of bushland make Yarra Ranges...more

Nearby towns

  • Maldon

    Maldon is one of Victoria's best-known gold towns and a popular weekend getaway for Melburnians. The town has been wonderfully preserved,...more

  • Castlemaine

    Castlemaine is a classic goldmining town known for its grand old buildings and sprawling botanical gardens. This area was the site of the...more

  • Inglewood

    North along the Calder Highway from Bendigo is the 'Golden Triangle' town of Inglewood. Sizeable gold nuggets were found in this area during...more

In Town

The Golden Dragon Museum The museum commemorates the contribution of the Chinese community to life on the goldfields. On display are exhibitions depicting the daily life and hardships of Chinese immigrants and an impressive collection of Chinese memorabilia and processional regalia, including what is said to be the world's oldest imperial dragon, 'Loong' (which first appeared at the Bendigo Easter Fair in 1892), and the world's longest imperial dragon, 'Sun Loong'. Adjacent to the museum is the Classical Chinese Garden of Joy and newly-developed Dai Gum San precinct; 1–11 Bridge St; (03) 5441 5044.

Central Deborah Gold Mine Perhaps the best way to get a feel for life in a goldmining town is to take a trip down this mine, where you can still see traces of gold in the quartz reef 20 storeys below the ground. The Central Deborah Gold Mine was the last commercial goldmine to operate in Bendigo. From 1939 to 1954 around a tonne of gold was excavated; 76 Violet St; (03) 5443 8322 for tour details.

Art Gallery: well-regarded for contemporary exhibitions plus an extensive permanent collection with a focus on Australian artists, including Arthur Boyd, Tom Roberts and Arthur Streeton; guided tours daily; 42 View St; (03) 5434 6088.

Self-guide heritage walk: takes in landmarks including the Shamrock Hotel, built in 1897, cnr Pall Mall and Williamson St; Sacred Heart Cathedral, the largest outside Melbourne, Wattle St; Alexandra Fountain, built in 1881, one of the largest and most ornate fountains in regional Victoria, at Charing Cross; and the Renaissance-style post office and law courts at Pall Mall. Details on heritage walks available from visitor centre. 

Bendigo Pottery: Australia's oldest working pottery, with potters at work, a cafe and sales; 146 Midland Hwy, Epsom; (03) 5448 4404. 

Dudley House: National Trust–classified building; View St.

Pall Mall: this tree-lined, French-style boulevard is probably country Australia’s most impressive street.

Vintage Trams: run from mine on 8 km city trip, including a stop at the Tram Depot Museum; taped commentary provided.

Chinese Joss House: National Trust–classified temple built by Chinese miners; included on the vintage tram trip; Finn St, North Bendigo; (03) 5442 1685.

Rosalind Park: majestic parklands that sit beautifully in the centre of Bendigo offering stately gardens for leisure and relaxation, includes a lookout tower, Cascades water feature and Conservatory Gardens; Pall Mall.

Discovery Science and Technology Centre: features more than 100 hands-on displays; 7 Railway Pl; (03) 5444 4400.

Making of a Nation Exhibition: permanent interpretive display providing details about Bendigo's role in Federation; at the visitor centre, Pall Mall.  


Greater Bendigo National Park The park, which extends to the north and south of town, protects some high-quality box-ironbark forest and is popular for scenic driving, cycling, walking and camping. Relics of the region’s goldmining and eucalyptus-oil industries can be found within. Fauna includes over 170 species of birds including the grey shrike-thrush, a pretty songbird. In the early morning and later in the evening, look out for eastern grey kangaroos, black wallabies and echidnas. Detailed maps of the park are available at the visitor centre. Contact Parks Victoria on 13 1963; access via Loddon Valley Hwy through Eaglehawk; 8 km N.

Bendigo wine region This area produces some of Australia’s best reds. Read more

One Tree Hill observation tower: panoramic views; 4 km S.

Eaglehawk: site of the gold rush in 1852, it features remnants of goldmining days and fine examples of 19th-century architecture; details of self-guide heritage tour from visitor centre; 6.5 km NW.

Mandurang: features historic wineries and is the exact centre of Victoria; 8 km S

Cafes & restaurants around town

The Bridge

This smartly renovated pub offers two levels of dining: a casual, well-executed list of pub favourites like fish and chips or chicken pot pie in the front bar, and a more serious menu in the casually chic dining room at... Find out more

The Dispensary Enoteca

Tucked away down a narrow laneway, this is a hidden gem worth unearthing. Owner Tim Baxter has had 20 years in the industry while chef Travis Rodwell has racked up several years at acclaimed Melbourne restaurants... Find out more

The Exchange Cafe Bar Restaurant

As part of the new Bendigo Bank complex, this restaurant/wine bar is so named because of its location and connection with money production. The large modern space has an outside deck overlooking the city’s ornate... Find out more

GPO Bendigo

Opposite Bendigo’s ornate GPO building, GPO Bendigo brings a touch of the city slicks to this historic part of town. The long narrow space, with its bare wooden tables, red banquettes and whitewashed walls,... Find out more

Whirrakee Restaurant

The Art Nouveau details and high ceilings of the former Royal Bank building provide the background to one of Bendigo’s best fine diners. The menu is contemporary European, with a lean towards the French,... Find out more

Wine Bank on View

This wine bar/bottle shop is located in a wonderfully atmospheric old bank building that combines high ceilings and wooden shelves crammed with bottles, cosy open fireplaces, comfy leather couches and great outdoor... Find out more

Campsites around town

Notley camping area 12 km

Notley is the only overnight option in Greater Bendigo National Park that has pull-through sites suitable for caravans. You’ll find this camping area off Nuggety Rd, which branches off the... Find out more

Loeser camping area 15 km

The Loeser camping area is located on Loeser Rd, which runs off Hartlands Rd. For some great views over Bendigo and the surrounding region, head across town into the Mandurang section of the park and scale the steep... Find out more

Rush Dam camping area 29 km

Like its neighbour Mulga Dam, Rush Dam is up near the northern boundary of the park. Closer to Bendigo, near the Shadbolt picnic area, you can check out some goldmining history at Old Tom Mine; if you’d like to do... Find out more

Mount Alexander camping area (bush camping) 29 km

You can go bush camping throughout this park. Talk to the ranger about the best places to pitch a tent on the slopes of Lanjanuc, which is the Aboriginal name for the mountain. Along with Dog Rocks, the Langs and... Find out more

Englishs Bridge camping area 29 km

The Campaspe River, which flows out of the Great Dividing Range to eventually join the Murray River to the north, makes a nice setting for an overnight stop. The camping area in the Englishs Bridge Streamside Reserve is... Find out more

Mulga Dam camping area 30 km

Small Mulga Dam is in the far north of the national park. A short walk past old charcoal pits starts from the picnic area here. Along the way you may hear some of the many songbirds that thrive in the region. To reach... Find out more

Butts Reserve camping area 32 km

Butts Reserve is west of town on Mt Tarrengower Rd. After visiting the collection of artefacts at the North British Mine and exploring the adjacent Carmans Tunnel, climb the fire tower on Mt Tarrengower and also scale... Find out more

Newbridge River Reserve camping area 34 km

You’ll find the compact Newbridge River Reserve camping area next to the township’s main street, the Bendigo–St Arnaud Rd. Anglers set themselves up on the riverbank, while canoeists occasionally push... Find out more

Dargile camping area 43 km

The Dargile camping area is accessed from the Heathcote–North Costerfield Rd. On the way there, head up Mt Ida or to the Viewing Rock Lookout in the McIvor Range for some great views; from the latter you can hike... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Anchorage by the Lake

These half-dozen one-bedroom serviced apartments are set in landscaped gardens and conveniently located about a 15-minute walk from Bendigo’s CBD, restaurants and bars. Front apartments have views over Lake... Find out more

Fountain View Suites

Offering some of the best boutique accommodation in Bendigo, these ten suites have views over leafy Rosalind Park or cosmopolitan View Street and the city’s iconic Alexandra fountain. Housed in lovely old 1863... Find out more

The Hotel Shamrock

This gracious wrought-iron lace-trimmed hotel has been a part of Bendigo’s history and cultural scene since 1854. Although the original hotel was burnt down, the owners replaced the building in 1897 and carried on... Find out more

Byronsvale Vineyard B&B

Offering friendly country accommodation, this lovely 140-year-old stone horse stable on a vineyard has been lovingly restored and converted into three one- and two-bedroom apartments. The spacious loft apartment features... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

MillDuck, Harcourt North 18 km

This strawbale house won a Most Energy Efficient Home award (North West Region) when it was built. More than 1000 trees have been planted on the property since it was purchased, and it is now an alpaca stud. The B&B,... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Bendigo North park area 2 km

At Bendigo

Adjacent to the highway near the lake on the north side of town.

Bendigo South park area 5 km

At Bendigo

Adjacent to the highway overlooking the lake on the south side of town.

Huntly rest area 11 km

At Huntly

Small area just off the highway among some large trees.

Happy Jacks rest area 14 km

At Lockwood on alternative Calder Hwy (A790)

Just off the highway among shady trees 100m north of facilities.

Jock Comini rest area 17 km

18km S of Bendigo (L) or 132km N of Melbourne (R)

Secluded off the highway among a few trees.

Ravenswood rest area 18 km

20km S of Bendigo (R) or 130km N of Melbourne (L)

Just off the highway.

Goornong park area 26 km

At Goornong

Adjacent to the highway. In the middle of town.

Bridgewater Park Area 35 km

North west side of town via Dunolly Road and Brewery Lane

Large area on the banks of the Loddon River. Good shade.

Jessie Kennedy rest area 40 km

6km S of Castlemaine (R) or 30km N of Daylesford (L)

Adjacent to the highway among a few trees.

Vaughan Springs camping area 45 km

T/O 9km S of Castlemaine (L) or 27km N of Daylesford (R)

Small campground 6km east of the highway via Vaughan Springs Rd in Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park. Facilities at nearby picnic area.

Aysons Reserve camping area 48 km

T/O 31km W of Stanhope (R) or 5km E of Elmore (L)

Among some large trees on the riverbank 3km north-east of the highway via Burnewang Rd.

Melville Caves camping area 55 km

T/O at Logan

Surrounded by scrub 18km west of the highway via Wehla Rd in Kooyoora State Park.

Mount Franklin rest area 57 km

26km S of Castlemaine (L) or 10km N of Daylesford (R)

Secluded area 1km off the highway in a shady forest setting.

Ryans Creek Rest Area 59 km

12 km SE Wedderburn (R) or 24 km NW of Bridgewater (L)

Small area just off the highway among a few large trees. Good shade.

Green Lake Recreation Reserve camping area 61 km

T/O 12km W of Stanhope (R) or 24km E of Elmore (L)

Among a few trees on the shores of the lake 2.5km (partly unsealed) north of the highway.

What's on around town

Bridge Street Market: features local produce and handmade arts and crafts; 3rd Sat each month, 8am–1pm; Bridge St near Golden Dragon Museum.

Bendigo Showgrounds Market: Prince of Wales Showgrounds, Holmes St; 8.30am–3pm every Sun.

Bendigo Farmers Market: fresh regional produce; Sidney Myer Pl; 9am–1pm, 2nd Sat each month.

Bendigo International Madison: major cycling event, Mar long weekend.

Bendigo Easter Festival: first held in 1871, the festival spans 4 days and is a major event on the town's calendar, with free music and entertainment, craft markets, art exhibits, food, wine and the famous procession featuring Sun Loong.

Australian Sheep and Wool Show: showcases everything from farming to fashion; July. 

Bendigo Heritage Uncorked: wine event in the historic streets; 2nd weekend Oct.

National Swap Meet: Australia's largest meet for vintage cars and bikes, Bendigo Showgrounds; Nov. 

Bendigo Cup: horseracing; Nov.

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