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Top 12 Things To Do in Bendigo, VIC Australia (with local Hidden Gems)

21/07/2023
8 mins read
Bendigo
Source: Tourism Australia/Visit Victoria

Bendigo, a vibrant regional city in Victoria, Australia, is situated approximately 150 km northwest of Melbourne. Steeped in history and rich with cultural heritage, Bendigo rose to prominence during the gold rush era of the 1850s. Today, the city boasts a fascinating blend of historical attractions, natural wonders, and modern amenities, making it an ideal destination for travelers seeking a unique and memorable experience.

Join us as we uncover the hidden gems and reveal the top things to do in Bendigo, VIC, a captivating destination that promises unforgettable adventures. Immerse yourself in the city’s rich history, explore its stunning landscapes, and embark on a remarkable journey through the enchanting world of Bendigo, VIC, Australia.

Things To Do In Bendigo, VIC

1. Central Deborah Gold Mine

Step back in time and immerse yourself in Bendigo’s rich gold rush history at the Central Deborah Gold Mine. As a visitor, you’ll have the unique opportunity to explore the underground mine, which operated during the peak of the gold rush era. Choose from various guided tours, including the popular Nine Levels of Darkness tour, where you’ll descend 228 meters underground. Don’t forget to try your hand at gold panning – who knows, you might just strike it rich! The mine’s knowledgeable guides and interactive displays make this a must-visit attraction for history buffs and adventure seekers alike.

  • Address: 76 Violet St, Bendigo VIC 3550, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Daily from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
  • Best time of the year: Open year-round, but visiting during spring or autumn offers milder weather for outdoor exploration.
  • Distance from town: Located within Bendigo’s city center.

2. Bendigo Art Gallery

Art enthusiasts will be captivated by the Bendigo Art Gallery, one of Australia’s oldest and largest regional galleries. The gallery boasts an impressive collection of 19th-century European art and Australian art from the 1800s onwards.

Bendigo
Source: Visit Victoria

With a diverse range of exhibitions, including contemporary and Indigenous art, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The gallery also hosts various events and workshops throughout the year, providing an engaging experience for visitors. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this cultural gem in the heart of Bendigo.

Art Gallery
Source: Visit Victoria
  • Address: 42 View St, Bendigo VIC 3550, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm
  • Distance from town: Located within Bendigo’s city center.

3. Golden Dragon Museum

Discover the fascinating history of Bendigo’s Chinese community at the Golden Dragon Museum. This captivating museum showcases Chinese culture, art, and history, with a particular focus on the significant contributions made by Chinese immigrants during the gold rush era. Wander through the beautifully landscaped Chinese gardens, marvel at the world’s longest imperial dragon, and learn about the rich heritage of the Chinese community in Bendigo. The museum also hosts various cultural events and workshops, making it an engaging and educational experience for all ages.

Dragon Museum
Source: Visit Victoria
  • Address: 5-13 Bridge St, Bendigo VIC 3550, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Daily from 9:30 am to 4 pm
  • Distance from town: Located within Bendigo’s city center.

4. Lake Weeroona

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and unwind at the picturesque Lake Weeroona. This beautiful lake, surrounded by lush parklands, is the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll, picnic, or even a romantic paddleboat ride. The lake is home to a variety of birdlife, making it a haven for nature lovers. Don’t forget to treat yourself to a gourmet ice cream from the nearby café while you soak in the serene atmosphere. With its stunning scenery and peaceful ambiance, Lake Weeroona is a must-visit destination for relaxation and rejuvenation.

  • Address: Napier St, Bendigo VIC 3550, Australia
  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn for milder weather and blooming flowers.
  • Distance from town: Approximately 2 km north of Bendigo’s city center.

5. Rosalind Park

Rosalind Park, a beautiful oasis in the heart of Bendigo, is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and those seeking a tranquil escape. The park’s stunning landscapes, featuring a cascading waterfall, lush gardens, and thousands of tulips blooming in spring, create a picturesque setting for a leisurely stroll or a romantic picnic. Climb the historic Poppet Head lookout for panoramic views of the city, and explore the park’s rich history, including the Bendigo Creek and the Conservatory. With its enchanting atmosphere and diverse attractions, Rosalind Park is a delightful destination for all ages.

  • Address: 1 Williamson St, Bendigo VIC 3550, Australia
  • Best time of the year: Spring, when thousands of tulips bloom.
  • Distance from town: Located within Bendigo’s city center.

6. Bendigo Pottery

Experience the art of pottery at Australia’s oldest working pottery, Bendigo Pottery. Established in 1858, this iconic destination offers a unique opportunity to learn about the history of pottery making and even try your hand at wheel throwing.

Pottery
Source: Visit Victoria

Participate in a clay play workshop, where you can create your own masterpiece under the guidance of skilled artisans. Don’t forget to visit the pottery’s extensive retail space, featuring a wide range of beautiful ceramics and pottery pieces crafted by local artists. Bendigo Pottery is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and those seeking a hands-on creative experience.

Bendigo
Source: Tourism Australia/Visit Victoria
  • Address: 146 Midland Hwy, Epsom VIC 3551, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm
  • Distance from town: Approximately 7 km north of Bendigo’s city center.

7. Bendigo National Park

Outdoor enthusiasts will love exploring the Bendigo National Park, a haven for hiking, biking, and gold detecting. The park’s diverse landscapes, including box-ironbark forests, granite outcrops, and wildflower displays, provide a stunning backdrop for a range of recreational activities. Choose from several well-marked walking trails, such as the Whipstick Loop Walk or the Mulga Dam Nature Walk, which cater to various fitness levels and interests. Keep an eye out for native wildlife, including kangaroos, wallabies, and a variety of bird species. Bendigo National Park is the perfect destination for those seeking adventure and a connection with nature.

  • Address: Bendigo VIC 3550, Australia
  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn for milder weather and blooming wildflowers.
  • Distance from town: Approximately 5 km west of Bendigo’s city center.

8. Bendigo Botanic Gardens

Discover the beauty and tranquility of the Bendigo Botanic Gardens, a picturesque haven for relaxation and leisurely exploration. Established in 1857, the gardens feature a diverse collection of native and exotic plants, including a stunning heritage garden and a contemporary garden showcasing Australian flora.

Wander through the gardens’ winding pathways, enjoy a romantic picnic on the manicured lawns, or simply soak in the serene atmosphere. The gardens also host various events and workshops throughout the year, providing an engaging experience for visitors. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this botanical gem in Bendigo.

  • Address: 557-559 Napier St, White Hills VIC 3550, Australia
  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn for blooming flowers and milder weather.
  • Distance from town: Approximately 5 km northeast of Bendigo’s city center.

9. Sandhurst Ridge Winery

Indulge in the exquisite flavors of Sandhurst Ridge Winery’s handcrafted wines, which have earned the prestigious five-star rating from James Halliday. Located in the heart of the Bendigo wine region, this boutique winery offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere for wine enthusiasts. Sample their diverse range of wines, including their signature Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, while learning about the winemaking process from the passionate team. With its stunning vineyard views and exceptional wines, Sandhurst Ridge Winery is a must-visit destination for wine lovers.

  • Address: 156 Forest Dr, Mandurang VIC 3551, Australia
  • Opening Hours: By appointment only
  • Distance from town: Approximately 10 km south of Bendigo’s city center.

10. Munari Wines

Experience the elegance and sophistication of Munari Wines, a boutique winery in the Heathcote region. Known for their plush, fruit-rich, and polished wines, Munari Wines offers a delightful tasting experience in a charming setting.

Wines
Source: Visit Victoria

Sample their award-winning Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and other varietals, while enjoying the picturesque views of the vineyards. The knowledgeable staff will guide you through the tasting process, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable experience.

Munari Wines
Source: Visit Victoria
  • Address: 1239 Calder Hwy, Toolleen VIC 3551, Australia
  • Opening Hours: By appointment only
  • Distance from town: Approximately 40 km south of Bendigo’s city center, in the Heathcote region.

11. Discovery Bendigo

Ignite your curiosity and spark your imagination at Discovery Bendigo, a science and technology center designed for families and children. With interactive exhibits, hands-on displays, and engaging workshops, this center offers a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

Explore the fascinating world of science, from the wonders of the universe to the mysteries of the human body. Don’t miss the thrilling Vertical Slide, a unique attraction that will have you plummeting down a seven-meter drop at high speed. Discovery Bendigo is the perfect destination for a fun-filled family day out.

  • Address: 7 Railway Pl, Bendigo VIC 3550, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm
  • Distance from town: Located within Bendigo’s city center.

12. Bendigo Water World

Make a splash at Bendigo Water World, a family-friendly water park featuring a range of exciting attractions and activities. With water slides, pools, and splash zones, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Relax in the shaded picnic areas, or challenge your friends and family to a race down the thrilling slides. The park also offers swimming lessons and hosts birthday parties, making it a versatile and entertaining destination for families. Beat the heat and create lasting memories at Bendigo Water World.

  • Address: 22 Condon St, Bendigo VIC 3550, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Seasonal, open during the summer months
  • Best time of the year: Summer, when the weather is warm and suitable for water activities.
  • Distance from town: Located within Bendigo’s city center.

Towns Nearby Bendigo, VIC

Here are some nearby towns/suburbs around Bendigo, VIC, along with their highlights, attractions, distance from Bendigo, and reasons why they are worth visiting:

  1. Castlemaine, VIC (37 km from Bendigo): Known for its gold rush history, Castlemaine offers a range of historical attractions, such as the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park and the Castlemaine Art Museum. The town is also home to the beautiful Castlemaine Botanical Gardens.
  2. Kyneton, VIC (58 km from Bendigo): A charming town with a rich history, Kyneton is famous for its bluestone architecture and vibrant food scene. Visit the Kyneton Museum, stroll through the Kyneton Botanic Gardens, and explore the town’s boutique shops and cafes.
  3. Daylesford, VIC (75 km from Bendigo): Nestled in the heart of Victoria’s spa country, Daylesford is a popular destination for relaxation and rejuvenation. Visit the mineral springs, indulge in spa treatments, and explore the town’s art galleries, shops, and cafes.
  4. Echuca, VIC (90 km from Bendigo): Located on the banks of the Murray River, Echuca is a historic river town known for its paddle steamers and river cruises. Explore the Echuca Wharf, visit the Port of Echuca Discovery Centre, and enjoy the town’s vibrant food and wine scene.
  5. Maryborough, VIC (96 km from Bendigo): A historic gold rush town, Maryborough offers a range of attractions, including the Central Goldfields Art Gallery, the Worsley Cottage Museum, and the Maryborough Railway Station. The town is also home to the beautiful Phillips Gardens.
  6. Heathcote, VIC (47 km from Bendigo): A picturesque town in the heart of Victoria’s wine region, Heathcote is known for its award-winning wineries and cellar doors. Visit the Heathcote Wine Hub, explore the town’s boutique shops, and enjoy the stunning landscapes of the Heathcote-Graytown National Park.

Getting To Bendigo, VIC

From Melbourne CBD:

  • By train: Take the V/Line service from Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station to Bendigo Station. The journey takes just over 90 minutes. You can use your Myki card or purchase a paper ticket at the station.
  • By car: Drive northwest on the M79 (Calder Freeway) from Melbourne. The drive takes approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes, depending on traffic.

From Melbourne Airport:

  • By shuttle: Take the direct shuttle from Melbourne Airport to Bendigo. The first service starts at 6:30 am and the last service is at 8:30 pm. The ticket costs around $35 AUD, and the journey takes approximately 2 hours.
  • By public transport: Take the Skybus from Melbourne Airport to Southern Cross Station in Melbourne CBD, then transfer to the V/Line train service to Bendigo Station.

From other nearby towns:

  • From Castlemaine, VIC: Drive north on the Midland Highway for about 37 km (approximately 35 minutes) to reach Bendigo.
  • From Kyneton, VIC: Drive north on the Calder Freeway for about 58 km (approximately 45 minutes) to reach Bendigo.
  • From Daylesford, VIC: Drive north on the Midland Highway for about 75 km (approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes) to reach Bendigo.
  • From Echuca, VIC: Drive south on the Northern Highway for about 90 km (approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes) to reach Bendigo.

For public transport options from other nearby towns, use the Public Transport Victoria (PTV) website (https://www.ptv.vic.gov.au) or app to plan your journey, as it provides detailed information on train and bus routes, schedules, and ticketing.

Hafiz Kashif

Kashif, our associate writer at HumbleTrail, brings stories from across the globe to our readers. Originating from Pakistan, his journey has taken him through the vibrant cityscape of Dubai and now to the diverse and cultural melting pot of Melbourne, Australia.

His writing is a reflection of his own journey - rich in diverse experiences and filled with the excitement of discovering new places. Melbourne, with its unique blend of cultures and bustling energy, has captured Kashif's heart, a sentiment that deeply resonates in his work.

Kashif's articles for HumbleTrail are more than just travel logs; they are narratives that weave together the beauty of diverse cultures and the thrill of exploration, inviting readers to see the world through his eyes.

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