Introduction. What is good about Bendigo, give an overview of things to see and do, a bit of background and history then jump into the 7 things list. Include an image, description and link for more information on each.
1. Bendigo Art Gallery
Established in 1887, Bendigo Art Gallery is one of the oldest and largest regional galleries in Australia. Bendigo Art Gallery has developed a reputation for an outstanding national and international exhibition program, presenting exhibitions such as Grace Kelly: Style Icon form V&A and Grimaldi Forum and The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece from the British Museum.
Bendigo Art Gallery’s collection is extensive and varied. It includes Australian painting, sculpture, ceramics, decorative arts, photography, works on paper from the 19th century to the present day. The Collection also includes important 19th century British and European paintings, sculpture and decorative arts. Some of the highlights of the contemporary collection include works of art by Patricia Piccinini, Bill Henson, Dale Frank, Jan Nelson, Fiona Hall, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Kit Webster and Benjamin Armstrong.
Bendigo Art Gallery delivers a dynamic and varied suite of public programs and events alongside significant international and travelling exhibitions, attracting diverse audiences from across Victoria, and from metropolitan Melbourne.
Source: Bendigo Art Gallery
2. Sacred Heart Cathedral
Sacred Heart Cathedral is one of Australia’s largest churches and the second tallest after St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne. It is an exceptionally large church for a provincial city cathedral in Australia and its construction was made possible chiefly through the estate of Henry Backhaus (1811-1882), a German from Paderborn and the first Catholic priest on the Bendigo goldfields. Backhaus was very skilled in financial matters and accumulated considerable property – not least through encouraging his gold-mining parishioners to contribute some of their findings to the work of the church. Backhaus left his wealth for the benefit of the church and enabled the cathedral, among other things, to be built.
3. Lake Weeroona
Lake Weeroona is the jewel in Bendigo’s crown. This beautiful ornamental lake and reserve, set on 18 hectares, was transformed from a dusty mining area in the 1870s. Take a walk around the picturesque lake and enjoy a coffee at the Boardwalk Café or the coffee cart. The kids will love the amazing playground and the wide open space to burn off some energy. To make the visit even more exciting, catch a vintage tram from the city centre to the lake.
Source: Bendigo Tourism
4. Golden Dragon Museum
Chinese heritage is an integral part of Bendigo. From the goldrush to the present day, the Bendigo Chinese community has influenced the proud history of Bendigo – from its traditions of charitable works for local hospitals to its spectacular displays in the Bendigo Easter Fair.
Born of the long association with the people of the region, the Bendigo Chinese Association is proud to present the Golden Dragon Museum – a living history of the Chinese people of Bendigo from the goldrush of the 1850’s to the present day. Having become the hub of Chinese cultural activity in Australia, the museum allows visitors to experience first hand. Chinese arts and crafts with visiting artisans and tradespeople.
Source: Bendigo Tourism
5. Rosalind Park
1 Williamson St, Bendigo
Rosalind Park was the site of the Government Camp of the 1850s and so became the focus of public life and administration. Prior to 1851 the area we now call Rosalind Park was a grassy woodland with large River Red Gums (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) lining the creek that was a chain of deep permanent fresh water pools. The creek would have been an important source of food and water for the Dja Dja Wrung people who lived in this area.
The 1851 goldrush transformed this little valley into a jumble of shallow shafts, mullock heaps and puddling mills. The story of Rosalind Park is about transformation of a goldfield into an important public park.
Rosalind Park is located on the corner of View Street and Pall Mall in the centre of Bendigo. It is open all hours, note children’s playground is open outside school hours.
6. Bendigo Pottery
Bendigo Pottery is Australian owned and operated and is Australia’s oldest working pottery.
Established in 1858 the pottery has operated continuously from the current site in Epsom since 1863.
Bendigo Pottery has the most significant collection of ceramic wood fired kilns left in the world. There are 10 kilns in total, comprising 5 bottle kilns, 3 circular kilns and 2 rectangular kilns. No longer used, the old kilns are now part of the Interpretive Museum with one of the circular kilns having been converted into a theatrette. The last firing of a wood fired kiln on the site was 1989. The kilns are all listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.
On the site is a large factory which continues to make all the Bendigo Pottery product using a range of different production techniques including hand throwing, slip casting, jolleying and pressing. All product is now fired in natural gas fired kilns.
In addition to the factory, Bendigo Pottery is a large tourist complex with many things to see and do.
Source: Bendigo Pottery
7. Bendigo Botanic Gardens
The Bendigo Botanic Gardens is one of regional Victoria’s earliest botanic gardens.
Established in 1857 the Bendigo Botanic Gardens are almost as old as Bendigo itself with the site appearing on a 1854 plan of the White Hills township just a couple of years after gold was first discovered in Bendigo in 1851.
The Gardens are Bendigo’s first public gardens and were included on the Victorian Heritage Register in 2001 due to their historical, architectural, scientific, botanical, aesthetic and social significance.
The Gardens form a picturesque landscape around a central billabong with remnant River Red Gums and exotic trees. The mature conifer plantings along the western boundary include Pinus pinea, P. radiata, P. halepensis and individually significant P. torreyana and P. roxburghii which are both rare in cultivation. These trees are important and prominent landscape plantings. The landscape is further enhanced by an avenue of Ulmus x hollandica along the southern boundary, stands of Eucalyptus, including remnant E. camaldulensis, E. melliodora, and a cultivated E. globulus subsp. globulus. Near the main entrance are two large Ficus macrophylla and a Cedrus deodara.
The gardens are of scientific (botanical) significance for a number of rare plants and fine specimens. The Dovyalis caffra (Kei Apple) of which the only other example is at Werribee Park and a small plant in the Royal Botanic Gardens; is the finest and largest of the species in Victoria.
The Bendigo Botanic Gardens are a very popular destination for both local residents and visitors alike. The Gardens provide an excellent place for family get-togethers, picnics and celebrations and are an iconic and much loved part of Bendigo.
Source: Bendigo Botanic Gardens
For more of things to see and do in Bendigo, visit our destination page.