In the 1850s, Victoria and Melbourne exploded with wealth after gold was discovered in Bendigo. The fields surrounding these towns were Australia's richest and transformed Victoria into the most affluent state in Australia at the time. Much of the history of these gold rush towns has been preserved. Bendigo flourished during the gold rush era and now continues to be one of the finest cities in country Victoria with grand old buildings, original facades, vintage tram sightseeing tours, underground visits to the old Central Deborah Gold Mine, the Classical Chinese Gardens, Golden Dragon Museum and 20 vineyards in another major wine region.
Steeped in gold rush history, Bendigo is home to a wide range of attractions including a rich Chinese culture that was brought to the region with miners during the gold rush period. A particularly pretty city, Bendigo is home to a number of picturesque parks and gardens, landmarks and stunning heritage architecture. Vintage tram sightseeing tours are a popular way to take in the beauty of the town, including the spectacular Alexandra Fountain, ornate Shamrock Hotel and breathtaking Rosaling Park complete with open-air fernery and cascading waterfall.
No visit to Bendigo would be complete without an underground visit to the old Central Deborah Gold Mine or the Classical Chinese Gardens and Golden Dragon Museum. Enjoy the unique experience of descending underground and exploring a real gold mine that once operated in the gold rush era. Exploring the honeycomb of hidden underground tunnels with nothing but the light on your cap to light the way, you can also experience the deepest underground mine in Australia with the Nine Levels of Darkness.
The first accredited museum in Victoria, the Golden Dragon Museum showcases Bendigo’s rich Chinese heritage and beautifully displays carved furniture, gold bullion embroidered costumes, processional regalia and artefacts from as far back as 1500-1000BC Shang Dynasty. Part of the Chinese precinct, the Dai Gum San forecourt, Kuan Yin Temple and Yi Yuan Gardens are also popular attractions located at the entrance to the museum.
The region is also home to 20 vineyards, worth taking a break to enjoy dining by the vines and sampling local varieties from the cellar door, including the famous Shiraz.