Bendigo, a cosmopolitan city built on a rich history

The gold rush may be over, but many riches are waiting to be discovered in this Victorian city.

Located about 150km north of Melbourne, Bendigo made its name through the discovery of gold in the early 1870s. Countless people flocked to try their luck panning in the rivers and digging in the mines. While many found their fortune, many more were simply lucky to find a fantastic part of Australia to call home.

The gold rush is well and truly over, but its influence remains. Those who struck it rich wanted to show off their newfound wealth – evident in the many opulent heritage buildings in the city centre, built according to the architectural trends of the time. This pursuit of wealth also explains why the Bendigo Botanic Gardens are so spectacular. The modern boundaries encompass what were once private estates, designed to replicate the formal gardens that were popular at the time in England.

Bendigo is one of the few cities in Australia still serviced by a tram network

Getting around town is easy and stylish, as Bendigo is one of the few cities in Australia still serviced by a tram network. The track weaves between all the major heritage buildings in the city, and the trams are a piece of history themselves. Each one is a beautifully restored relic of days gone by, still lovingly maintained in the original depot.

Bendigo also has a proud retail heritage. Jimmy Possum and Myer both had their beginnings here, and many more stylish, chic, quirky and luxury brands continue the tradition of fine shopping experiences. Spend a few hours walking through the laneways to discover artisans and designers crafting exquisite fashion pieces, jewellery, homewares and more.

After a spot of retail therapy, you’ll discover many more cultural attractions to surprise and delight. The Golden Dragon Museum celebrates the Chinese influence, which was instrumental throughout the town’s establishment and growth. Some critics describe the Bendigo Art Gallery as the nation’s most influential, impressive regional gallery – spend some time reviewing the varied collection to understand why.

RACQ Travel can help you plan your next domestic holiday. Contact one of our friendly travel consultants on 1300 096 166.