Bendigo is the traditional land of the Dja Dja Wurrung and Taugurung peoples, and before European settlement, was known as Jaara Jaara Country.
When the gold rush swept Victoria in the mid-1800s, Bendigo was an epicentre.
For 50 years, it was the richest city in the world.
As the gold rush petered out and the miners moved on, the township was left to forge its own identity.
In 2019, its metamorphosis was complete when it was named Australia’s first and only UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. It’s now a national beacon for all things food and wine.
Its smorgasbord of dining options is complemented by a thriving arts and culture scene, with an events calendar that never stops.
Intrigued? Here’s how to get there – and when to go
When to visit Bendigo
As we head into the colder months, Bendigo turns up the heat with its events calendar.
Until July 17, the city’s Rosalind Park is illuminated at night as part of the Awaken Festival. A series of vibrant installations interpret the rich history and culture of the area.
The festival is free, but bookings are required.
On tour from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the collection encompasses a mixture of the artist’s earlier, rarely seen works, through to the bold abstracts that stoked his career.
For those who like their events with a side of hops, Bendigo’s On The Hop craft beer festival takes over the city on August 28. The city is committed to becoming the craft beer capital of regional Australia, and seeks to win your vote with a bunch of tasty winter ales, made by independent brewers.
The event sprawls throughout the city, inviting attendees to sip, stroll and enjoy.
As we exit winter and move into spring, Melbourne’s iconic White Night Festival spills out of the metro boundaries and into the regions.
A sparkling celebration of all things bright in the darkness, mark October 2 in your diaries.
How to get there
Bendigo is a 90-minute drive from Melbourne Airport, straight up the Calder Freeway.
Alternatively, you can take the V/Line train, which is a scenic 90-minute journey from Southern Cross station in Melbourne’s CBD.
And for visitors from interstate, did you know Bendigo has an airport? Yep, and QantasLink flies direct from Sydney, six days a week.