posted on 20 Nov 20 | by Explore Bendigo

The Time Is Now! 

Start your engines because road trips are the best way to explore your own backyard, regional Victoria and beyond.  So where to first? Bendigo of course! We’ve put together the top ten reason to travel to our beautiful region, what and where to explore and so much more. So, buckle up and get ready to explore! We can’t wait to see you…

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Explore Outdoor Spaces

If you love the great outdoors, wide open spaces and keeping active, the Bendigo region has a great range of outdoor spaces to explore with something for all ages and abilities.  
For those of you that love unique landscapes, walking trails and green leafy spaces, you’ll love the picturesque Pinks Cliffs in Heathcote, Crusoe Reservoir and Rosalind Park in the heart of Bendigo.
If you’re after awesome play spaces for your little ones, there are over 130 to choose from. Our top picks include Bendigo Botanic Gardens, Eaglehawk Regional Play Space, Lake Weeroona Play Space and Strathdale’s Park Play Space.

Want to learn more, click here for great outdoor spaces.
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Australia’s First & Only UNESCO City of Gastronomy

You heard right, in late 2019, Bendigo was awarded the prestigious title of being Australia’s first and only City of Gastronomy. So, was does this mean? It means that you can find not only some pretty awesome foodie hot spots throughout the region, but you can meet the makers, farmers and producers of locally grown produce when you visit the region.  Our favourite experiences…
-    Meeting the winemakers at boutique family owned and run cellar doors.
-    Buying direct from the farmers and producers at local markets and farm gates. 
-    Wandering through grocers and providores surrounded by regional produce made with love and recommended by locals.
-    Indulge with passionate foodies and chefs that offer paddock to plate experiences, present artwork on a plate and give you an explosion of colour and flavours.
-    Sample locally roasted coffee beans and be greeted by friendly baristas all over the city.
-    Join classes, tours, tastings and more throughout the region of our wonderful offerings. 

Click here to kick start your gastronomy immersion into the region.
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Family Fun For Everyone

Bendigo prides itself on its authentic experiences and attractions.  And while this year has been so challenging for many, our attractions are welcoming you back with amazing all new experiences, summer fun and things to see and do for big kids and little ones too.
-    Bendigo Pottery: Open 7 day, 9am – 5pm. This creative precinct includes ceramics, decorating workshops, artist galleries, antiques and collectables, and a cellar door.
-    Breakout Bendigo Escape Rooms: Immerse yourself in puzzles and plots to plan the perfect escape. Open Wednesday to Sunday or by special appointment Monday and Tuesday.
-    Central Deborah Gold Mine: Open Wednesday – Sunday, explore a real gold mine, take a tour or join the Elf Academy.
-    Discovery Science & Technology Centre: Open weekends only, the centre is the ultimate indoor learning space disguised as fun.   
-    Golden Dragon Museum: Home to Bendigo’s famous parade dragons, historic Chinese costumes and artefacts, get swept up in Bendigo’s Chinese culture Wednesday to Sunday. 9.30am – 5pm.
-    The Great Stupa: Home to the largest Buddhist monument in Australia and the beautiful Peace Park.  All welcome including your furry friends. Open 7 days, 10.30am – 3.30pm.

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A Retail Shopping Hub

As a large regional city servicing Central Victoria, Bendigo is home to not only big brand retailers, but you’ll find the most amazing array of boutique stores owned and operated by small businesses with a whole lotta heart. You’ll find precincts dedicated to homewares, giftware, children’s products, fashion and accessories, books, arts, antiques and collectables. It’s a shopper’s paradise and all accessible within the city centre. If you’re needing a little retail therapy, a special gift or something unique, Bendigo has you covered.   

Check out the Bendigo Dining & Shopping Guide for ultimate insider’s guide here.
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A Wine Lover’s Delight

Did you know that Bendigo is one of Australia’s oldest wine regions? With over 50 cellar doors and more emerging, there are plenty of reasons to stop in and get acquainted with a drop of the region’s finest. The best part is, that are our wineries are owned and run by local families. So, when you visit their cellar doors you’ll meet the winemaker, have the opportunity to taste straight from the barrel, buy direct, hear their stories and feel their passion. Many offer tasting plates and platters, live music and even accommodation amongst the vines.

If you’re a wine lover and want to know more, click here.
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We’re A Cycling Friendly Region

Bendigo has long had a reputation as a cycling-friendly city.  So, whether it’s riding to work, racing or taking your family on a leisurely weekend ride, spotting lycra-on-bikes has always been a common sight. And now more than ever, with new tracks and trails connecting the city, it’s never been easier for any age or stage to get on their bike and enjoy the great outdoors.  In fact, you can spend a whole day exploring the city by bike and stopping by some of Bendigo’s best attractions, landmarks, gardens and cafes. And at the end of the day there are cosy accommodation options close to trails. Offering bike rentals, storage and facilities.

Find out more about our awesome range of cycling tracks & trails here.
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A Creative City

Creativity flows throughout the city from local, national and international works being found in renowned galleries, laneways and on our streets.  The opportunities to explore, create and perform are endless.  Our top picks this summer include…
-    Piinpi: Contemporary Indigenous Fashion: Bendigo Art Gallery is hosting the first major contemporary Indigenous fashion exhibition of its kind, 31st October – 17th January 2021. This colourful montage is a must see!
-    Street Art: Take a self-guided street art tour throughout the CBD and discover some of the city’s most photographed spots.
-    Blues & Roots: The grass is bluer in Bendigo as it is fast becoming know for its unique blues scene.  Enjoy performances in laneways, churches, onboard trams, beer gardens, on balconies and more.
-    Arts Precinct: View Street, more commonly known as the arts precinct, is home to galleries, studios, theatres, street art and boutique spaces.
-    Bendigo Pottery Precinct: Home to Australia’s oldest working pottery, the precinct also includes artist studios, a cellar door, antiques and collectables, café, pottery demonstration, interpretative museum and more. 

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For The History Buffs

There’s no question the historical architectural beauty of the gold rush era is on show when you hit the heart of Bendigo.  But what makes it really special is the revival and reinvention of some of these iconic spaces – many of which are hidden away – that keeps you coming back for many.  Some of top picks and visitor favourites include: 
-    A former heritage gold rush bank building, Wine Bank on View is now home to an extensive range of wines and restaurant.
-    A former glass factory, Masons of Bendigo is an award-winning restaurant
-    Once a Beaurepaires Tyre Centre, The Good Loaf Sourdough Bakery and Café resides in the iconic building.
-    Take a tour and feast on a high tea at the magnificent Fortuna Villa, once home to mining magnate George Lansell.
-    Visit Ulumbarra Theatre, where heritage and modern elements blend beautifully within the walls of the historic Sandhurst Gaol.
-    Bath Lane is now a thriving retail precinct, once a local market, theatre and baths.
-    The former butcher’s is now fittingly The Woodhouse.
-    Stay, wine and dine in a former schoolhouse and deanery, now MacKenzie Quarters and Ms Batterhams.

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Crafty Ales, Yes Please!

Bendigo might be known for its quality wine, but those who fancy a beer will be more satisfied with the region’s fast-growing beer culture.  Find craft beer on tap in a hidden beer garden at Handle Bar, in a laneway bar at The Dispensary, and pub fav The Rifle Brigade Hotel serving up plenty of choice.  
If you’re keen to meet the maker and explore small batch breweries, then taprooms at Tooborac Hotel & Brewery, Shedshaker Brewing at The Mill Castlemaine, Palling Bros. Brewery and Cornella Brewery will provide a great experience combined with a great amber drop.  

For more info on Bendigo’s craft beer scene, click here.
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Bustling Coffee & Café Culture

Most of us love a caffeine kick to get us started in the morning and Bendigo is certainly a city that thrives on its coffee culture.  You’ll find the city’s favourite café haunts available from a hole in the wall, in the leafy suburbs, in revitalised milk bars and grocers, in laneways and in the heart of the CBD. Amongst all the uber cool cafes to sip your favourite brews, these businesses are roasting their own beans or are a dedicated coffee house.
-    Custom Coffees: Regional Victoria’s first and premier coffee roaster, supplying cafes and restaurants in Bendigo.
-    Old Green Bean: Roasting their own coffee in-house to produce a changing variety of single origin offerings.
-    Get Naked Espresso Bar: Relaxed community coffee hub offering premier service and coffee.
-    Mister Grimsby: A quiet escape to enjoy the perfect coffee in the old mill building.

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Stay Another Day

With so many reasons to visit the Bendigo region, no doubt you’ll need several days to explore and a place to rest and kick up your feet at the end of the day.  So, whether it’s a romantic getaway, a family holiday or just a spontaneous weekend away, we’ve got you covered with a variety of uniquely Bendigo accommodation options. Enjoy your stay in a grand gold rush era building, a quaint miner’s cottage, a rural retreat, glamping, a B&B, farm stay, inner city apartment, or a holiday park. There’s a holiday stay suitable for all tastes and needs, even your furry friends.

To book a stay or browse your holiday options, click here.