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If you’re anything like me, you love the finer things in life. Mixed with a little bit of ‘roughing it’. And a lot of adventure. Bendigo ticks all these boxes and more. It’s a town worth exploring, and great for couples, singles and families alike. No matter your age or interests, Bendigo has something for you.  

Words by Katie James

Bendigo is a vibrant regional centre, located in the heart of the goldfields, about 150km northwest of Melbourne. Rich in history, culture and with plenty of tourist attractions, it’s the fourth largest inland city in Australia. Bendigo boasts heritage architecture, high fashion shopping precincts, award winning restaurants and cafes, a growing wine region, reputable art galleries and an action packed events calendar.

http://www.bendigotourism.com

Bendigo is home to 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. It’s most definitely worth a visit!

http://www.bendigopottery.com.au/

Located on Bridge St, The Golden Dragon Museum is dedicated to the Chinese who emigrated to the region during its gold rush days. The Chinese community have significantly influenced the history of this town, and the region is now world renowned for their Chinese Dragons.

http://www.goldendragonmuseum.org/

Central Deborah Gold Mine operated from 1939-1954. During that time, 357 miners successfully extracted over 900kg of gold, which would be worth about $46,000,000 in todays prices. Central Deborah reaches a depth of 417 metres, with 17 different levels and 15km’s of drives and tunnels.

The miners endured extremely tough conditions, often working in knee deep water, filling up trucks by hand which were then pushed a mile or more along the tunnels, all the while breathing in carbide fumes and rock dust. But because the mine had hot showers, the working conditions were seen to be as one of the best in the area.

The mine is now a tourist destination with many different tours to experience. For the adventurous, you can try the ‘Nine Levels of Darkness Tour’, dropping 228 metres underground in an original miners cage. Or if you are a land lubber, you can check out the surface of the mine in a guided and informative tour.

http://www.central-deborah.com/

Bendigo has plenty of accommodation options. Here are some parks located in town:

http://www.big4bendigo.com.au/

http://www.goldnugget.com.au/

And here are some National Park camping grounds:

http://www.wilddownunder.com/national-parks/VIC/Greater-Bendigo-National-Park

You can also camp in designated areas in the Bendigo State Forest. You can enter via the Calder Hwy or the McIvor Hwy.

In Bendigo, you should expect some of the most wonderful eating, drinking and art experiences in Australia. Combine that with a lot of history, wonderful architecture, a good climate, and plenty to do, and you’ve got yourself an ideal holiday location.

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