When we are asked where the cultural hub of the state was, most Victorians would answer Melbourne without a second thought, but when it comes to culture, heritage and art, the elegant town of Bendigo gives our capital city a serious run for its money.
Bendigo is a place where European refinement and the raw beauty of the Victorian countryside combine to create a unique atmosphere that’s utterly charming. Located just 2 hours to the northwest of Melbourne, this gold rush era town is the perfect place to visit on a day trip. To inspire you, we’ve come up with a Bendigo itinerary that combines all the things which make this town stand out as one of Victoria’s great cultural hubs.
See: Bendigo Art Gallery
Arguably one of the greatest galleries in Victoria, Bendigo Art Gallery may lack the grandeur of the NGV but it certainly knows how to curate a great exhibition. For the last five years or so, the gallery has put on a string of stellar exhibitions featuring both local and international, as well as contemporary and traditional works. The Marilyn Monroe exhibition (5th March- 10th July) that the gallery has lined up for 2016 offers a fascinating window into the enigmatic Hollywood sex symbols life with a collection of clothes, artefacts and belongings lent to the gallery by 20th Century Fox.
Eat: The Dispensary Enoteca 9 Chancery Lane Bendigo
Bendigo has well an truly earned it’s stripes as a foodie getaway, but one of the best places to get a feel for the town’s gastronomic passions is at The Dispensary Enoteca which boasts a seasonal menu of modern dishes, the best drinks list in Country Victoria, and an interior best described as eclectic yet cosy.
Shop: View Street Antiques
With a rich multicultural heritage, it’s little surprise that Bendigo has a reputation for it’s antiques. It’s easy to spend a pleasant few hours in the afternoon exploring the delights of the antique dealers along View street where you can find anything from depression era Australiana through to mid century European glassware.
Wander: Bendigo Buildings Walk
1851 was the first year that gold was found in Bendigo and the town quickly became very wealthy. There is plenty of opulent 19th century architecture surviving from this period including the town hall, the former gaol, the bank and the mining exchange.
Get together a group of your friends and spend a day discovering the hidden delights of country Victoria. Melbourne on the Move offers coach hire from Melbourne for social groups so you can enjoy your daytrip without having to worry about the logistics. Call 1300 55 86 86 to make a booking.