The gracious streets of Bendigo were once paved
with gold and thousands came to strike it rich.
The city of Bendigo in Victoria was completely changed when it became the epicentre of the gold rush of the 1850s attracting thousands of prospectors looking for their fortune. It was seventh richest gold field in the world, producing more than nine billion dollars worth of gold between 1850 and 1900.
Bendigo is only a 90-minute drive from Melbourne so it is easy to get to, either on a tour or by driving there yourself. Gold transformed Bendigo into a grand 19th century city with wide streets, stately Victorian sandstone buildings and beautiful gardens.
You can travel beneath the surface at The Central Deborah Gold Mine on a Mine Experience tour, taking the 61-metre elevator trip down to follow a 400-metre circuit. For an even more hands-on experience, take the Underground Adventure tour to 85 metres, dressing in boots, overalls, miner's hat and lamp to climb ladders, work a mine drill and search for gold yourself.
Back on the surface, take a scenic tour on Bendigo's Vintage ‘Talking’ Trams with their one commentary which you can hop on and off to take a closer look at attractions or stop for a coffee break or lunch. Trams are such a feature here that you can even have lunch on board one! Bendigo ninesevensix is a converted 1952 Melbourne tram that combines tours with a four-course menu.
There are also self-drive and walking tours in the area with maps and guides as well as Podtours and films showcasing Bendigo, Castlemaine and the Maldon region with MP3 players for hire at Visitor Information Centres.
Bendigo’s Chinese legacy from the gold rush time can be seen in the Joss House Temple, the Golden Dragon Museum and the Chinese Gardens. The Chinese population alone in 1857 was said to be 26,000.
- Search for gold or find golden beaches with an Australian working holiday!
©Visa Bureau 2003-2009