Au­tumn in Bendigo

Where Melbourne - - Contents -

BENDIGO IS A VI­BRANT re­gional cen­tre, boast­ing beau­ti­ful streets cre­ated from one of the world's great­est gold rushes. Now fondly re­garded as an arts and cul­tural hub, Bendigo's his­toric streets beat with a con­tem­po­rary feel. Good food, wine, bou­tique shop­ping, at­trac­tions and ex­pe­ri­ences are ready to be ex­plored. Magnificent build­ings and mon­u­ments re­main in Bendigo to shed light on the for­ma­tive hey days, and to­day they are the beau­ti­ful back­drop to a fas­ci­nat­ing des­ti­na­tion. Over 50 events are show­cased dur­ing au­tumn cel­e­brat­ing Bendigo's mod­ern cul­ture of arts, fash­ion, food and wine, against a magnificent back­drop of gold rush ar­chi­tec­ture.


Dis­cover hid­den bars, funky cafés, elegant restau­rants and tra­di­tional pubs of­fer­ing cuisines from around the globe. There's noth­ing bet­ter than sam­pling a lo­cal Bendigo or Heath­cote wine in a cosy her­itage pub or bar. Visit more than 40 cel­lar doors across the Bendigo and Heath­cote wine re­gions for a heart­warm­ing chat with the wine­maker about the lat­est vin­tage.

Au­tumn is all about food and wine in Bendigo and food­ies will love a visit dur­ing the Mel­bourne Food & Wine Fes­ti­val Re­gional Week­end, from 31 March to 2 April. Events in­clude Re­gional World's Long­est Lunch and Bendigo Blues Tram & Under­ground Ban­quet.

If craft beer ex­cites your taste buds Bendigo Craft Beer & Cider Fes­ti­val on 25 March will show­case the best craft beers and ciders in Vic­to­ria and beyond. Sam­ple up to 100 dif­fer­ent beers and ciders with up to 25 brew­eries to at­tend. Strategem Bendigo Wine­mak­ers Fes­ti­val is held on 29 April at the his­toric Ros­alind Park in cen­tral Bendigo where you can meet the wine­mak­ers from more than 20 winer­ies from the re­gion to taste.


Bendigo Art Gallery cel­e­brates 130 years in 2017 and to mark the oc­ca­sion will present a dy­namic new ex­hi­bi­tion of his­toric, con­tem­po­rary, cu­ri­ous, sig­nif­i­cant, and much loved favourites from the gallery's renowned col­lec­tion. They are also pre­sent­ing House of Mir­rors in col­lab­o­ra­tion with La­trobe Arts In­sti­tute. Take a fas­ci­nat­ing walk through ex­clu­sive Vic­to­rian in­stal­la­tions com­posed of a labyrinth of seem­ingly end­less mir­rors, a play on the 19th cen­tury mir­ror mazes. Get­ting out is an art. Groovin the Moo on 6 May will see more that 15,000 peo­ple con­verge for the an­nual con­cert at the Bendigo Show­grounds.

If you love a bit of drama, then you will want to visit Bendigo's stun­ning Ulum­barra The­atre for two pow­er­ful and con­tem­po­rary live per­for­mances. “Co­ran­derrk”, based on the true story of the Co­ran­derrk Abo­rig­i­nal Re­serve near Healesville, is both great the­atre and great his­tory. The crit­i­cally ac­claimed shake & stir's “Drac­ula” is ‘an­other bloody clas­sic'. Visit for all the de­tails.


Sport takes cen­tre stage with the Bendigo In­ter­na­tional Madi­son and the AFL JLT Com­mu­nity Series (Gee­long Cats v Essendon) over the Labour Day long week­end. 1 April will see top jock­eys and horses con­verge on Bendigo for the Golden Mile Race­day at the Bendigo Jockey Club. It’s one of re­gional Vic­to­ria’s premier fash­ion and rac­ing events. On the same week­end is the in­au­gu­ral Yo­gafest, which fo­cuses on pro­mot­ing phys­i­cal, men­tal and spir­i­tual well­be­ing for yoga par­tic­i­pants of all lev­els.


From 15 to 24 March Ea­gle­hawk cel­e­brates its Dahlia and Arts Fes­ti­val, with street pro­ces­sions, flower shows, danc­ing and more. Bendigo’s Easter Fes­ti­val is held from 14 to 17 April. It is Aus­tralia’s old­est run­ning cul­tural fes­ti­val, fea­tur­ing Sun Loong, the world’s long­est im­pe­rial Chi­nese dragon. The Bendigo Fes­ti­val of Cul­tures is held dur­ing cul­tural di­ver­sity week and this week long celebration (18 to 26 March) puts on dis­play the rich of­fer­ings that mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism makes to our com­mu­nity.

To fin­ish au­tumn is the Ve­sak Fes­ti­val of Light on 20 May. This mul­ti­cul­tural celebration of peace and harmony is in­spired by Bud­dha’s birth­day. The high­light of the event in­cludes the evening light and fire­works show at The Great Stupa, the largest Bud­dhist tem­ple in the Western World.


Ex­pe­ri­ence the thrill of Bendigo’s gold rush his­tory. De­scend 85 me­tres under­ground at Cen­tral Deborah Gold Mine, ex­plore Bendigo’s her­itage streetscapes by Vin­tage ‘Talk­ing’ Tram, visit the Golden Dragon Mu­seum’s world-class Chi­nese col­lec­tion and cre­ate your own clay mas­ter­piece at Bendigo Pot­tery. n Bendigo is ideally lo­cated in Cen­tral Vic­to­ria and only 90 min­utes from Mel­bourne Air­port along the Calder Free­way, and 90–120 min­utes via V/line trains from South­ern Cross sta­tion in Mel­bourne. For more in­for­ma­tion, freecall the Bendigo Vis­i­tor Cen­tre on 1800 813 153 or visit bendig­o­

Photo: Ewen Bell.

Strategem Bendigo Wine­mak­ers Fes­ti­val.

House of Mir­rors.

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