Bendigo is a city in central Victoria, Australia with a population in 2016 of 95,587.
A magnificent gold rush put Bendigo on the map more than 150 years ago. Tents came first and then with the wealth from the gold came elaborately designed homes, public buildings and monuments that are still used today.
Vintage Talking Trams run through the city, providing audio commentary on gold mining history and you can visit and experience life in the mines at the mid-1900s Central Deborah Gold Mine.
The Golden Dragon Museum celebrates the area’s Chinese heritage through artefacts and artwork.
Established in 1858, Bendigo Pottery is Australia’s oldest working pottery and offers pottery-making workshops and ceramics displays.
Bendigo Pottery has the most significant collection of ceramic wood fired kilns left in the world. There are 10 kilns in total, comprising 5 bottle kilns, 3 circular kilns and 2 rectangular kilns. No longer used, the old kilns are now part of the Interpretive Museum with one of the circular kilns having been converted into a theatrette. The last firing of a wood fired kiln on the site was 1989.
On the site is a large factory which continues to make all the Bendigo Pottery product using a range of different production techniques including hand throwing, slip casting, jolleying and pressing. All product is now fired in natural gas fired kilns.
Modern day Bendigo has sublime food, wine and shopping experiences against the stunning heritage backdrop. Today, wide streets lined by opulent buildings are now interwoven with intriguing laneways and arcades that are home to a new breed of innovators who again delve deep to create a vibrant energy across the city.
Bendigo’s events calendar is a mix of long-standing traditions, food and wine events, and a great sense of fun. Since the gold boom times of 1871, the local Chinese community have come together to add Chinese dragons, regalia and startling crackers to Australia’s longest continuous festival – the Bendigo Easter Festival.
Bendigo Art Gallery was founded in 1887 and is one of Australia’s oldest and largest regional art galleries. The Bendigo Art Gallery hosts Australia’s richest open painting prize, the Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize, worth $50,000, which was launched in 2003.
The gallery also offers a unique learning space for educators and students to explore the development of the visual arts and gain insights into Australian history, the environment and the nature and growth of Australian society.