Published on 7th March 2016
by Linsey Rendell

Bendigo is a city that respects and celebrates its past, yet is quietly carving a future driven by a love of food, art and design.


A strong farm-to-table ethos, and a desire to preserve the surrounding landscape are ingrained in Bendigo’s abundant food scene. From wine and cheesemakers, to beef raisers and veggie growers, the farmers and producers of the region work closely with local cafes and restaurants to foster a food dialogue driven by flavour and sustainability.

The gold rush of 1851 brought an influx of migrants from around the world, and this pocket of Central Victoria began to boom. Some of the grand Victorian architecture from this time remains, as does the cultural diversity of the community.

While its heritage buildings fill with bakeries, wine bars and cafes, Bendigo residents welcome visitors to their town, proudly showing off its many assets.

It’s not so far away, either – only 90 minutes up the Calder Freeway. Here’s our pick of where to eat, drink and stay, and what to do when you visit.

Welcome to Bendigo

NEAREST CITY

Melbourne

DRIVE

1 hour 51 minutes from CBD

TRAIN

Two hours from Southern Cross Station

Eat

From the moment you roll up in Bendigo there are plenty of opportunities to taste the local produce. Choose a cute cafe, a restaurant nestled in a historic building or take a freshly-baked loaf of pumpkin sourdough to a park for a picnic.

Drink

If you’re after a craft beer, a bottled iced latte or just a simple glass of red, you’ll find your match in Bendigo.

Do

To fill in the time between eating and drinking in Bendigo, there are plenty of non-food related things to do. Shops, parks and galleries abound. There’s also an excellent food tour, for those who prefer to learn about food while taking a break to digest breakfast.

Itinerary

ITINERARY: ART TOUR OF BENDIGO

From the stencils and paste-ups of local street artists, to the grand paintings of 19th-century salon artists at the Bendigo Art Gallery, the city is home to many historic and contemporary forms of art. Punctuate your art gazing with plenty of coffee stops and nourishing meals, and perhaps a small kip in the park or a cheeky glass of wine.