August 11, 2021
August 11, 2021
August 11, 2021

Bendigo’s Allure

Sandip Hor takes a tour around a famous Australian township

The 1851 discovery by Margaret Kennedy of a shiny metal in a shallow waterway propelled the remote British colony of Australia onto the world stage and gold became synonymous with Bendigo.

It is now one of the leading cities in Victoria, which is the country’s second smallest state, located on the east coast.

Today, visitors from around the world visit Bendigo, which is a two hour drive from state capital Melbourne, to witness the legacy of its evolution from a sleepy village in the mid-19th century to a booming settlement within a few years of the gold rush.

In its heyday, diggers came here from all over the world and Bendigo became home to over 5,000 mining companies, three stock exchanges, several banks and an array of grand architecture, parks, gardens and boulevards, most of which still exist.

GOLD MINE VISIT Following excavation for over 100 years, mining ceased in 1954. However, Central Deborah Gold Mine, which had extracted almost a tonne of gold during the boom, opened its doors to visitors.

They can descend underground, explore a real gold hideout, and learn how digging was done using basic tools and machinery.

POTTERING ABOUT George Duncan Guthrie – who abandoned his potter’s wheel in Scotland to join the gold rush – founded the Bendigo Pottery in 1858 after stumbling upon a clay deposit that was perfect to produce ceramics.

His business soon grew to rival the great Staffordshire potteries in England. It is still operating as the nation’s oldest working pottery, and welcomes visitors to view its clay modelling processes from infancy to the present as well as buy world-class products.

VINTAGE TRAM A novel way to learn about the history of this city is to take a vintage tram, which provides a running commentary on the city’s journey from classic to contemporary.

On  tour, you will see key architectural landmarks such as the Alexandra Fountain, the Sacred Heart Cathedral, a post office, a town hall, an art gallery and the Capital Theatre.HERITAGE STAY Visiting Bendigo calls for immersing oneself in its rich heritage and authentic experiences.

The opulent Shamrock Hotel, which has been a hostel to the city’s social scene since 1897, also hosted Prince Charles and Princess Diana on their royal tour in 1983.

BUDDHIST STUPA The newest addition to Bendigo’s landscape is a Buddhist stupa. Said to be the largest of its kind in the Western world, it rises almost 50 metres tall, offering a place of peace and harmony for all.

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