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Central bendigo from botanic gardens.jpg
View of central Bendigo from Camp Hill
Bendigo is located in Victoria
Coordinates36°45?0?S 144°16?0?E / 36.75000°S 144.26667°E / -36.75000; 144.26667Coordinates: 36°45?0?S 144°16?0?E / 36.75000°S 144.26667°E / -36.75000; 144.26667
Population99,122 (2018)[1] (20th)
 o Density344.89/km2 (893.27/sq mi)
Elevation225 m (738 ft)
Area287.4 km2 (111.0 sq mi)[2] (2016 urban)
Time zoneAEST (UTC+10)
 o Summer (DST)AEST (UTC+11)
LGA(s)City of Greater Bendigo
State electorate(s)
Federal Division(s)Bendigo
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
20.7 °C
69 °F
7.5 °C
46 °F
550.7 mm
21.7 in

Bendigo is a city in Victoria, Australia, located near the geographical centre of the state[3] and approximately 150 kilometres (93 mi) north west of the state capital, Melbourne. As of June 2018, Bendigo had an urban population of 99,122,[1] making it the fourth-largest inland city in Australia and fourth-most populous city in the state. It is the administrative centre for the City of Greater Bendigo, which encompasses both the urban area and outlying towns spanning an area around 3,000 km2 (1,158 sq mi)[4] and over 111,000 people.[5]

The discovery of gold in Bendigo in 1851 transformed the area from a sheep station into one of colonial Australia's largest boomtowns. News of the finds intensified the Victorian gold rush, bringing an influx of migrants to the city from around the world, particularly Europe and China. Once the alluvial gold had been mined out, mining companies were formed to exploit the rich underground quartz reef gold. Since 1851, about 780,000 kilograms (25 million troy ounces) of gold[6] have been extracted from Bendigo's goldmines, making it the highest producing goldfield in Australia in the 19th century and the largest gold-mining economy in eastern Australia. The wealth generated during this period is reflected in the city's Victorian architectural heritage. Bendigo took its name from the Bendigo Creek and its residents from the earliest days of the gold rush have been called "Bendigonians".[7][8][9]

Although the town flourished in its beginnings as a result of the discovery of gold, it experienced a reversal of fortune in the early 20th century. However, its growth accelerated in the postwar years and has continued to increase steadily since.[10]


Indigenous history and European settlement

Bendigo Creek, named after a local shepherd and amateur boxer who, in turn, earned the sobriquet because his fighting style resembled that of English bare-knuckle champion William Abednego "Bendigo" Thompson.

The original inhabitants of the Mount Alexander area that includes Greater Bendigo are the Dja Dja Wurrung (Jarra) people. They exploited the rich local hunting grounds from which they were displaced by the arrival by white settlers, who established the first of many vast sheep runs in 1837. The marked decrease in Dja Dja Wurrung population was due in large part to the arrival of these non-indigenous animals; they use their noses to 'root up' the nutritious moon-nar tuber (yam daisy); after just a year it was noticed the plant was becoming scarce.[11]

Squatters in the area included Donald Campbell at Bullock Creek in Ravenswood, J & R Bakewell north of Bendigo, Heap & Gryce to the NW, Archibald McDougall in the West, Joseph Raleigh and James Robinson along the Campaspe to the South, and Thomas and Jones, and William Barnett, to the East.[12][13]

Selection in the future county of Bendigo (created in 1869) commenced under the Land Act of 1865, with most settlement occurring around Sandhurst (Bendigo) and Eaglehawk. One of these selections was the Ravenswood "Mount Alexander North run", occupied from c.1840 by Donald Campbell, and acquired by Stewart and Robert Gibson in 1848, with Frederick Fenton replacing one of the brothers. He discovered gold at the northern tip of the Ravenswood run,[14] which attracted diggers to the area from whom Fenton made money selling provisions to them and agisting their horses. Becoming the sole owner of the Ravenswood run in 1857, he built its substantial homestead.[15]

The Mount Alexander North sheep run was bordered by a creek that came to be known as Bendigo, after a local shepherd nicknamed for the English bare-knuckle prizefighter William Abednego ("Bendigo") Thompson.

Gold mining boom

Deep Gully Mine, 1857

Gold was discovered in the area in September 1851,[14] just after the other significant goldfields in neighbouring Castlemaine, from where many diggers migrated, bringing the total to 40,000 in less than a year. (Many of these were Chinese, whose descendants are still living in the area.)

During 1852, under direction of Surveyor General of Victoria, Robert Hoddle, William Swan Urquhart was making a general survey of Mount Alexander and surrounding ranges, and of the goldfields, and fixed the site of the township of 'Sandhurst' (now Bendigo). On 13 July 1852 Hoddle passed on to Urquhart Lieutenant-Governor La Trobe's request for a plan of the Mt Alexander gold workings, and his order that he mark out a reserve at the junction of Golden Gully with Bendigo Creek, and the camp on the west side of the creek below the junction. In late August La Trobe wanted him to report urgently on the best reserves for agriculture in the district. By 26 November he had mapped Bendigo Creek and Myers Creek, and his survey of the Bendigo Valley and environs marked township reserves at Bullock Creek, Ravenswood and Happy Jack where settlement was already taking place. His plan General Survey of the Bendigo Goldfields showing the proposed reserves for townships. Drawn by W.S. Urquhart, Melbourne, November 1852 recommended sites for national schools, churches, markets and other public purposes reserved from sale.[16]

In 1853, a massive protest was held over the cost of the licence fee for prospectors, though it passed off peacefully, due to good diplomacy by police and miners' leaders. From being a tent city, the boomtown grew rapidly into a major urban centre with many grand public buildings. The municipality became a borough in 1863, officially known as Sandhurst until 1891, but always unofficially as Bendigo.

The railway had reached Bendigo by 1862, stimulating rapid growth, with flour mills, woollen mills, tanneries, quarries, foundries, eucalyptus oil production, food production industries, and timber cutting. When the alluvial gold ran out, extraction of quartz-based gold continued in deep shafts using industrial systems.

Decline and regeneration

Bendigo from Camp Hill, 1886

Bendigo was declared a city in 1871. Rapid population growth brought a water shortage, partially solved with a new viaduct that harnessed the Coliban River. The architect William Charles Vahland (1828–1915) left an important mark on Bendigo during this period. He is credited with the popular cottage design with verandahs decorated in iron lace, a style that was soon adopted right across the state of Victoria. Vahland also designed more than 80 buildings, including the Alexandra Fountain, arguably the most prominent monument in Bendigo, with its granite dolphins, unicorns, nymphs, and allegorical figures. A tram network was in use by 1890.

Alexandra Fountain in Charring Cross, c. 1920s, now listed along with the surrounding buildings on the Victorian Heritage Register

After a temporary drop in population, renewed growth occurred from the 1930s, as the city consolidated as a manufacturing and regional service centre, though gold mining continues. Recent growth has been most heavily concentrated in areas such as Epsom, Kangaroo Flat, Strathdale, and Strathfieldsaye. In 1994, under municipal reforms of Victoria's Kennett government, the City of Bendigo was abolished and merged with the Borough of Eaglehawk, the Huntly and Strathfieldsaye shires, and the Rural City of Marong to form the larger City of Greater Bendigo. The population of the city increased from around 78,000 in 1991 to about 100,617 in 2012. Bendigo is currently one of the fastest-growing regional centres in Victoria.[]


The city is surrounded by components of the Greater Bendigo National Park, as well as the Bendigo Box-Ironbark Region Important Bird Area, identified as such by BirdLife International because of its importance for swift parrots and other woodland birds.[17] A dozen species of insect-eating bats and the pollinating grey-headed flying fox inhabit the area.


Bendigo has a relatively dry temperate climate with warm to hot summers and cool to cold winters. Under the Köppen-Geiger classification, it lies on a humid subtropical/semi-arid transitional climate zone (Cfa/BSk),[18] due to its location being on the boundary of the hot, sultry inland areas to the north and the cool, damp Southern Ocean to the south.[19] Bendigo gets 109.9 clear days annually.[7]

The mean minimum temperature in January is 14.3 °C (57.7 °F) and the maximum 28.7 °C (83.7 °F), although temperatures above 35 °C (95.0 °F) are commonly reached.[7] The highest temperature officially recorded was 45.4 °C (113.7 °F), during the 2009 southeastern Australia heat wave.[20] There is also a disputed recording of 47.4 °C (117.3 °F) (on 14 January 1862).[21]

The mean minimum temperature in July is 3.5 °C (38.3 °F) and winter minima below 0 °C (32 °F) are recorded 28 nights per year on average. Mean maximum winter temperatures in July are 12.1 °C (53.8 °F). Most of the city's annual rainfall of 582.1 millimetres (22.92 in) falls between May and September. Snowfalls are virtually unknown; however, frosts can be a common occurrence during the winter.

Climate data for Bendigo Airport (YBDG) since 1991
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 45.9
Average high °C (°F) 30.2
Daily mean °C (°F) 22.1
Average low °C (°F) 14.2
Record low °C (°F) 3.3
Average precipitation mm (inches) 34.8
Average precipitation days 5.9 5.1 5.3 6.7 11.2 12.3 15.3 13.3 11.7 8.7 7.8 6.8 110.1
Average afternoon relative humidity (%) 30 32 35 41 55 65 65 57 51 41 36 31 45
Source: [22]

Extreme weather events

A series of great floods occurred in Bendigo in 1859.[23][24] Substantial flooding also occurred in 1903.[25]

Fire threatening houses in Long Gully, west of Bendigo, during the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires

Tornadoes have been seen around the area of Bendigo, and although rare, the 2003 Bendigo tornado passed through Eaglehawk and other parts of the city, causing major damage to homes and businesses.[26]

Bendigo was in severe drought from 2006 to 2010, and during this time, the city had some of the harshest water restrictions in Australia, with no watering outside the household. Heavy rains from the middle to later months of 2010 filled most reservoirs to capacity and only wasteful water use (e.g. hosing down footpaths) is currently banned.[27]

Bendigo was affected by the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009. A fire to the west of the city burned out 500 hectares (1,200 acres).[28] The fire broke out at about 4.30 pm on the afternoon of 7 February, and burned through Long Gully and Eaglehawk, coming within 2 km (1.2 mi) of central Bendigo, before it was brought under control late on 8 February.[28] It destroyed about 58 houses in Bendigo's western suburbs, and damaged an electricity transmission line, resulting in blackouts to substantial parts of the city.[29] One fatality from the fire occurred.

Flash floods occurred across Bendigo during 2010, the first in March[30] and the most severe at the beginning of September.[31]


Sacred Heart Cathedral, Australia's third tallest church building
Gate to the Golden Dragon Museum, dedicated to the history of Chinese Australians in Bendigo

According to the 2016 census of population, 92,379 people were in Bendigo Urban Centre.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 1.8% of the population.
  • 84.6% of people were born in Australia. The next most common countries of birth were England 1.6%, India 0.7%, New Zealand 0.6%, Myanmar 0.5%, and Thailand 0.4%.
  • 88.1% of people only spoke English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Karen 0.9%, Mandarin 0.5%, Malayalam 0.2%, Punjabi 0.2%, and Hindi 0.2%.
  • The most common responses for religion were No Religion 36.2%, Catholic 22.0%, and Anglican 12.9%.[32]

(*) From preliminary ABS estimate


In the 19th century, Catholicism was the predominant Christian faith in Bendigo. Catholic priest and pioneer George Henry Backhaus established a site in 1852 for the first Masses at Golden Square, and by the end of the year, he was camping at the site of Bendigo's first church, St Kilian's Church, completed in 1858. A wealthy man, Backhaus left his estate for the benefit of the church, which, in 1897, enabled the construction of Sacred Heart Cathedral. Completed in 1977, it is the largest church building in provincial Australia. As of 2016, Catholicism is still practiced by 22% of the population. 36.2% reported having "No Religion" in the 2016 census.[32]

The Sandhurst Methodist Circuit (1854), serviced five Wesleyan churches which had been built in previous years. There were several church schools, but they were attended by one-fifteenth of Bendigo's school children. Anglicans constitute 12.9% of Bendigo's inhabitants.

The Chinese, who in the mid-19th century constituted 20% of Bendigo's population, built the heritage-listed Joss House Temple, where they practiced syncretic beliefs involving ancestor worship and the three main religions of China: Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.[33] Bendigo is also home to the largest st?pa in the Western world, the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion, which houses the Jade Buddha for Universal Peace, the world's largest gem-quality jade Buddha statue. Buddhism is now followed by 1.4% of Bendigo people.[34] 0.5% the city's people are muslim.[32] In 2014, the city achieved a level of notoriety owing to extensive protests by some far-right organisations who mobilised residents and brought in outsiders to oppose the construction of a A$3m mosque and Islamic community centre.[35]

Urban structure

City centre

Hargreaves Mall, Bendigo's main shopping area

The central area (CBD) of Bendigo consists of around 20 blocks of mixed-use area. The main street is the Midland Highway, the section running through the CBD is also known as "Pall Mall", while the main shopping area is centred around Hargreaves Mall.


The contiguous urban area of Bendigo covers roughly 82 km2 of the local government area's 3048 km. Generally the suburbs occupy the catchment of the Bendigo Creek and its tributaries.

Bendigo has several suburbs, some of which (such as Eaglehawk) were once independent satellite townships and many that extend into the surrounding bushland.

Bendigo's suburbs include Ascot, California Gully, Eaglehawk, Eaglehawk North, East Bendigo, Epsom, Ironbark, Flora Hill, Golden Square, Golden Gully, Longlea, Junortoun, Kangaroo Flat, Kennington, Long Gully, Maiden Gully, North Bendigo, Quarry Hill, Sailors Gully, Spring Gully, Strathdale, Strathfieldsaye, West Bendigo, and White Hills.

Architectural heritage

Established in 1854, Shamrock Hotel was rebuilt in 1897.

As a legacy of the gold boom, Bendigo has many ornate buildings built in a late Victorian colonial style. Many buildings are on the Victorian Heritage Register and registered by the National Trust of Australia. Prominent buildings include the Bendigo Town Hall (1859, 1883-85), the Old Post Office, the Bendigo Law Courts (1892-96), the Shamrock Hotel (1897), the Institute of Technology, and the Memorial Military Museum (1921), all in the Second Empire style.

The architect Vahland encouraged European artisans to emigrate to the Sandhurst goldfields and so create a "Vienna of the south".[36] Bendigo's Sacred Heart Cathedral, a large sandstone church, is the third-largest cathedral in Australia and one of the largest cathedrals in the Southern Hemisphere. The main building was completed between 1896 and 1908 and the spire between 1954 and 1977.

Fortuna Villa is a large surviving Victorian mansion, built for Christopher Ballerstedt and later owned by George Lansell. Many other examples of Bendigo's classical architecture rank amongst the finest classical commercial buildings in Australia and include the Colonial Bank building (1887) and the former Masonic Hall (1873-74), which is now a performing-arts centre. Bendigo's Joss House, a historic temple, was built in the 1860s by Chinese miners and is the only surviving building of its kind in regional Victoria, which continues to be used as a place of worship. The historic Bendigo Tram Sheds and Power Station (1903) now house Bendigo's tramway museum. The Queen Elizabeth Oval still retains its ornate 1901 grandstand.

Parks and gardens

Rosalind Park featuring statuary and flanked by ornate Second Empire-style buildings

The central city is skirted by Rosalind Park, a Victorian-style garden featuring statuary and a large blue stone viaduct. The main entrance corner of the park is on the intersection known as Charing Cross, formerly the intersection of two main tram lines (now only one). It features a large statue of Queen Victoria.

The Charing Cross road junction features the large, ornate Alexandra Fountain (1881) and is built on top of a wide bridge that spans the viaduct. The park elevates toward Camp Hill, which features a historic school and a lookout - a former mine poppet head.

Further from the city is Lake Weeroona, a large, ornamental lake adjacent to the Bendigo Creek. The White Hills Botanical Gardens, which opened in 1869, are further downstream. Major redevelopment of the Gardens has taken place in recent years.

The gardens are home to many native species of animals, including brushtailed and ring-tailed possums, ducks, coots, purple swamp hens, microbats (small insect-eating bats), the grey-headed flying fox, several species of lizards, owls, and the tawny frogmouth.

Culture and events

Capital Theatre
Bendigo is home to Sun Loong, the world's longest imperial dragon, a symbol of the city's Chinese heritage and a major drawcard of Bendigo's Easter Festival procession. For the remainder of the year, it is on display in the Golden Dragon Museum.

The Bendigo Art Gallery is one of Australia's oldest and largest regional art galleries. In March 2012, it hosted a royal visit from Princess Charlene of Monaco at the opening of an exhibition about Grace Kelly.[37]

The Capital Theatre, originally the Masonic temple, is located next to the art gallery in View Street and hosts performing arts and live music. It also hosts the annual Bendigo Writers Festival, founded in 2012, which runs across the second weekend in August each year.

The Ulumbarra Theatre[38] was opened on 16 April 2015.[39] It was originally the Sandhurst/Old Bendigo Gaol. The new theatre which seats nearly 1,000 persons sits within the walls and structure of the gaol and retains some original architectural features of the gaol.[40] The venue hosts performing arts and live music. It also acts as a ceremonial and teaching space for local secondary schools and universities.

The city hosts the Bendigo National Swap Meet for car parts every year in early November. It is regarded[by whom?] as the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere and attracts people from all over Australia and the world.

The city hosts the Victorian event of the annual Groovin' the Moo music festival. It is held at the Bendigo Showgrounds and is usually held in late April or early May. The festival regularly sells out and brings many Australian and international acts to the city. It also attracts thousands of people from around Victoria to the city for the weekend.

The Bendigo Blues and Roots Music Festival has been taking place each November since 2011. With over 80 artists from all over Australia, the not-for-profit festival is hosted in many of the venues around Bendigo, and is headlined by a large, family-friendly, free concert held in Rosalind Park.

The Bendigo Easter Festival is held each year and attracts tens of thousands of tourists to the city over the Easter long weekend. Attractions include parades, exhibitions, and a street carnival.

The Bendigo Queer Film Festival (BQFF) is one of Australia's few regional annual festivals celebrating the Queer film genre. The BQFF started in 2004 and takes place in the second half of April.

The Festival of Light is a multicultural celebration of peace and harmony inspired by the Buddha's birthday held in May each year since 2013 at the Great Stupa. The festival's program includes dancing and musical acts followed by a fireworks display at night.

In November 2019 Bendigo was recognised as a United Nations' City of Gastronomy.

Bendigo is home to a number of amateur theatre groups including the Bendigo Theatre Company, Tribe Youth Theatre, and Nexus Youth Theatre


Bendigo is served by two newspapers: the Bendigo Advertiser and the Bendigo Weekly, although in October 2019 the Bendigo Weekly was incorporated into the Bendigo Advertiser and now features as an insert in the Saturday edition of the Advertiser. Also, eight locally based radio stations are active; 105.1 Life FM, Gold 1071am and 98.3FM, Hit 91.9, 3BO FM, (broadcasting as Triple M) and ABC Local Radio, as well as the community radio stations Radio KLFM 96.5, Phoenix FM, Fresh FM, and Vision Australia Radio 3BPH Bendigo 88.7 FM

Regular network television is broadcast in the Bendigo region by Prime7 (7), WIN Television (10), Southern Cross Nine (9), ABC, and SBS.

Of the three commercial networks, WIN Television airs a half-hour WIN News bulletin each weeknight at 6pm, produced from a newsroom in the city and broadcast from studios in Wollongong.

Southern Cross Nine airs a regional Victoria edition of Nine News from Melbourne each weeknight at 6pm, featuring local opt-outs for Bendigo and Central Victoria. Prime7 airs short local news and weather updates throughout the day, produced and broadcast from its Canberra studios.

On 5 May 2011, analogue television transmissions ceased in most areas of regional Victoria and some border regions including Bendigo and surrounding areas. All local free-to-air television services are now being broadcast in digital transmission only. This was done as part of the federal government's plan for digital terrestrial television in Australia, where all analogue television transmission is being gradually switched off and replaced with DVB-T transmission.


Several live music venues offer local independent bands and artists performing on a regular basis. These venues include the Music Man Megastore, the Gold Dust Lounge at the Hotel Shamrock, and the Golden Vine hotel, also the Bendigo Blues Club. Also, several adult choirs and the Bendigo Youth Choir often perform overseas; the Bendigo Symphony Orchestra, the Bendigo Symphonic Band, the Bendigo and District Concert Band, several brass bands and three pipe bands perform, as well.[41] Musicians originally from Bendigo include Patrick Savage - film composer[42] and former principal first violin of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London.[43]Australian Idol winner Kate DeAraugo grew up in Bendigo where her family still live.[44][45]


Queen Elizabeth Oval's 19th century grandstand

Cricket and Australian rules football are the most popular sports in Bendigo. The Queen Elizabeth Oval (referred to locally as the QEO) hosts both sports. The Bendigo and District Cricket Association is the controlling body for 10 senior cricket clubs within the Bendigo area. The Emu Valley Cricket Association organises matches for 13 clubs around the Bendigo district, from Marong in the north to Heathcote is the south. In terms of Australian rules, Bendigo Gold were a semiprofessional team that competed in the Victorian Football League until 2014. The Bendigo region is also home to the historic Bendigo Football League, a strong local Australian rules competition.

The Bendigo Cup is a prominent horse-racing event. Bendigo Stadium. The stadium hosted basketball games during the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Bendigo's men's team is called the Bendigo Braves and the women's team is called Bendigo Spirit. In both 2013 and 2014, the women's team won the Women's National Basketball League championship. The city co-hosted the 2003 FIBA Oceania Championship.

Bendigo was the host to the second Commonwealth Youth Games, held from 30 November to 3 December 2004.


Bendigo is a large and growing service economy. The major industries are health, finance (headquarters of the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank - Australia's fifth largest bank), tourism, commerce, education, food processing, and primary industries, with some significant engineering industries (see below under "Manufacturing").

Bendigo's growth has stimulated growth in small surrounding rural towns (such as Elmore, Heathcote, Rochester, Inglewood, Dunolly and Bridgewater).


Tourist tram passing the Bendigo Post Office

Tourism is a major component of the Bendigo economy, generating over A$364 million in 2008/09.[46] Bendigo is popular with heritage tourists and cultural tourists with the focus of tourism on the city's gold rush history. Prominent attractions include the Central Deborah Gold Mine, the Bendigo Tramways (both of which are managed by the Bendigo Trust, a council-intertwined organisation dedicated to preserving Bendigo's heritage), the Golden Dragon Museum, the Bendigo Pottery, and the Great Stupa.


Bendigo Bank (left)

The main retail centre of Bendigo is the central business district, with the suburbs of Eaglehawk, Kangaroo Flat, Golden Square, Strathdale, and Epsom also having shopping districts.

The city was home to one of Australia's few provincial stock exchanges, the Bendigo Stock Exchange (BSX), founded in the 1860s.

The city is the home of the headquarters of the Bendigo Bank, established in 1858 as a building society. It is now a large retail bank with community bank branches throughout Australia. The bank is headquartered in Bendigo and is a major employer in the city (it also has a regional office at Melbourne Docklands).


The City of Greater Bendigo Community Profile indicated that about 10.2% of the workforce were employed in manufacturing in 2011.[47] After the Victorian gold rush, the introduction of deep quartz mining in Bendigo caused the development of a heavy manufacturing industry. Little of that now remains, but a large foundry (Keech Castings) makes mining, train, and other steel parts and a rubber factory remains (Motherson Elastomers, formerly Empire Rubber). Thales Australia (formerly ADI Limited) is an important heavy engineering company. Australia Defence Apparel is another key defence industry participant making military and police uniforms and bulletproof vests. Intervet (formerly Ausvac) is an important biotechnology company, producing vaccines for animals.


Postcard showing Camp Hill Primary School

The Bendigo Senior Secondary College is the largest VCE provider in the state. Catherine McAuley College follows close after, which ranges from years 7-9 at the Coolock campus and 10-12 at the St Mary's campus. Girton Grammar School, an independent school, provides education to students from years Prep-12. The Bendigo campus of La Trobe University is also a large and growing educational institution with nearly 5,000 undergraduates and postgraduates.

Farming and agriculture

The surrounding area, or "gold country", is quite harsh, rocky land with scrubby regrowth vegetation. The box-ironbark forest is used for timber (mainly sleepers and firewood) and beekeeping.

Sheep and cattle are grazed in the cleared areas. There are some large poultry and pig farms. Some relatively fertile areas are present along the rivers and creeks, where wheat and other crops such as canola are grown. The area produces premium wines, including Shiraz, from a growing viticulture industry. Salinity is a problem in many valleys,[48][49] but is under control.[50] A relatively small eucalyptus oil industry operates there.[51][52]

Bendigo provides services (including a large livestock exchange) to a large agricultural and grazing area on the Murray plains to its north.

Gold mining

One of the major revolutions in gold mining (during the Victorian gold rush) came when fields such as Bendigo, but also Ballarat, Ararat, and the goldfields close to Mount Alexander, turned out to have large gold deposits below the superficial alluvial deposits that had been (partially) mined out. Gold at Bendigo was found in quartz reef systems, hosted within highly deformed mudstones and sandstones or were washed away into channels of ancient rivers. Tunnels as deep as 900 m (3000 ft) (Stawell) were possible.[53]

Until overtaken in the 1890s by the Western Australia goldfields, Bendigo was the most productive Australian gold area, with a total production over 622 tonnes (20 million ounces).

Over the 100-odd year period from 1851 to 1954, the 3,600-hectare area that made up the Bendigo gold field yielded 777 tonnes (25 million ounces) of gold.[6]

A large amount of gold remains in the Bendigo goldfields, estimated to be at least as much again as what has been removed. The decline in mining was partly due to the depth of mines and the presence of water in the deep mines.



Tram on Pall Mall

Bendigo is connected via the Calder Freeway to Melbourne, which is less than two hours by car.[54] The remaining section of highway nearest Bendigo has been upgraded to dual carriageway standard ensuring that motorists can travel up to speeds of 110 km/h (68 mph) for most of the journey. Many other regional centres are also connected to Melbourne via Bendigo, making it a gateway city in the transport of produce and materials from northern Victoria and the Murray to the Port of Melbourne and beyond.

Bendigo acts as a major rail hub for northern Victoria, being at the junction of several lines including the Bendigo line which runs south to Melbourne and lines running north including the Swan Hill, Echuca and Eaglehawk-Inglewood lines. V/Line operates regular VLocity passenger rail services to Melbourne's with the shortest peak journeys taking approximately 91 minutes from Bendigo railway station, generally however services take two hours or longer. While there are several rail stations in the urban area, only three other stations currently operated for passengers: Kangaroo Flat railway station on the Bendigo Line, Epsom Railway Station on the Echuca railway line, and Eaglehawk railway station on the Swan Hill railway line. There are also additional train services to and from Swan Hill and Echuca. The Regional Rail Link promises more reliable services between Bendigo and Melbourne by providing some separation from the Melbourne metropolitan rail network. Victoria's electronic ticketing system, Myki, was implemented on rail services between Eaglehawk and Melbourne on 17 July 2013.[55]

Bendigo is also served by an extensive bus network that radiates mostly from the CBD with the main terminus at the railway station towards the suburbs. The city is also served by several taxi services.

Trams in Bendigo have historically operated an extensive network as a form of public transport, but the remains of the network were reduced to a tourist service in 1972.[56] Short trials of commuter tram services were held in 2008 and 2009 with little ridership. The second, "Take a Tram", proved more successful, running twice as long as the previous trial. By the end of the "Take a Tram" program, ridership had increased and was increasing. However, due to lack of government subsidy or backing, the program ended.[57]

Bendigo is served by the Bendigo Airport, which is located to the north of the city on the Midland Highway. The Bendigo Airport Strategic Plan was approved in 2010 for proposed infrastructure upgrades including runway extension and buildings to facilitate larger planes and the possibility of regular passenger services from major cities in other states. In 2016, Bendigo Airport was upgraded with a new taxiway system, new lighting, and a new 1.6-km north-south runway. On 10 December 2018, Qantas announced that they would fly between Sydney and Bendigo six times a week, the first of which commenced on 31 March 2019.[58]


The Bendigo Base Hospital now known as Bendigo Health is the city's largest hospital, only public hospital, and a major regional hospital. St John of God is the largest private hospital. Bendigo is also served by a privately owned smaller surgical facility, the Bendigo Day Surgery.


Bendigo is entitled to a portion of the water in Lake Eppalock, an irrigation reservoir on the Campaspe River. Developments have led to the building of a pipeline from Waranga to Lake Eppalock and thence to Bendigo in 2007. The dam (and a road) is called Faugh A Ballagh.

Sister cities

Notable residents


See also



  1. ^ a b "3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2017-18: Population Estimates by Significant Urban Area, 2008 to 2018". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 2019. Estimated resident population, 30 June 2018.
  2. ^ "2016 Census Community Profiles: Bendigo". ABS Census. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "2016 Census Community Profiles: Greater Bendigo (C)". ABS Census. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^ "3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2016: Population Estimates by Local Government Area, 2006 to 2016". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 28 July 2017. Retrieved 2017. Estimated resident population, 30 June 2016.
  6. ^ a b "State of Victoria Early Postal Cancels (and History) Illustrated, Section II: 1851 to 1853" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 2015.
  7. ^ a b c "Bendigo Campus, Latrobe". 20 June 2014. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  8. ^ Earliest reference in a newspaper digitised on-line by the National Library of Australia to the term "Bendigonian" "The Northern Gold Fields". The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893). Maitland, NSW.: National Library of Australia. 18 January 1854. p. 2. Retrieved 2013.
  9. ^ "Bendigo". Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer. Geelong, Vic.: National Library of Australia. 29 August 1854. p. 4. Retrieved 2013.
  10. ^ "Population forecasts". City of Bendigo. Retrieved 2014.
  11. ^ Beth Gott, 'Murnong -- Microseris scapigera: a study of a staple food of Victorian Aborigines', Australian Aboriginal Studies, no. 2, 1983, pp. 12, 14.
  12. ^ The Squatters' directory : Containing a list of all the occupants of crown lands in the intermediate and unsettled districts of Port Phillip ... compiled from the Government Gazette ... (1849). Melbourne: Edward Wilson.
  13. ^ Billis, R. V. (Ralph Vincent); Kenyon, A. S. (Alfred Stephen), 1867-1943, (author.); Strachan, H. M., (writer of foreword.) (1932), Pastoral pioneers of Port Phillip, Macmillan & Company Ltd, retrieved 2020CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ a b "THE BENDIGO ADVERTISER". Bendigo Advertiser. XXXV, (10, 156). Victoria, Australia. 21 March 1888. p. 2. Retrieved 2020 – via National Library of Australia.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  15. ^ "The Bendigo Independent (Vic. : 1891 - 1918) - 10 Apr 1917 - p2". Trove. Retrieved 2020.
  16. ^ James, Ken (2009). "The surveying career of William Swan Urquhart, 1845-1864 | PROV". Provenance: The Journal of Public Record Office Victoria, issue no. 8, 2009. ISSN 1832-2522. Retrieved 2020.
  17. ^ "IBA: Bendigo Box-Ironbark Region". Birdata. Birds Australia. Retrieved 2011.
  18. ^ Porteners, M. F. 1993.The natural vegetation of the Hay Plain: Booligal-Hay and Deniliquin-Bendigo 1:250 000 maps, Cunninghamia Vol. 3(1): 1-87.
  19. ^ Donohue, R. J., McVicar, T. R., and Roderick, M. L.: Climate-related trends in Australian vegetation cover as inferred from satellite observations, 1981-2006, Glob. Change Biol., 15, 1025- 1039, 2009
  20. ^ "The exceptional January-February 2009 heatwave in south-eastern Australia" (PDF), Bureau of Meteorology, National Climate Centre, p. 2, 12 February 2009
  21. ^ Aikman, Rod (8 February 2003). "Weather history preserved". Bendigo Advertiser. Retrieved 2011.
  22. ^ "Climate statistics for Bendigo". Bureau of Meteorology. April 2013. Retrieved 2017.
  23. ^ The Argus (Melbourne) 30 May 1859, p. 6.
  24. ^ The Courier (Hobart, Tas.) 20 May 1859, page 2
  25. ^ The Argus (Melbourne) 29 December 1903, p. 6.
  26. ^ "'Mini tornado' wreaks havoc". The Age. Melbourne. 19 May 2003. Retrieved 2008.
  27. ^ [2]
  28. ^ a b "Meeting held for fire-affected Bendigo residents". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 9 February 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  29. ^ Power, Emily; Collier, Karen (9 February 2009). "The man up the road is on fire". Herald Sun. Australia. Retrieved 2009.
  30. ^ Quirk, Clare (7 March 2010). "Bendigo flood clean-up, then the cost". Bendigo Advertiser. Retrieved 2015.
  31. ^ Quirk, Clare (5 September 2010). "Deluge causes flood havoc across central Victoria". Bendigo Advertiser. Retrieved 2015.
  32. ^ a b c Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Bendigo (Urban Centre and Localities)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2018.Edit this at Wikidata
  33. ^ National Trust of Australia (Vic.); National Trust of Australia (Victoria) (1972), Bendigo and the Chinese Joss House, National Trust of Australia (Victoria), ISBN 978-0-909710-04-0
  34. ^ "Religion | City of Greater Bendigo | Community profile". Retrieved 2020.
  35. ^ Patrick, Hatch. "Q Society spreading anti-mosque message in Bendigo". The Age. Retrieved 2014.
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  37. ^ John Elder. "A fairytale in Bendigo as Charlene enters with grace". The Age. Retrieved 2015.
  38. ^ "Home". Ulumbarra Theatre. Retrieved 2016.
  39. ^ Pedler, Chris (17 April 2015). "Ulumbarra Theatre: Grand opening kicks a goal". Bendigo Advertiser. Retrieved 2016.
  40. ^ Parker, Fiona (19 January 2015). "Old meets new in Bendigo as Sandhurst Gaol becomes Ulumbarra Theatre - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Retrieved 2016.
  41. ^ "Arts Register". City of Greater Bendigo. 2010. Archived from the original on 8 October 2009. Retrieved 2010.
  42. ^ "Patrick Savage (II)". Retrieved 2015.
  43. ^ Moore, Debi (26 August 2010). "Sample a Bit of the Score from Fetch". Retrieved 2015.
  44. ^ "Celebrity - Book Kate Dearaugo at MTA - Entertainment Booking Agency Australia - MTA Entertainment and Events". 5 November 1985. Retrieved 2015.
  45. ^ "Kate Dearaugo Biography". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  46. ^ "Bendigo Tourism Board Inc : Annual Report : 2008-2009" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2015.
  47. ^ "Industry sector of employment | City of Greater Bendigo". 10 January 2011. Retrieved 2015.
  49. ^ Lane, R., Heislers, D., & McDonald, P. (2001). Filling in the gaps? validation and integration of airborne EM data with surface and subsurface observations for catchment management? an example from Bendigo, Victoria, Australia. Exploration Geophysics, 32(4), 225-235.
  50. ^ Reid, M. (1995, September). Burkes Flat--a salinity treatment success story. In Murray-Darling Basin Groundwater Workshop'. Wagga Wagga, NSW (unpublished)
  51. ^ McCartney, W. T. (2003). An introductory overview of the essential oil industry in Australia. In Proceedings of International Federation of Essential Oils and Aroma Trades international conference'.(Ed. C Green)[CD-ROM](IFEAT: London).
  52. ^ Goodger, J. Q., Heskes, A. M., King, D. J., Gleadow, R. M., & Woodrow, I. E. (2008). Micropropagation of Eucalyptus polybractea selected for key essential oil traits. Functional Plant Biology, 35(3), 247-251.
  53. ^ AMJ Ferguson. "Gold, Gems and Pearls in Ceylon and Southern India". London, John Haddon & Co.: 283. Cite journal requires |journal= (help) URL: Gold, Gems, Pearls Ceylon, Australian Gold Fields Discussion
  54. ^ Google Maps calculates the distance from Bendigo to Melbourne to be 153 km (95 mi) and the time of travel is estimated to be 1 hour 47 minutes.
  55. ^ "Myki to start on VLine Commuter Services". VLine Pty Ltd. Archived from the original on 27 August 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  56. ^ "The Bendigo Trust". Archived from the original on 17 June 2008. Retrieved 2008.
  57. ^ "Tram trial gets mixed results" (PDF). Tram Talk. Friends of the Bendigo Tramways. 2009. Retrieved 2010.
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  59. ^ "Sister Cities". City of Greater Bendigo. Archived from the original on 19 February 2011. Retrieved 2010.


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