Bendigo Located mid-way between Ballarat and Ararat, Beaufort is situated in a rich pastoral district. Gold was first discovered around Beaufort in 1852 which saw the town's population rise dramatically, however it was short-lived with most of the alluvial gold gone around 10 years later. A number of historical buildings in Beaufort today date back to the gold rush days including the post office, several churches and the railway station. At the western end of Beaufort's commercial centre along Neill Street is an octagonal band rotunda which was built in 1908. On the other side of Neill Street at Livingstone Street is an attractive triangular shaped park with a war memorial surrounded by a rose garden. Off King Street, to the north of town, is the Camp Hill Reserve. It features picnic areas, a BBQ shelter and a lookout which offers scenic views across the countryside and towards town. Beaufort Lake, accessed via Lake Road to the south of town, is surrounded by parkland, recreational facilities Bendigo is Victoria's fourth largest city, located around 150 kilometers north-west of Melbourne. Bendigo has a rich and prosperous heritage dating back to the days when gold was discovered in the area in the 1850s. Since then, Bendigo has been the second highest producing goldfield in Australia and remains the seventh largest in the world. Bendigo's rich gold history has produced a city of unparalleled opulence and grandeur. Stunning architecture and manicured gardens are all symbolic of Bendigo. One of Bendigo's most elegant streets is Pall Mall in the city centre. At its southern end stands the grand Alexandra Fountain which was built in 1881 out of granite. Further along Pall Mall is the elaborate old post office (built between 1883 and 1887) which now houses the Bendigo Visitor Information Centre, and next door are the law courts (built between 1892 and 1896), also of similar architecture. On the corner of Pall Mall and Williamson Street is Bendigo's most famous hotel, the lavishly adorned Shamrock, which was built in 1897. Bendigo's shopping precinct extends along Pall Mall, Hargreaves Street (including the Hargreaves Mall), Queen Street, Williamson Street and tree-lined Mitchell Street. Attractions for visitors include the Central Deborah Mine complex which offers underground mine tours and the Talking Tram which takes passengers on an almost 5 kilometer journey passing many of the city's attractions. Rosalind Park, in the city's centre, features a lookout tower offering impressive views across Bendigo, while Bendigo's Sacred Heart Cathedral, built in 1896, is the largest Gothic cathedral in the southern hemisphere. Other attractions include several art galleries and the Golden Dragon Museum which is a tribute to the city's long history with Chinese people and culture. Bendigo city is situated in a fertile valley, surrounded by a number of hilly suburbs featuring wide tree-lined streets, bush land, and a several large reserves, creating a pleasant and green environment for residents and visitors. Welcome to Bendigo Impressive Victorian buildings line the wide streets of Bendigo, as a reminder of the rich history built from one of the world's most exciting gold rushes. Today there are new treasures to be discovered in this thriving city. Bendigo is a place where art, culture, food, wine and heritage attractions are in the abundance, as was the gold of the late 1850's. Every corner you turn in Bendigo reveals another living treasure; another vivid reminder of the city’s glorious and heady past – whether it is the outrageous opulence of a boomtown hotel, or the simple piety of a wooden church. The best 19th century cities combine grant scale and fine detail and there are few better than Bendigo. Many of Victoria’s cities and towns owe their origins to the gold rushes of the 19th century and Bendigo is one of them. In fact there was very little gold on the surface at all. Most of it was far underground in rich quartz reefs stretching out over 3,600 hectares around the city. The gold rush began in 1851 when the first diggers rushed to the Bendigo fields and continued until 1954 when the last winch on the city’s last gold mine raised its last bucket of ore. In recent years mining for gold has re-commenced deep under Bendigo and continues today. During the city’s first golden century, Bendigo became a melting pot with its own unique ethnic character – the Irish at St Killians, the Cornish at Long Gully and the Germans at Ironbark Gully. These groups were just some of the many communities that helped to build Bendigo. German architects W C Vahland and Robert Getzschmann, along with Bendigo born William Beebe, were responsible for many of the city’s finest buildings. One of the most enduring and distinctive contributions was made by the Chinese. Bendigo’s Chinese heritage is well represented to this day, with the Historic Joss House and the Golden Dragon Museum and Classical Chinese Gardens. The influence of the gold rush can be felt in the very fabric of the city. Bendigo owes its broad and regular boulevards to the ambitious town plan prepared in 1854. Other streets follow the paths beaten by fossickers as they followed gullies and leads in search of gold. The city’s ostentatious public buildings and gardens attest to the flamboyance of the gold rush era. So do the richly decorated privates homes. The Bendigo Pottery is justly famous, with its display and sales complex set around vast old beehive kilns. The Bendigo Pottery was created by George Duncan Guthrie, a Scot who was an apprentice potter by the age of 12. By 1888 11 kilns were in operation and the site employed 130 people. Today domestic pottery is made in the historic kilns. The site offers a total tourist experience an Interpretive Museum, a sales gallery and café. Another rich aspect of the Bendigo cultural landscape is the Chinese history.
Bendigo is a grand and gracious city. It was the place of one of the world’s most exciting gold rushes, with more gold found here 1850 and 1900 than anywhere else in the world. The city is literally built on gold, gathered from the rich gold-bearing quartz reefs. Around nine billion dollars worth of gold was found in Bendigo, making it the second highest producing gold field in Australia after Kalgoorlie, and seventh richest field in the world. Historic and elaborate bank buildings line the main streets, with gold smelter chimneys an ever-present reminder of the riches from the gold fields. People came from across the world to seek their fortune in Bendigo in the mid to late 1800’s. Alluvial gold was discovered along the banks of the Bendigo Creek in 1851 and resulted in a major gold rush. The discovery is usually attributed to Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Farrell, the wives of two of workers on the Mt Alexander North pastoral property. In Christmas 1851 there were 800 people on the field and by the following June, 20,000 diggers had arrived in the alluvial field. Alluvial gold production was dominant in the first ten years of the field to 1860 and is estimated to account for up to four million ounces or almost one fifth of the total gold won from the Bendigo goldfield. Deep, often speculative, shaft sinking remained the pre-eminent exploration tool throughout the early productive life of the field (1851 to 1954). Throughout the mining history of the Bendigo goldfield in excess of 5,000 shafts were sunk. At least 140 shafts exceeded 300 m in depth, 67 exceeded 600 m, and 11 were over 1,000 m deep. The Bendigo goldfield represents the largest concentration of deep shafts anywhere in the world. To experience shaft mining, Central Deborah Gold Mine is a real gold mine that now operates as a tourist attraction. Pop on a hard hat with its miners light and take a mine experience tour 20 storeys below to Level 2 of the mine and learn about the fascinating history of gold mining in Bendigo. For the daring take an adventure tour to Level 3 of the mine. You'll climb ladders, operate drills and search for real gold. Yes you will be able to see gold in the quartz reef on the mine's tunnels. Central Deborah is the real thing! The Central Deborah Gold Mine was the last commercial mine to operate in Bendigo. In the period from 1939 to 1954 almost one ton of gold (929kg) was unearthed from the mine, worth around $17,000,000 AUS in today's prices. The mine closed for a number of years until 1986 when it was re-opened for underground tours and miners once again ventured below with visitors to explore the fascinating tunnels below
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