5 unique things to do in Bendigo

Bendigo is one of Victoria’s most unassuming treasure troves. A regional Victorian city located just two hours north of Melbourne in the goldfields region, it is renowned for its goldrush past as well as its historic architecture and iconic Art Gallery – luring in art enthusiasts and culture vultures in their droves year after year.

But there are many other pearls within Bendigo’s tourism landscape which make this city one of the most enthralling in regional Australia. If you ever pay a visit to Bendigo and wonder what are the best things to do in Bendigo, those attractions that make one’s visit all the more memorable and solidify its place as a holiday destination of choice.

Here are five of the most unique things to do during your Bendigo stay.

Great.Stupa Sunrise 2686 05 BrettRitchie

1. The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion

A sacred Buddhist monument and the largest of its kind in the western world, the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion is a 50-metre high place of worship and reliquary, modelled on (and the same size as) the 600-year-old Great Stupa of Gyantse. Symbolising the enlightened mind and the path to enlightenment, it houses holy relics of the Buddha and other highly realised beings, with the traditional large Tibetan Gompas (temple) used for pujas, meditation and teachings, and designed to present an overview of Buddhism to visitors. Surrounded by reflective and beautifully maintained gardens as well as a Peace Park showcasing symbols from various faiths including Catholic, Bahá’i, Islam, Hindu and Buddhist, the Stupa is the place for you to visit for a meditative, soulful and reflective Bendigo experience. 


25 Sandhurst Town Rd, Myers Flat VIC

Opening Hours:

Monday to Friday – 9:00am to 5:00pm

Saturdays and Public Holidays – 10:30am to 5:00pm

Closed Christmas Day

Stupa Cafe: 

Monday to Sunday – 10:30am to 3:00pm

2. Central Deborah Gold Mine

Don your hardhat and travel to a world of underground tunnels and historic gold mines as you travel back in time as part of the thrilling and adrenaline-pumping adventure that is the Central Deborah Gold Mine. A real gold mine that operated during Bendigo’s goldrush boom of the 1900s, this attraction sees visitors experience what life was really like for miners during the goldrush era. Descend over 60 metres as you follow in the footsteps of the hard-working miners and watch traditional equipment in action (just don’t forget to cover your ears), discover how the mine’s 929kg of gold was extracted, and step into the heritage-listed buildings essential to the mine’s operation including the old Blacksmith’s Shop, the First Aid Room, the Carbide Lamp Room and the impressive Engine Room. Hot tip: Make sure to dress comfortably and warmly on this tour. And this isn’t the time to don your favourite shoes either. Closed toe and flat sole only!


76 Violet St, Bendigo VIC

Opening Hours: 

Monday to Friday – 9:00am to 5:00pm

gold exploration
Bendigo Tramways

3. Bendigo Tramways

Following your mine tour, (or perhaps immediately preceding it), why not hop onto one of Bendigo’s beautifully restored vintage talking trams and make for the city centre. With the main tram depot operating out of the Central Deborah Gold Mine, the Bendigo Tramways is an easy and immersive way to learn about Bendigo’s history and view the city’s key landmarks and monuments. With your ticket valid for a whole day, you’ll be able to visit a whole number of different locations at your leisure, including the likes of Rosalind Park, the Bendigo Art Gallery, Ulumbarra Theatre, and a whole lot of shopping and dining facilities along Bendigo’s main drag.  If you choose to stay on board, a round trip will take about 45-minutes, so simply sit back and listen to the story of the town as you admire the craftsmanship and love that has gone into restoring each and every tram.


76 Violet Street, Bendigo VIC

Opening Hours:

Monday to Sunday – 9:30am to 4:30pm

4. Golden Dragon Museum

Discover the rich Chinese background embedded within Bendigo and the surrounding region at the Golden Dragon Museum. Built on the historical site of one of Bendigo’s Chinatowns, the museum delves into the culture and history of Chinese Australians. Wander through and admire the historic relics, explore the vast regalia collection, and meet the museum’s most significant artefact – the Dragon Loong. The precinct also features the serene Chinese Gardens and a commanding temple to Kuan Yin – the Buddhist bodhisattva of compassion. To round off your museum experience, the attraction also boasts its own restaurant Hawker @ The Museum offering fresh and tasty food inspired by the street food of Malaysian and Singaporean night markets. Fast becoming a local favourite, you’ll be wooed by the slow-cooked roast BBQ pork, the wok-fried noodles and rice, and the tried and true dumplings.


1-11 Bridge Street, Bendigo VIC

Opening hours:

Tuesday to Sunday – 9:30am to 5:00pm

Open every day during Victorian school holidays – 9:30am to 5:00pm

Chinese.Garden.Temple 1008 02 BrettRitchie
BendigoPottery.10.08.21 3439

5. Bendigo Pottery

Operating for more than 150 years, Bendigo Pottery is Australia’s oldest working pottery. Offering lessons in history, hands-on clay workshops, demos, as well as access to an interpretive museum and café, the space is a rich retail experience to delight ceramic lovers everywhere. Located on the outskirts of town in Epsom, visitors can delve into the pottery’s rich history as they step back in time and learn about production processes, explore the collection of historic wood fired kilns and machinery, and browse the Bendigo Pottery early displays. The site also houses a number of galleries showcasing the work of artists-in-residence, and features an adjoining antique and collectables centre – a tourist destination in and of itself. With more than 40 stallholders, each selling hundreds of goods from bygone eras, this attraction is a paradise for ardent foragers of vintage and history.


146 Midland Hwy, Epsom VIC

Opening Hours:

Monday to Sunday – 9:00am to 5:00pm

Where to stay?

After all this exploration, you’ll be yearning for somewhere comfortable to lay your head. Bendigo Ernest Hotel, conveniently located in the heart of the CBD, acts as the ideal home base during your getaway.

Honouring the city’s devotion to art and culture, the Hotel merges voguish interior design with an intentional showcase of exquisite art, fashioning a unique experience where guests are truly surrounded by the wonders of creativity – so you can surround yourself with a cultural itinerary by day, and immerse yourself into a deep cultural repose by night.

Boasting 10 individualised suites, each room is adorned with alluring Australian art and swept with contemporary aesthetics, lush linens, and designer furnishings – combining to forge a memorable and bespoke stay. Visit here if your want to view Hotel Ernest Bendigo photos of each of its unique suite.

Hotel check-in is after 2pm, with self check-in available after 6pm as well as complimentary off-street parking at the rear of the building overlooking the sweeping grounds of Rosalind Park.

We offer a risk free booking guarantee. You will be refunded the total room rate if you advise us of cancellation 48 hours prior to arrival. To view booking terms and conditions click here.

See More: Stay Bendigo Hotel | Explore Bendigo | Bendigo Art Gallery

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