A Bendigo Visit – Exhibitions (Elvis From Gracelands) – Great Food; Craft Beer; Mining History; Soldiers Memorial; Chinese History Museum and more

Wall mural inside hotel

Bendigo Brews, Pubs and Mines.

Another side of Bendigo is its pubs, combined with a mature craft beer scene. For many years there was only one pub with true craft beer (brewed on site), “The Rifle Brigade”, which is very central, but it no longer brews. The restored ‘Gold Mines’ pub. A real ‘Goldfields’ era establishment – circa 1870’s – is a current standout and is highly recommended. The establishment has above average food and the longest craft beer menu list this writer has seen at an Australian pub. I sampled the East Bendigo Xtra IPA – delicious. unlike many historic hotels which have had their layout remodelled and refurbished this hotel has retained its individual rooms and layout. Adorned by original décor, antiques and collectables it has a remarkably authentic feel, with beautiful old gardens creating a quaint atmosphere. Another nice local pub is ‘The Old Boundary Hotel‘. More a standard pub menu, but of a higher than normal level. Has Bendigo Dark Ale on tap!
Opposite the pub is a preserved area featuring old open cut gold mines, an early mine tower and large steam powered rock crusher. Worth a wander. During its 97 years of operation, the Victoria Hill mine yielded about $8bn worth of gold in today’s values and was the deepest mine in the world at 4,613 feet. The mine appeared on Australia’s first pound note printed in 1913. View 150 year old Coath Cottage nearby which was almost destroyed in the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires and has since undergone restoration. Climb the poppet head tower for magnificent views of Bendigo and wander through the reserve where you’ll find several historical and natural landmarks as well as old mining relics from the golden days. One must remember Bendigo was the richest gold producing area of the gold rush and still has an active and viable gold mine. Victoria Hill Mining Reserve is located at 24-32 Happy Valley Road (off Marong Road), Ironbark (1km west of Bendigo CBD).

Bendigo: Elvis Exhibitions and Immortals

The Bendigo Gallery has established itself as a the exclusive Australian venue for significant exhibitions. Past themes have seen, Mary Quant and Brett Whitely. Currently they are hosting the Elvis collection from Gracelands, a major coup.
Not to be outdone the small Bendigo Military History museum is currently home to the exhibition named, The Immortals. Bendigo, being a gold rush town had a large Chinese population. Many stayed on. There is a wonderful museum dedicated to their history.

Bendigo by Motorhome

Bendigo has suitable caravan parks where you can park and hook up to power. Or, if you are lucky, as this writer is, to have a friend with some vacant land on their property and a conveniently located garage to pug into! There is much history in the suburbs as we found out!
The One Tree Hill lookout is an easy drive and provides great views. You can find areas in the centre where you can park without cost. They are only short walking distances from the galleries and central park. Just search a bit!
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