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Golden ticket to Bendigo

Take advantage of your Seniors card and head to the heart of Victoria’s gold fields for a car-free excursion.

Front entrance to the Bendigo Art Gallery

The 1850s Goldrush put Bendigo on the map, with the regional Victorian town having more than 5,500 registered mines at its peak. Its rich history has left it with a legacy that makes it a great day trip for seniors. There are great attractions all within walking or tram distance from the V/Line train station.

Once you’ve pulled into Bendigo Train Station, it’s only a 15-minute walk down Mitchell Street into the heart of town, Pall Mall. You can grab a map from the Tourism Information Office or continue straight on to enjoy the delights of Bendigo Art Gallery.

Bendigo’s well-regarded art gallery dates back to 1887. It features a diverse permanent collection on the history of Australian art and design. These works include First Nations art, colonial and 19th century European and Australian paintings, 20th century and contemporary Australian art and an Australian Fashion Collection. The gallery hosts a dynamic calendar of temporary exhibitions. It has a picturesque café overlooking the award-winning Rosalind Park.

Open 10am to 5pm daily

Free entry

Bendigo Art Gallery website

Rosalind Park

Water fountain at Rosalind Park - Bendigo

In the heart of Bendigo is Rosalind Park. A beautiful, multi-use natural oasis with significant trees, a conservatory, fernery and water features. The park is on the Victorian Heritage Register for its historic, archaeological, aesthetic, scientific (botanical with many trees dating back to the 1800s) and architectural significance. If you’re up for the climb, the Poppet Head lookout tower provides sweeping views of the city. The tower was originally used during the gold rush to process mine tailings. Flags would fly from the top to let people know the mail had arrived. You’ll be able to see the Chinese Precinct and Golden Dragon Museum from the top.

Open all day (Fernery and Conservatory open from 8am to sunset)

Free entry

Rosalind Park webpage on the City of Bendigo website

Golden Dragon Museum

Chinese dragon

Continue walking through Rosalind Park to reach Golden Dragon Museum. The museum houses an extensive Chinese collection, including three Imperial Dragons. The world’s longest Dragon, Dai Gum Loon, is the star attraction of Bendigo’s Easter Festival Parade. He weaves his way through the streets of the city in the continuation of a tradition begun by Chinese miners in 1892. The museum is built on the Chinese Precinct, where Chinese miners camped during the gold rush. You can catch the historic tram service out the front of the museum.

Open 9.30 to 5pm Tuesday to Sunday

Senior ticket $13

Golden Dragon Museum website

Vintage Talking Tram Tour

Front of the heritage Dja Dja Wurrung Tram in Bendigo.

Back in the day, Bendigo had four tram routes radiating out from the city centre. When the popularity of cars made the tramways unviable, the citizens of Bendigo called for the main line to be retained. The Vintage Talking Tram tour, complete with conductor, now runs from the Central Deborah Goldmine, past many of the town’s tourist attractions, with the return trip taking 45 minutes. You can hop on and off the tram all day on a single ticket, listening to the history of Bendigo and chatting to the friendly conductor.

Operates daily 10am to approx 4pm

Adult ticket $12.50

Bendigo Tramways website

Central Deborah Gold Mine

Tour guide with head torch talking to a group in the Central Deborah Mine

During its 103 years of operation, Central Deborah Gold Mine extracted the equivalent in today’s dollars of $70 million in gold. Head underground on a tour of the second of 17 levels of the mine. You get a taste of what a working day was like for the miners, many of whom began their careers at the ripe old age of 14. An industrial steel lift will take you 61 metres underground. It is then a flat walk along the darkened mine tunnels to see where miners spent their lunch breaks and witness the evolution of mining technology used to break up the dense rock, including gelignite.

Open 9.30 to 4.30pm daily

Tour duration 75 minutes

Senior ticket $30

Once you’ve tackled the mine, the tram can take you back to Alexandra Fountain for the short walk back up Mitchell Street to catch the V/Line home.

Central Deborah Goldmine website

Reviewed 09 February 2024