One of Australia's largest churches, Bendigo's beautiful Sacred Heart Cathedral dominates the town's skyline. The gothic style cathedral is built of a mixture of local and imported stone, including a marble floor imported from Italy. The gargoyles adorning the outside that direct water away from the building during rain are spectacular - especially when they are in action.
Services are held most days and visitors are welcome. Entry is free.
Sixty acres of grass, gracious trees and well tended gardens. Locals flock to the park in good weather to picnic, play and just hang out. The park is free and open all hours, although some of its 'special features' have more limited opening hours.
There is a beautiful fernery, cool on a hot day, which is open from approximately 8am until sunset, the same opening hours as the Conservatory. There is also a children's playground which is shared with Camp Hill Primary School and is open to the public during non-school hours.
The Bendigo Creek, which provides an example of urban infrastructure development from the 1800s, runs along one side of the park and a walking / cycling path follows the creek, linking the park to other parts of the region. The Lookout Tower, a reclaimed poppet head from Bendigo's mining days, is worth the climb as the views of the district are spectacular. Bendigo's excellent Art Gallery is also accessible from the park.
It was wow! when I saw the building the tourist information centre was located in. I think if must be the grandest Visitor Centre in Australia!
You see, the Bendigo Visitor Information and Interpretive Centre is housed in the former Post Office, which took 5 years to build in Victorian architecture at a cost of £50,000. At that time, it and was the finest building in Bendigo at its opening in 1887. It housed the Post Office until 1995.
Bendigo was the richest city in the world during the 1850s, this building and others reflect this!
I picked up the walking map of Bendigo'S beautiful buildings, as I like seeing the old style architecture.
The Post Office Gallery is also on the premises.
Inside the Joss House Temple, I was able to find out more about these Chinese migrants who came to Bendigo in search of gold so long ago. It was also a chance to see some Chinese culture and beliefs and to read all about the chinese in the Bendigo region from the information boards along the entrance wall.
The volunteer guide was only too happy to tell us some history and information on the Joss House, then we went for a look by ourselves.
The Bendigo Joss House Temple is open to locals, tourists and worshippers.
As Bendigo is old in Australian terms, I found some interesting pieces on my walk that have been preserved.
One, was the old fashioned letterbox, not many of these around anymore, and still being used.
I particularly liked the ornate Lamps, something like this you see plenty of in Europe, but Australia, No! Gargoyles was another feature on the elaborate buildings.
Even the original Conservatory was standing, this hadn't been knocked down to make way for new.
Check out the lattice work on the goldminers cottages and upmarket homes, these are quite beautiful and come in many designs.
St Kilian's Church has quite an interesting history.
I guess when I first saw the Church, it was the size and that it was built from wood that first caught my attention.
The Church that has stood here, has not always been this large one, infact, in 1852, the first Catholic mass was conducted in a canvas tent. The tent had a flag pole out the front to signal when Mass was about to commence.
When gold was discovered in late 1851, by Catholic Cornish and Irish diggers who liked to attend church, it became obvious the tent was not going to be big enough! It took one afternoon to build the new slab and canvas Church in 1853. Unfortunately for the parishoners, the canvas roof leaked in times of rain.
A stone Church was needed, so in 1856, work began on a Sandstone Church, topped by a slate roof, with 22 buttresses and four entrances. In 30years time, this was a condemned Church.
Now, the big oregon and hardwood Church is standing in its place.
It is one of the largest weatherboard churches in the world.
Quite a while back, our family did the gold mine tour. All of us were fitted out with a hat and miner’s lamp, then descended 61 metres beneath the surface of Bendigo to the honeycomb of underground tunnels with our guide.
The tour was educational and good, one we all enjoyed.
Once on the surface of the mine, it was time to look at vintage mining machinery, gold panning and interpretive museum.
TOUR IS..... 75 minutes
COST........ADULTS $28.50 CHILD [5-15YR] $15
TOURS START AT.....8.30AM .... LAST TOUR 3.30PM
Please check the website for all the information you need
The Beehive building is one of Pall Mall’s most historic and important buildings.
It is in very poor condition at the moment, but is going to be restored to its original best.
The workers have already found the original lime wash colour is a much more earthy colour similar to the Town Hall and the Capital rather than the current off-white colour.
The Beehive building was constructed in 1872, and includes the Bendigo Mining Exchange and Allans Walk.
The Beehive department store competed with nearby Myers from the 1870’s to the 1970’s when the store closed down and the building was divided into smaller spaces.
Another Cathedral in Bendigo, is St Paul's Angilcan Cathedral. The Cathedral was built over a period, with the nave built in 1868, the tower in 1872-73 and the transepts and sanctuary in 1926-27. The cathedral is an example of Early English Gothic style. The tower, with its detailed pinnacles, its spiral staircase and carillon of eight bells, is a notable feature and a town landmark.
I wasn't able to see the interior, a pity as the stained glass windows of the 12 apostles are meant to be lovely, as are the carvings.
St Paul's Rectory is next door. It was built in 1885, and the Parish Office and Hall was built as a Sunday School in 1898.
This monument was erected in 1901 to mark the Goldfield's Golden Jubilee. It depicts the Goddess of good luck [Fortuna], dropping a nugget into the dish of a Bendigo digger. At the base are bronze Lyre Birds.
As I walked around the city and through the parks, I found many more monuments of important people.
This is a pretty fountain situated in the centre of Bendigo at Charing Cross. The fountain was officially opened by his Royal Highness Prince Albert Edward Victor of Wales in July 1881. It is 8 metres high and is made from polished Harcourt Granite, surrounded by Dolphines, Nymphs and Unicorns.
The vintage Talking tram does many tours, the one I have done, was the Tram tour that does and 8.4km round trip in the city centre. The tour commences at Central Deborah Gold Mine but you can join or depart at any one of the other tram stops.
Stops are located at..........
1.Central Deborah Gold Mine: 76 Violet Street
2.Charing Cross (Alexandra Fountain) and Pall Mall (City)
3.Bendigo Tramways Depot: 1 Tramways Avenue
4.Lake Weeroona: Nolan Street
5.Tyson’s Reef Hotel: Weeroona Avenue
6.Bendigo Joss House Temple (North Bendigo): Finn Street
The Ticket is valid for two consecutive days, so you can hop-on and hop-off the tram as often as you like within those two days.
There are 17 trams in the Vintage ‘Talking’ Tram fleet. Two trams operate the Vintage ‘Talking’ Tram service each day on a rotational basis. A recording tells about the sights and the golden past of Bendigo.
This is a hop-on, hop-off tour with a difference!
PRICE FOR THIS TOUR IN 2012....
Adult $16.00 Child $10.00 Family$47.00
There are many other tours, please check the website for all the important details.
Dai Gum San is the new Chinese precinct which links the Golden Dragon Museum with the Yi Yuan Gardens and Kuan Yin Temple. The area was only opened in 2010.
The only charge for any sight here, is for the Museum which includes photographs, objects, embroidery and costumes.
The Museum has the largest collection of Chinese processional regalia, including eight Chinese dragons, costumes and banners. A selection of these cultural objects are used annually in Bendigo's Easter Parade, a local tradition to raise funds for charity since 1871.
The Museum is open from....9.30 - 5 pm daily.
ADMISSION IN 2012....Adults $11 Children $6
Outside on the pavement, are many sculptures, including a 5 metre high Lotus flower. It really is a lovely area to walk around, and to learn about the Chinese in Bendigo.
Spanning the historic Bendigo creek this new development glitters with golden pavers and colourful Chinese symbolism. The gardens are a place of peace and beauty and the Kuan Yin Temple is a stunning home for the goddess of compassion
Bendigo was home to thousands of Cantonese Chinese who travelled across dangerous seas to reach Australia and the rich goldfields at Bendigo. They called this place, Dai Gum San, Big Gold Mountain - A place of untold wealth and promise.
This Chinese precinct links the Golden Dragon Museum with the Yi Yuan Gardens and Kuan Yin Temple. The gardens are a place of peace and the Kuan Yin Temple is home for the goddess of compassion. The Yi Yuan Classical Chinese Gardens, were built based on similar gardens within the Imperial Palace in Beijing. They comprise traditional Chinese architecture with lotus pond and fish, and are decorated with sculpture and colourful hand painted murals.
This is an execellent street to walk along! It is uphill, but worth the walk to see all the marvellous buildings located along it.
It is known as the "Arts Precinct." The Bendigo Art Gallery is one of Australia’s best regional galleries, which holds big international exhibitions. When I was there, Priness Grace clothes were on display. I was going to see it, but didn't, the crowd put me off!
Next door is Bendigo’s Performing Arts Centre and a collection of unique galleries and boutique stores worth having a browse.
On the other side of the street there is the La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre, a display of contemporary art. It is along View street where gold would come to be formed into gold bullions.
Gold smelter chimneys are still at the back of the buildings in this precinct. These bank buildings now form eclectic boutiques, wine bars and restaurants