The design of the church is credited to the architect W Tappin, 9 years before work commenced in 1896 but it wasn't completed until the bell was finally added in 2003. The Barrabol freestone contrasts with the Australian blackwood used to build the pews and Sicilian marble was imported for the sanctuary walls. The 21-metre stained-glass window in the western wall came from Birmingham and the tallest spire rises to 86 metres with a 3-tonne, 7-metre bronze cross at its apex.
Dating from the late 19th century with its two-storey, elaborate facade and decorative roof, the law courts reflect the wealth and optimism of the post gold-rush era. Both the old post office (1883-87) and the law courts (1892-96) were designed by the same architect, G.W. Watson, of the Public Works Department and bear a certain similarity to one another. Where the post office has a tall clock tower with a carillon, the interior of the law courts displays a superb staircase and court room and is considered to be among the finest buildings, certainly of that era, in Victoria
Until 1874, Bendigo was part of the diocese of Melbourne, but in that year the northern part of Victoria was separated and became the new Diocese of Sandhurst. An Irish priest. Dr. Martin Crane was appointed the first bishop. When he arrived in Bendigo the following year, he found a stone church dedicated to St. Kilian and this became his cathedral. However this church was in a very bad state of repair and had to be demolished in 1888. It was replaced by a large wooden structure which is in use today as a parish church.
No offence to all the Irish Catholics, but I personally think that the church's windows and doors have an Islamic-influenced design.
There were many Chinese on the Bendigo goldfields which was called the "Big Gold Mountain". This Chinese temple was built in the 1860s from hand-made bricks and red painted timber on the hill at Emu Point. It is in 3 sections; the caretaker's residence, the temple, and the ancestral hall.
The temple is dedicated to Guan Gong, a war hero during the 3 Kingdoms period (220-280). It was said that Guan Gong was a very brave man who didn't utter a word when the doctor removed a poison arrow that went through his arm and scraped his bone to remove the poison. Guan Gong continued to play chess with his sworn brother as if nothing was happening.
The Joss House is the oldest one in Australia that's still in use today.
10am - 5pm Summer
10am - 4pm Winter
Worshippers No charge
If you come from Melbourne, this magnificient fountain'll be one of the first gold rush structure to greet you when you approach the town centre.
Erected in 1881 with funds received from the Sandhurst Juvenile Industrial Exhibition, the Alexandra Fountain has become a landmark of Bendigo, along with the Shamrock Hotel.
Guess what, the fountain was built on the banks of Bendigo Creek which is diverted beneath the road.
Didn't manage to catch the "spitting" horses at the bottom of the fountain into the pic.
Bendigo's Victorian streetscapes are considered unique in Australia: the unusual combination of grand gold-rush era public buildings, an intact 19th century commercial district and a centrury old park.
Check out the triangle formed by the Post Office and Law Court in Pall Mall, Rosalind Park and the commercial buildings of Charing Cross.
Bendigo Law Court, still a law court today. The Bendigo police had rammed the police car into a knife-wielding guy who threatened to strike if the police enter his house the day before I went there the second time. There was a flock of camera carrying people, probably journalists, and TV crew gathered outside the police station right next to the Court. I wonder whether it has anything to do with the incident.
The former Bendigo Post Office and Public Offices building now house the Visitor Information Centre. A wealth of information with friendly staff. It should be your first stop in Bendigo. You can get a free Bendigo map, or get help with directions and suggestions of what to do in the city.
This building has been listed as a heritage building by the National Trust. Read more about it in the website.
Ling aka Footfetish, Baton West and I passed by the Golden Dragon Museum and the Classical Chinese Garden when we were rushing to the Bendigo District Hospital. We got to Bendigo a bit earlier than expected, dropped in to the Memorial Military Museum and totally forgotten about the time for my interview.
Ling and I are both Chinese, and Baton West a plastic tube who'd no say in anything :p, we weren't particularly interested in Chinese museum that probably deal with things we grew up with so we gave it a miss.
However if you would like to learn more about the history of the Chinese people of Bendigo from the goldrush of the 1850s to the present, or see the world's longest Imperial Dragon 'Sun Loong', or the world's oldest Imperial Dragon 'Loong', this is the place for you. Just in case you're wondering, 'Loong' means dragon in Chinese.
9:30am - 5pm daily
Children Under 15 $4.00
Follow the gold trail, start with the George Lansell statue in the garden between the Visitor Information Centre (former post office) and the Memorial Hall. Lansell is one of the most successful mining baron, owner of 7 gold mines and investor in countless outhers. This guy must be filthy rich.
The inscription says "Indomitable courage and persistent enterprise of George Lansell in the development of Bendigo's gold resources."
Interestingly, the "citizens of Bendigo" erected this statue. The story goes something like this....in 1899, 2628 Bendigonians signed an illuminated letter begging Lansell's return from England to Sandhurst to help revive the flagging economy.
If you study the relief sculptures on the monument, you'll see the development of mining form from cradle to big companies involved in deep shaft mining.
Just outside the domed RSL Memorial Hall, look closely at the soil beneath your feet, you are standing on the site of the Hustlers Royal Reserve No. 2 Mine, situated in the very heart of the city, it yielded 5521 ozs of gold. On an angle, the 25km deep shaft is directly under this building.
Water from the shaftll, flows into the Bendigo Creek at the rear of the hall. There's a sign before the bridge over the creek that says, "The odour that visitors may note coming from the Bendigo Creek is entirely due to mining activities."
Didn't smell anything when I was there. Creek was dried up due to the drough.
Erected in 1918 to commemorate the deeds of Bendigo soldiers, the Hall houses a wealth of militaria, many were from the captured/killed Japanese soldiers. Entry was by donation of a gold coin.
What caught my attention was a blood stained school report belonged to a Japanese intruder shot dead by our digger. Fujiwara was his name. What made him bring his primary school report to the battle field? He must have been very proud of it. It made me wonder how different are we from our enemies. Different ideologies? Different sides? I'm still wondering.
10am - 4pm daily
Established in 1901, the Conservatory Garden is where Australia's oldest glass hothouse located. There are plenty of statues and monuments in the garden. Colourful floral displays are on most of the year, even in winter as you can see in the pic, there're tulips blossoming. :)
The Alexandra Fountain, completed in 1881 and dedicated by the future King George V and his brother, Prince Albert Victor. The strong ties with Great Britain are further exacerbated when you learn that it is located at Charing Cross and is at the beginning of Pall Mall. The fountain was named after Alexandra, the Princess of Wales.
It was on a chill early spring morning that I rose and walked the streets to get some photographic record of the town. As I came upon Short St I couldn't help but notice the outstanding Gothic cathedral, the largest cathedral outside Melbourne as it turns out.
My senses were interrupted by the dragon-like roar of an early morning balloon flight, belching flame and gasping voluminously as the hot air lifted the colourful behemoth and it cruised seemingly only metres above my head.
This was the first magnificient building I saw when we first arrived in Bendigo. The Sacred Heart Cathedral is the only Gothic Cathedral newly constructed in the modern era. It was officially dedicated and consecrated on 14th May, 1977. It's a pity we were practically speeding through and I didn't get a chance to explore.
The pic was taken from the moving car, I was surprised it didn't turn out too bad.
For more information about the cathedral, click on the link below.