We reckon we've got Bendigo down to a nine art: paddock-to-plate eateries and deep red shiraz, live-music tram tours and blockbuster exhibitions, open spaces for art and those for ambling, and creatively comfortable hotels.

Explore our top nine reasons to Bendi-go.

1. Bendigo Art Gallery

One of Australia's oldest and largest regional galleries, Bendigo Art Gallery is home to eminently perusable permanent collections and touring national and international blockbuster exhibitions.

2. Blues Tram

A tram ride through the city streets with live music and local beer? Now we're talking. Jump aboard a monthly Saturday tram tour to see the sights while toe-tapping to tunes from the Bendigo Blues and Roots Music Festival.

3. Art Series Hotel

Stay in creative comfort at the Mercure Bendigo Schaller. Inspired by artist Mark Schaller's working studio, this Art Series Hotel is decked out with original artworks and large-scale sculptures. Beat the doubters and join an art class while you're there.

4. Masons of Bendigo

No secret handshakes, just the best of central Victoria's produce at this all-day eatery, wine bar and pantry, hatted by the Good Food Guide. This is your place for a top local paddock-to-plate experience – and in a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, that's saying something.

5. Bendigo wine region

Seek out the famous deep-red shiraz and cabernet sauvignon from the Bendigo wine region. Meet the vignerons and sip, swill and dine among the vines at cosy cellar doors. Don't miss Balgownie Estate, Bendigo's oldest cellar door with a superb restaurant and options to sleep under the stars.

6. Chancery Lane

Take a trip down Chancery Lane, full of cafes for people-watching, wine bars for red-wine quaffing, live music for grooving, and street art for selfie-snapping. Best enjoyed over a tipple at The Dispensary or El Gordo.

7. Coffee

Discover small-batch speciality brews at Brewhouse Coffee Roasters, where you can watch the roasters at work. Or head to the corner store with more, Percy and Percy.

8. Architecture & parks

Wander wide streets paved with gold-rush architectural finery: grand banks, ornate hotels, majestic theatres and the gold-leaf-daubed town hall. For lush terrain, amble 60 acres of open spaces in the heart of Bendigo at Rosalind Park.

9. Bendigo Pottery

Get behind the wheel at Australia's oldest working pottery. Book a lesson with a potter and learn to throw a wheel. Arrange for on-site glazing and firing of your new treasures, and sign the kids up for Clay Play.


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