Bendigo is located about 150km north west of Melbourne. Travel by car along the four lane Calder Freeway and it takes approximately 90 minutes. Alternatively, why not consider a relaxing train trip. VLine Trains depart regularly from Southern Cross Station or, for something a little different, drive to Sunbury, park the car and board there. By train it takes around two hours or 90 minutes respectively.
Bendigo was the heart of Victoria's gold mining district with it being second only to Kalgoolie (Western Australia) for the amount of gold mined in Australia. What is lacks in the razzle and dazzle of Ballarat's Sovereign Hill, it more than makes up for in it's old world charm.
While there you must visit the Central Deborah Gold Mine. The Mine, in it's hay-day extended to a depth of 410 metres. Tunnels exit the shaft at regular intervals. One of the tours of the mine drops nine levels (228 metres underground), an experience not to passed lightly. Access to this tours is gained by descending via a 1940's cage, and ladders - not for the faint of heat.
You can park in the mine car park or get there on the vintage talking tram which terminates at the mine. The tram passes most of the main attraction in Bendigo and it's the perfect way to start your tour as you get a history of all the classic features Bendigo has to offer and then late revisit on foot those places of interest you want to delve into in more detail. The trip takes approximately 30 minutes and stops at The Mine, Alexander Fountain, The Tram Depot (which is well worth a visit in it's own right to see the tram restorations works in progress), Lake Weeroona, Tysons Reef and the Joss House.
The importance of Bendigo during the gold boom can be seen in the opulence of its old buildings, which include, The Old Bendigo Post Office and Courts, The Shamrock Hotel, The Alexander Fountain, Sacred Heart Cathedral, the City Gaol, Dudley House, The Capital (Bendigo's Performing Arts Centre) and Temperance Hall, to name a few.
If you're interested in antiques and collectibles then take a stroll up View Street between Gaol Road and Pall Mall and you may find that your day is gone before you know it as you browse the numerous shops offering all sorts of old world wares.
Bendigo is a Victorian city well worth visiting and it can easily be done in a day but to really see it all you need at least two days.