One of Australia’s oldest Fairs which started in 1870 to raise funds for the Sandhurst Asylum and Hospital. Today, the festival continues this tradition, showcasing Bendigo’s diverse community and cultural heritage. Its goldfields heritage is celebrated annually through the cultural displays of the Bendigo Chinese Association during the festival. The Torchlight Procession and Gala Parade are an opportunity for the Bendigo community to express their artistic talent and culture.
This 5* Coach Tour starts and completes in Adelaide
Some images supplied by Bendigo Tourism
Rise and shine! We need to leave early this morning as we will travel all the way to Bendigo. It will be a long day but the coach captain will choose good spots to make stops throughout the day for meals and convenience breaks. It will be worth it when we arrive in Bendigo where we can settle into our accommodation which is our base for the next four nights so no packing and unpacking until we have to leave for home again!
(Breakfast and dinner in resort, lunch own expense)
Quality Inn Colonial, Bendigo
This morning being Good Friday, we begin immersing ourselves in the community events offered by Bendigo and its residents celebrating Easter for young and old, so we are sure to find something of interest throughout the three days we are based in Bendigo. There is a book fair, an art and craft market, rotary art show, music, interactive activities aswell as cultural activities and displays. We take a walking tour today through Bendigo’s historic centre surrounded by unique boom-style architecture. We also learn how gold and mass migration transformed a sleepy sheep run and the land of the Dja Dja Wurrung into the world’s richest city of the 1880s.
(Breakfast and dinner in the resort, lunch own expense at the festival)
First up today we make a visit to Bendigo Pottery for a self-guided tour of the Interpretative Centre. We’ll step back in time and learn about the production processes, machinery, working conditions and traditional skills of Bendigo Pottery from its beginnings in 1858 to modern day. From here we visit the Golden Dragon Museum. It shares the story of the impact and contribution made by the Chinese people of Bendigo – from the gold rush of the 1850s to the present day. This afternoon we travel south to Woop-Woop, a unique sculpture garden and gallery based on Australian colloquialisms and humour. When we enter the gallery-tea room, we are in for a fun experience. The extensive garden is adorned with over 100 sculptures depicting Australian sayings, unusual native ‘plants, and ‘Galvo Country’, where three-dimensional figures mix with the ‘local wildlife’. It will be a fun visit. Next we head the short distance to Castlemaine. The discovery of gold radically altered the “agricultural’ based landscape as 30 000 diggers worked a number of gold fields. The centre of the town has been virtually unaltered since the 1860’s when the surface gold was exhausted. We visit Buda Historic Home and Gardens. The house was originally built by a retired Indian Army officer in 1857, and is a superb example of the Victorian-era colonial architecture. We return to our motel for dinner as we will be heading out again immersing ourselves in the Torchlight Lantern procession and fireworks* this evening at 8pm. Another great day!
(Breakfast and dinner at the resort, lunch at Golden Dragon Museum)
Happy Easter! We enjoy a bit of a sleep in today. After breakfast we make our way into town for the festivities of the fair, we spend the whole day here. We have time to purchase an early lunch before we position ourselves along the street to enjoy the Easter Gala Parade* (1pm, to be confirmed) – the highlight of the Bendigo Easter Festival. Next we board the ‘Talking Tram’ for an interesting ride through the main areas of Bendigo, there will be full commentary on the local history of Bendigo. The rest of the afternoon is ours at leisure.
(Breakfast and dinner in the resort, lunch own expense)
We farewell our hosts today and check-out. After immersing ourselves in all the Easter festivities that Bendigo offered us it is time, once again, to sit back and enjoy the Australian countryside of Victoria and South Australia as we travel home, arriving early evening.
(Breakfast in motel, lunch own expense)
4* Accommodation at the Quality Inn Colonial, Bendigo
All meals as per the Itinerary
Double/Twin, Single ADD $250