Gold-rush capital Bendigo is making history for a different reason these days: gorgeously local food and wine, and plenty of ways to taste it all.
One of the world’s greatest gold rushes attracted fortune-seekers from across the globe to Bendigo, in the heart of Central Victoria. Now, the city’s vibrant arts, culture and heritage streetscapes are renowned, but its flourishing food and wine scene looks to be the new gold.
Bendigo’s rich concentration of boutique produce is evidenced in its grocers and butchers. Cute cafes in old milk bars and restaurants tucked in eclectic laneways and gold-rush-era buildings are renowned for sourcing quality regional products including local craft beer and coffee blends.
Bendigo and Heathcote wine regions produce award-winning reds, while a new breed of winemakers are evolving red varietals.
In addition to 60 cellar doors, the region has five craft breweries and cideries in Harcourt, which also make for a fabulously tasty visit.
DELICIOUS BENDIGO Experiences
Food Fossicker Foodie Tour (Tues–Sat)
Supported by the local food trade network, this tour provides the chance to meet passionate food heroes who showcase local produce. It includes tastings, a foodie bag, and behind-the-scenes access to such leading venues as Bendigo Wholefoods and Kitchen, the Good Loaf Sourdough Bakery, Indulge Fine Belgian Chocolates and chef’s-hatted produce-driven eatery Masons of Bendigo.
From Market to Paddock to Plate (Sept–Nov)
Join Masons of Bendigo chef Sonia Anthony on an excursion to collect produce for the evening, stopping at the farmers’ market and local farms before sommelier Paul Hobson joins you to give expert tips and pairing advice. Guests then enjoy a Masons-style dinner in Sonia’s own home.
The Dispensary Gin Experience (monthly)
Learn the history of gin and distilling, and taste a variety of Australian gins such as Animus from Kyneton, Four Pillars and more. The two-hour experience includes a G&T, five gin samples and a steamed bao bun.
Wine Walk (Tues–Sat)
Visit the winemaker (Harvest Food and Wine), the merchant (Wine Bank) and the restaurateur (Rocks on Rosalind) in the View Street arts precinct on a self-guided tour. Ask to dine in the original 1800s gold bank vault.
Good Food Lunch
Try out Bendigo’s two Good Food Guide-listed restaurants, The Woodhouse, a dedicated chargrill and steak house, and Masons of Bendigo, with special lunch packages booked through the Bendigo Tourism website.
Tour the Bendigo and Heathcote regions, or go glamping at Bendigo’s oldest winery, Balgownie Estate, with new bell tents or luxe open plan safari tents.
Still hungry? Find more information about farmers’ markets and events, or to book any of these tours, visit bendigotourism.com