Bendigo is a major city in the state of Victoria, Australia, located approximately 150 kilometres north-west of the state capital Melbourne.
The city originally took its name from the Bendigo Creek; the creek was named after a famous local boxer and shepherd who had earned the nickname Bendigo in reference to the Nottingham prize-fighter, William Abednego Thompson, generally known as Bendigo Thompson, the name became official in 1891.
Before European settlement the area was occupied by the clans of the Dja Dja Wrung people. Early Europeans described the Dja Dja Wrung as a strong, physically well-developed people and not belligerent.
Gold was discovered in the Bendigo Diggings in 1851, and miners flocked to the town. The town has a rich Chinese culture due to the many Chinese miners who arrived in the town. There is also a beautiful collection of Victorian architecture around the town.
To find out about mining in bendigo head to the Central Deborah Gold Mine, where you can join both surface and underground tours of the mine. From here you can also hop aboard the talking tram which travels through the city to the interesting Chinese Joss House and Tramways Museum.
Other interesting places to visit includes the spectacular Golden Dragon Museum and Gardens, home to the longest dragon in the world, and the glorious Shamrock Hotel. If you feel like a bit of adventure then join one of the camel tours from Sedgwick's Camel Farm.
If you want to see a Chinese celebration, but don't want to have to travel to China then go to Bendigo. At Easter there is a fair featuring a procession of Chinese dragons. There is also a vintage car festival held in November called the Swap Meet, where you can exchange and buy much needed car parts.
There are a number of camping grounds in the area, and several hostels, hotels, apartments and motels. There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes, where you can eat at during the day and evening. There are a couple of bus services which run around the local area, although for transport further afield hop on a train or one of the V/Line buses.
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