Home Australia Bendigo is named as Australia’s best town to visit in 2024

Bendigo is named as Australia’s best town to visit in 2024

by Elijah
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Bendigo has been named Australia's best city to visit by online booking site WotIf

The list of Australia’s best cities to visit in 2024 has taken a surprising turn: Bendigo, a picturesque country town located in Victoria, has emerged as the unexpected winner.

This is according to an annual report by online booking site Wotif, which chooses winners based on the platform’s data index on accommodation affordability, quality and traveler feedback.

Bendigo is just a two-hour drive from Melbourne, making it easily accessible for anyone looking for a countryside getaway.

Bendigo has been named Australia’s best city to visit by online booking site WotIf

An aerial view of Lake Weeroona in Bendigo

An aerial view of Lake Weeroona in Bendigo

The town has a wide range of attractions, including vineyards, breweries, orchards, great cafes and restaurants and authentic Aboriginal experiences.

Next on the list is Broken Hill in New South Wales, followed by Stanthorpe in Queensland.

This year, the top 10 list includes more inland cities rather than beach locations, as more Australians swap the coast for an outback getaway.

“Australian travelers are driven by a curiosity to experience the world around them and it’s great to see that quest for discovery leading many to find culture close to home,” explained Wotif travel expert Sarah King.

There's no better way to see Bendigo's sights than aboard one of the iconic vintage trams.

There’s no better way to see Bendigo’s sights than aboard one of the iconic vintage trams.

Bendigo has a wide range of attractions including vineyards, breweries, orchards and cafes.

Bendigo has a wide range of attractions including vineyards, breweries, orchards and cafes.

“With one in five Australians planning a trip over the upcoming Easter long weekend and 56 per cent planning to take advantage of the school holidays for local getaways, these awards provide maximum inspiration for those planning their trips for next year “.

THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN BENDIGO

Explore the Central Deborah Gold Mine: Go underground and experience Bendigo’s gold rush history on this fascinating mine tour.

Visit the Bendigo Art Gallery: Discover a wide range of art, from contemporary exhibitions to historical collections.

Stroll through Rosalind Park: Enjoy a peaceful walk through this beautiful park, which features manicured gardens and picturesque landscapes.

Bendigo Ceramics Tour: Learn about pottery-making techniques and explore the wide selection of ceramic items.

Discover Bendigo’s Chinese heritage at the Golden Dragon Museum: Explore the rich cultural history of the Chinese community in Bendigo.

Ride the vintage talking tram: Hop on a historic tram and take a narrated tour of Bendigo’s landmarks and attractions.

Explore Bendigo Botanic Gardens: Relax in these serene gardens and admire the diverse plant collections.

Visit the Bendigo Easter Festival: Experience the excitement of this annual event, featuring parades, markets and activities for the whole family.

Feast on local cuisine at Bendigo’s cafes and restaurants: Sample delicious food and drinks in the city’s vibrant food scene.

See the Country Shadow Sculpture Recognition: This spectacular work of steel art illuminates the words of the Recognition of Homeland, with Bunjil by Racquel Kerr. Located at Dudley House on View Street, the sculpture is illuminated every night from 6 p.m.

The announcement comes just days after Tourism Australia named the country’s best beaches.

Squeaky Beach, surrounded by the rugged wilderness of Wilsons Promontory National Park, was named the best in the country.

Located just a three-hour drive from Melbourne, ‘Squeaky’ is known for the ‘acoustic delight’ of compressed quartz and silica sand underfoot, crashing waves and clear waters, and for being surrounded by stunning granite boulders. .

It is the first time a Victorian beach has been crowned Australia’s best beach.

Here’s the full top 10 and what Wotif says about each city:

1. Bendigo, VIC

Located in central Victoria, Bendigo is famous for its gold rush legacy, dating back to the 1850s, where visitors can explore underground at the Central Deborah Gold Mine. Bendigo also offers spectacular cultural experiences, including the Djaa Djuwima First Nations Art Gallery and the Bendigo Art Gallery, one of Australia’s largest and most innovative regional galleries. Finally, Bendigo’s exciting cultural, food and drinks scene led to the city being recognized as Australia’s first UNESCO Creative City and Gastronomy Region.

2. Broken Hill, New South Wales

Famous for her appearance in the iconic 1994 Australian film, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Priscilla’s spirit lives on with the Broken Heel Festival, a five-day event celebrating the film. Visitors can also enjoy contemporary works by leading Aboriginal artists at the oldest regional gallery in New South Wales – the Broken Hill City Art Gallery. If you prefer to get outdoors, visit the beautiful rugged landscapes just outside Broken Hill in Mutawintji National Park. While you’re here, you’ll be able to visit one of Australia’s most sacred Aboriginal historic sites, complete with magnificent hand stencils and ocher rock carvings.

3. Stanthorpe, Queensland

Located in the south-west corner of Queensland is Stanthorpe, 2.5 hours west of Brisbane, home to one of the state’s two recognized wine regions. Stanthorpe’s cooler climate and high altitude make it perfect for a winter getaway and wine tasting with over 50 cellar doors to choose from. Beyond wine, dining experiences range from apple and strawberry picking in the warmer months to truffle hunting in the winter. Outdoor enthusiasts can walk trails in Girraween National Park or take a self-guided walk to appreciate Stanthorpe’s vibrant street art.

4. Katherine, New Testament

Marking the point where the traditional lands of the Jawoyn, Dagoman and Wardaman Aboriginal peoples converge, Katherine is home to spectacular sandstone country, majestic gorges, misty waterfalls and authentic Aboriginal experiences. Katherine also has a thriving arts scene – from vibrant street art to the Barunga Festival and galleries like the Godinymayin Yijard Art and Culture Centre.

5. Bathurst, New South Wales

As Australia’s oldest outback colonial settlement, there is a wealth of history and heritage to experience, including visiting authentic gold rush and gold panning towns. Bathurst is also the home of Australian motor sport with the iconic Mount Panorama/Wahluu just around the corner. The Bathurst region has something for everyone – experience the thrill of v8 Supercars during the biggest races, drive around the circuit for free or visit one of four world-class museums right in the CBD.

6. Tanunda, S.A.

Known as the ‘red heart’ of the Barossa, Tanunda is in a prime position. From iconic heritage buildings to the beauty of the Barossa mountain ranges and surrounding vineyards, its name is believed to derive from an Aboriginal word meaning watering hole, with the Peramangk being the original owners of the land. The town of Tanunda also has a strong European history thanks to German immigrants who settled in the town in the 19th century.

7. Griffith, New South Wales

Griffith has the highest proportion of Italian ancestry of any local government area in Australia, due to the large number of Italian immigrants who settled in the area in the 1930s and post-war period. This influence remains strong in Griffith today, and is seen in the city’s vibrant cafe, restaurant and wine scene, as showcased in the ‘A Taste of Italy Griffith’ programme, which is a seven-day celebration that It is held in August each year, in honor of Griffith’s unique Italian culture and heritage.

8. Stanley, T.A.S.

Take a walk back in time in this coastal town with its preserved cottages and historic monuments. Explore the 1830s Highfield Historic Site, walk the Stanley Heritage Walk and delve into the Stanley Discovery Museum to learn about the history of the area. All while the iconic Stanley Nut provides the perfect backdrop. Don’t forget your camera!

9. Exmouth, Washington, USA

Exmouth is the home of the culture and country of the Nyinggulu First Nations people. When you visit, you can take in the ancient wild landscapes of the region. It is a mecca for divers and snorkelers, offering the world’s largest fringing reef with incredible coastline and some of the most unforgettable marine life encounters.

10. Coober Pedy, SA

Coober Pedy, the opal capital of Australia, is an underground city in the heart of the desert, boasting a sun-drenched lunar landscape, fascinating history and a unique way of life. Below ground, visitors can explore underground houses, churches, museums, and even shops. You can even choose an underground hotel for the full experience! Above ground, travelers can try their luck hunting for opals, catch a movie at South Africa’s latest drive-in cinema or take an inland tour by 4×4 to one of the many natural wonders in the surrounding area.

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