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Bendigo

Bendigo is a city in Victoria, Australia, located in the Bendigo Valley near the geographical centre of the state and approximately 150 kilometres (93 mi) north-west of Melbourne, the state capital.

Details

  • Area:5.394 km2
  • Elevation:218 m
  • Population:123,632
  • Local Government Area:City of Greater Bendigo

Description

Bendigo is a city in Victoria, Australia, located in the Bendigo Valley near the geographical centre of the state and approximately 150 kilometres (93 mi) north-west of Melbourne, the state capital. As of 2019, Bendigo had an urban population of 100,991, making it Australia's 19th-largest city, fourth-largest inland city and the fourth-most populous city in Victoria. It is the administrative centre of the City of Greater Bendigo, which encompasses outlying towns spanning an area of approximately 3,000 km2 (1,158 sq mi) and over 111,000 people. Residents of the city are known as "Bendigonians".The traditional owners of the area are the Dja Dja Wurrung (Djaara) people. The discovery of gold on Bendigo Creek in 1851 transformed the area from a sheep station into one of colonial Australia's largest boomtowns. News of the finds intensified the Victorian gold rush, bringing an influx of migrants from around the world, particularly Europe and China. Bendigo became eastern Australia's largest 19th century gold-mining economy, and the wealth generated during this period is reflected today in the city's Victorian architectural heritage. From 1853 until 1891, Bendigo was officially named Sandhurst. Bendigo's boom period lasted until the early 20th century and, after a temporary decline in population and employment, renewed growth occurred from the 1930s as the city consolidated as a manufacturing and regional service centre. Although gold mining continues, recent population growth has been most heavily concentrated in suburban areas. With the completion of the Calder Freeway linking Melbourne and Bendigo in 2009, and the region's proximity to Melbourne, Bendigo has become one of the fastest-growing regional centres in Victoria. # History ## Indigenous history and European settlement The Traditional Owners of the Mount Alexander area that includes Greater Bendigo are the Dja Dja Wurrung (Djaara) people. They exploited the rich local hunting grounds from which they were displaced by the arrival by white settlers, who established the first of many vast sheep runs in 1837. The Djadjawurrung peoples experienced two waves of settlement and dispossession: from the south from 1837 and from the north from 1845. The marked decrease in Dja Dja Wurrung population was also due to the arrival of non-indigenous animals; they use their noses to ‘root up’ the nutritious moon-nar tuber (yam daisy); after just a year it was noticed the plant was becoming scarce.Squatters in the area included: Donald Campbell at Bullock Creek in Ravenswood; J & R Bakewell to the north of Bendigo; Heap & Gryce to the north-west; Archibald McDougall to the west; Joseph Raleigh and James Robinson along the Campaspe River to the south, and Thomas, Jones and William Barnett to the east. The Ravenswood "Mount Alexander North run", occupied from c.1840 by Donald Campbell, was acquired by brothers Stewart and Robert Gibson in 1848, with Frederick Fenton later replacing one of the Gibson brothers. After the discovery of gold in 1851, Fenton sold provisions to the miners and agisted their horses. Becoming the sole owner of the Ravenswood run in 1857, Fenton built its substantial homestead.Gold was officially discovered on Bendigo Creek at the north-eastern boundary of the Ravenswood run, earlier known as the Mount Alexander North run, in October 1851. The creek had been named "Bendigo Creek" after a local shepherd and employee of the Mount Alexander North run nicknamed for the English bare-knuckle prizefighter William Abednego "Bendigo" Thompson. The area was transformed in less than a year as tens of thousands of people arrived during the great gold rush in 1852. ## Gold mining boom Gold was officially discovered in the area in October 1851, just after the other significant goldfields in neighbouring Castlemaine, from where many diggers migrated, bringing the total population to 40,000 in less than a year. Many of these diggers were Chinese and their descendants still live in the region. During 1852, under the direction of Surveyor General of Victoria, Robert Hoddle, William Swan Urquhart was making a general survey of Mount Alexander and the surrounding ranges, and of the goldfields, and fixed the site of the township of 'Sandhurst', now Bendigo. On 13 July 1852 Hoddle passed on to Urquhart Lieutenant-Governor La Trobe's request for a plan of the Mount Alexander gold workings, and his order that he mark out a reserve at the junction of Golden Gully with Bendigo Creek, and the camp on the west side of the creek below the junction. In late August La Trobe wanted him to report urgently on the best reserves for agriculture in the district. By 26 November he had mapped Bendigo Creek and Myers Creek, and his survey of the Bendigo Valley and environs marked township reserves at Bullock Creek, Ravenswood and Happy Jack where settlement was already taking place. His plan General Survey of the Bendigo Goldfields showing the proposed reserves for townships. Drawn by W.S. Urquhart, Melbourne, November 1852 recommended sites for national schools, churches, markets and other public purposes reserved from sale.In 1853, a massive protest was held over the cost of the licence fee for prospectors, though it passed off peacefully, due to good diplomacy by police and miners' leaders. From being a tent city, the boomtown grew rapidly into a major urban centre with many grand public buildings. The municipality became a borough in 1863, officially known as Sandhurst until 1891, but always unofficially as Bendigo. The railway had reached Bendigo by 1862, stimulating rapid growth, with flour mills, woollen mills, tanneries, quarries, foundries, eucalyptus oil production, food production industries, and timber cutting. When the alluvial gold ran out, extraction of quartz-based gold continued in deep shafts using industrial systems. Selection in the future county of Bendigo (created in 1869) commenced under the Land Act of 1865, with most settlement occurring around Sandhurst (Bendigo) and Eaglehawk. ## Decline and regeneration Bendigo was declared a city in 1871. Rapid population growth brought a water shortage, partially solved with a new viaduct that harnessed the Coliban River. The architect William Charles Vahland (1828–1915) left an important mark on Bendigo during this period. He is credited with the popular cottage design with verandahs decorated in iron lace, a style that was soon adopted across the state of Victoria. Vahland also designed more than 80 buildings, including the Alexandra Fountain, arguably the most prominent monument in Bendigo, with its granite dolphins, unicorns, nymphs and allegorical figures. A tram network was in use by 1890. After a temporary drop in population, renewed growth occurred from the 1930s, as the city consolidated as a manufacturing and regional service centre, though gold mining continues. Recent growth has been most heavily concentrated in areas such as Epsom, Kangaroo Flat, Strathdale, and Strathfieldsaye. On 28 March 2013, the Dja Dja Wurrung people were formally recognised as the traditional owners for part of Central Victoria, including the land on which the City of Greater Bendigo sits. In 1994, under municipal reforms of Victoria's Kennett government, the City of Bendigo was abolished and merged with the Borough of Eaglehawk, the Huntly and Strathfieldsaye shires, and the Rural City of Marong to form the larger City of Greater Bendigo. The population of the city increased from around 78,000 in 1991 to about 100,617 in 2012. Bendigo is currently one of the fastest-growing regional centres in Victoria. # Weather # Things to do

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