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It’s fun, fun, fun at Confectionery Capers ...
Bendigo’s major festival, held in March or April, attracts thousands with its carnival atmosphere and colourful and noisy procession of Chinese dragons, led by Sun Loong, the world’s longest imperial dragon.
Wine bottles line the walls in this former bank building, which serves as a wine shop and bar specialising in central Victorian wines, and an atmospheric Italian-style cafe serving tapas and platters.
With Guinness (and many other beers) on tap, Puggs has a thickly welcoming atmosphere, not unreasonable doormen, a beer garden and live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night till 3am.
This fine Malaysian restaurant does all the usual staples, but its seamless incorporation of emu, kangaroo and even camel into its Malay sauces is typical of how well Bendigo does cross-cultural fusion.
Tucked away in a cosy house a couple of blocks south of the centre, this authentic Thai restaurant serves fabulously fragrant curries, noodles and Thai stir-fries at affordable prices.
The location on the edge of Lake Weeroona is the big tick here – full-length windows and an al fresco deck offer prime views of waterbirds and rowers. Good for coffee or a lazy lunch.
Located in the Ironbark complex is Bendigo Gold World , which operates fossicking and detecting tours (per half-day $150) into the bush, and hires out prospecting equipment.
Every Saturday night a 1952 Melbourne W-class tram becomes a rolling restaurant, with a set menu including four courses and free drinks – a great way to see the city.
Painted red, the traditional colour for strength, this is the only remaining practising joss house in central Victoria. It's 2km northwest of the centre.
Ironbark Horse Trail Rides organises various horse rides including the Great Australian Pub Ride to Allies Hotel in Myers Flat (with lunch $85).
The huge Discovery Science & Technology Centre has a wide range of interesting and educational exhibits, including a planetarium.
Just 2km north of town, the gardens feature many exotic and rare plant species, a small fauna park, aviary, and barbecue facilities.
For enthusiasts in search of that elusive vintage-car spare part. It’s so popular that accommodation is at a premium. Held in November.
The beautifully restored Capital is the main venue for the performing arts, with hundreds of performances and exhibitions each year.
Cheap and cheerful Chinese: Toi Shan has been around since the gold rush and you can fill up with the lunchtime smorgasbord.
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