Ballarat to Bendigo – what can I see on the way

Bendigo and Ballarat are two of the most popular destinations in regional Victoria. Ballarat is home to Sovereign Hill, where you can pan for gold. Other Ballarat attractions, such as Ballarat Wildlife Park, where you will see kangaroos, wombats, and more, are worth visiting.

In Bendigo, the Central Deborah Gold Mine and the botanical gardens are worth a visit. You can go underground on a mine tour or ride a historic tram, there is so much to see in Bendigo.

You can easily travel to Bendigo and Ballarat from Melbourne and Geelong in a little over an hour.

Old colonial era building in Ballarat Australia
Experience the charming heart of Ballarat town centre in this picturesque view

The quickest way to get from Ballarat to Bendigo is by car. You can do a Ballarat to Bendigo road trip via the Midland Highway by car with a travel time of under 2 hours in normal traffic conditions.

There are no direct trains between Bending and Ballarat, you have to go via the city’s Southern Cross Station to catch different train services, which will take around 3–4 hours.

You can travel from Ballarat to Bendigo by bus, which takes around 2 hours. There is a direct bus service departing once daily to make the trip to Bendigo Station.

a colonial era tram on a bright sunny day in Bendigo Australia
Take a ride through history on a Bendigo tram, where vintage meets modern

Travelling by car is the best way to travel and allows you to stop along the way to see the best attractions.

Embarking on a drive from Ballarat to Bendigo, you’ll find yourself traversing a picturesque 110-kilometer stretch that weaves through the heart of Victoria, Australia. To get from Ballarat to Bendigo isn’t merely a commute; it’s an exploration of history, culture, and natural beauty.

Ballarat to Bendigo by car

Along the distance between Ballarat and Bendigo, you’ll uncover a tapestry of delights. From charming gold rush towns that have stood the test of time to sprawling landscapes that invite contemplation, this road trip promises an unforgettable adventure.

Join us as we embark on a quest to discover the finest treasures nestled in the drive from Ballarat to Bendigo, unlocking the region’s hidden gems one by one.

It is well worth spending a few nights in Ballarat, We have some great accommodation recommendations

Creswick

Creswick is a charming town with a rich history and plenty to offer visitors. Make sure to visit the Creswick Woollen Mills, where you can take a guided tour to see traditional wool processing in action.

Two sheep out the front of the Creswick wool mill on a trip from Ballarat to Bendigo
Don’t miss to visit the world of craftsmanship and heritage at Creswick Wool Mill

Learn about the wool industry’s significance in Australian history and shop for high-quality wool products. Additionally, check out the Creswick Market, held on the third Saturday of the month, where you can find an array of local crafts, fresh produce, and artisanal goods.

Ballarat to Bendigo via Daylesford

Daylesford is a renowned spa town famous for its natural mineral springs. Rejuvenate at one of the local spas, such as the iconic Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa, where you can soak in mineral-rich waters and indulge in various wellness treatments.

For art enthusiasts, the Convent Gallery showcases a diverse range of contemporary and traditional art. Also, take a serene stroll around Lake Daylesford, a picturesque spot for picnics and leisurely walks.

Hepburn Springs

Just a short drive from Daylesford, Hepburn Springs is another spa town offering a relaxing escape.

The lush autumn surroundings at Hepburn Springs
Relax and rejuvenate amidst the serene beauty of Hepburn Springs when travelling from Ballarat to Bendigo

The Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa is a must-visit for its mineral pools, spa treatments, and tranquil surroundings. It’s an ideal place to unwind and pamper yourself amid lush natural beauty.

Alfred Passalaqua Memorial Lookout

As you journey from Ballarat to Bendigo, a stop at the Alfred Passalaqua Memorial Lookout is a must for travellers seeking both panoramic vistas and a touch of local history.

Perched atop a gentle rise, the Alfred Passalaqua Memorial Lookout provides an unobstructed view of the undulating terrain that typifies this region. The lookout itself is named in honour of Alfred Passalaqua, a local figure known for his contributions to the community.

Whether it’s a quick stop to stretch your legs or a leisurely pause to appreciate the beauty of rural Victoria, the Alfred Passalaqua Memorial Lookout adds a charming chapter to your journey between Ballarat and Bendigo.

Do you want to spend a day relaxing at hot springs? We have 6 great hot springs in Victoria for you to consider

Castlemaine

Castlemaine, a historic town in Victoria’s Goldfields region, offers tourists a blend of heritage, arts, and natural beauty. With a rich history dating back to the Gold Rush era, visitors can explore grand Victorian architecture and historic landmarks like the Castlemaine Market Building.

The town boasts a thriving arts scene with galleries such as the Castlemaine Art Museum and the Buda Historic Home & Garden, an Arts and Crafts-style house that offers guided tours and insight into early 20th-century life.

Castlemaine Victoria
Classic old style buildings in Castlemaine.

Surrounding natural landscapes include Mount Alexander Regional Park and Hepburn Springs. Taste fresh local produce at farmers’ markets and discover vintage treasures in antique stores. Accessible from Melbourne, Castlemaine is an ideal getaway.

Visit a winery

Exploring the Midland Highway and goldfields between Ballarat and Bendigo offers more than just picturesque landscapes; it’s also a gateway to some of Victoria’s finest wineries. You will find a number of wineries either on the highway or just off it, making them easy to visit.

1. Passing Clouds Winery: Situated just off the Midland Highway, Passing Clouds Winery beckons with its rustic charm and award-winning wines. Stroll through the vineyards, savouring their cool-climate varietals, and enjoy a tasting experience that captures the essence of this fertile region.

2. Guildford Vineyard and Cellar: Nestled along the Midland Highway between Ballarat and Bendigo, their cellar door invites you to explore a range of varietals, from crisp Chardonnays to robust Shiraz wines. The vineyard’s rustic charm and scenic views make it an ideal spot for a relaxing break on your journey.

3. Sutton Grange Winery: A hidden gem along your route, Sutton Grange Winery is renowned for its biodynamic practices and elegant wines. Explore their sustainable vineyards, engage in a tasting session, and savour wines that truly reflect the majestic viniculture of the region.

Entry sign to Black jack Wines near bendigo Australia
Savour the rich flavours and rustic charm of Black Jack Wines

4. Blackjack Wines: As you arrive at the cellar door, you’ll be greeted by a warm and knowledgeable staff ready to guide you through a tasting of their exquisite wines. From their signature Shiraz to their elegant Chardonnays, each sip is a revelation of the region’s winemaking prowess.

Jirrahlinga Dingo Conservation & Wildlife Education Centre

A stop at the captivating Jirrahlinga Wildlife Sanctuary is a must on the trip to Bendigo. Located en route, this hidden gem offers an enchanting encounter with kangaroos, koalas, and native birds. Founded over four decades ago, it’s a testament to wildlife conservation.

a dingo at a conservation centre
Stop on your way to Bendigo and say hi to the Dingo’s

Wander lush grounds, learn from knowledgeable guides, and make unforgettable memories. Your visit also supports vital rehabilitation efforts. Don’t miss this chance to connect with Australia’s unique fauna and add a heartwarming detour to your trip.

As our journey through the picturesque landscapes between Ballarat and Bendigo comes to a close, we reflect on the rich tapestry of experiences this route has to offer.

From the historic gold rush towns dating back centuries that echo with stories of the past to the serene vineyards and wildlife sanctuaries that celebrate the region’s natural beauty, this scenic drive is a testament to the diversity and charm of Victoria.

Where to stay in Bendigo and Ballarat

If you decide to spend a few nights in Ballarat, seeing Sovereign Hill, Kryal Castle, Ballarat Wildlife Park, the Eureka Centre, or in Bendigo, seeing the Central Deborah Gold Mine, Bendigo Pottery, the Golden Dragon Museum, or riding old school trams, we have some accommodation choices for you below.

Klook.com

In Bendigo:

  1. The Mercure Bendigo Schaller: Located in the heart of Bendigo, this boutique hotel combines art, culture, and comfort. Each room features unique artwork, and the hotel often hosts exhibitions and workshops. The Schaller Studio offers a vibrant atmosphere, and a cafe with locally sourced cuisine, and is within walking distance of Bendigo’s attractions like the Bendigo Art Gallery and Rosalind Park.
  2. Balgownie Estate, Bendigo: For a luxurious escape, consider Balgownie Estate. Set in a serene vineyard, this hotel offers spacious suites with stunning vineyard views. It’s a perfect spot for wine lovers, as you can explore the estate’s cellar door and enjoy exquisite regional wines. The on-site restaurant, Rae’s Restaurant, serves delicious gourmet meals.
  3. Quest Bendigo Central: If you prefer self-catering options, Quest Bendigo Central offers modern serviced apartments equipped with kitchens. This is an ideal choice for families or extended stays. The apartments are centrally located, making it convenient to explore Bendigo’s attractions, including the Central Deborah Gold Mine and the Golden Dragon Museum.

In Ballarat:

  1. The Provincial Hotel: Situated in the heart of Ballarat’s historic district, The Provincial Hotel combines elegance and luxury. The beautifully restored building offers boutique rooms with a touch of sophistication. Guests can dine at the in-house restaurant, Lola, which serves modern Australian cuisine.
  2. Lake Wendouree Luxury Apartments: If you prefer a tranquil lakeside retreat, these apartments are a top choice. Overlooking Lake Wendouree, they offer fully furnished, self-contained units with modern amenities. You can take leisurely strolls around the lake or visit nearby attractions like the Ballarat Botanical Gardens and the Art Gallery of Ballarat.
  3. The George Hotel: As one of Ballarat’s iconic hotels, The George offers a historic and charming experience. Dating back to the gold rush era, it boasts Victorian-style architecture and well-appointed rooms. The hotel’s restaurant, The Lane Restaurant, serves delicious local cuisine. It’s conveniently located near attractions such as Sovereign Hill and the Ballarat Wildlife Park.

These accommodations cater to a range of preferences, from art-inspired stays to vineyard escapes, and historic elegance to lakeside tranquillity. Each provides a unique experience while allowing you to explore the cultural and natural wonders of Bendigo and Ballarat.

We hope this article has inspired you to embark on your own adventure in Victoria, Australia. From the pristine beaches along the Great Ocean Road and the Mornington Peninsula to the cosmopolitan charm of Melbourne, Victoria offers a diverse range of experiences for every traveller.

Whether you’re drawn to the rugged beauty of the Grampians, the cultural richness of Ballarat, or the autumn colours of Bright and Northern Victoria, there’s no shortage of hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

Whether you love exploring Gippsland, or driving the Great Alpine Road, Victoria has something special in store for you. If you are looking for more amazing and best places to visit in Melbourne or more travel in Victoria destinations, Explore Victoria has some more articles below for you to check out.

If you have an idea, attraction, or top spot, feel free to leave us a comment or email us at contact@explorevictoriaaustralia.com


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