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 attractions, such as the Ballarat Wildlife Park, are worth visiting, where you will see kangaroos, wombats, and more.

In Bendigo, the Central Deborah Gold Mine and the botanical gardens are worth a visit. You can go underground on a mining 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 over an hour.

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

How to get from Ballarat to Bendigo

So, the million-dollar question…how far from Ballarat to Bendigo? 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.

The distance from Ballarat to Bendigo is approximately 118 kilometres.

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

You can travel from Ballarat to Bendigo by bus, which takes around 2 hours. A direct bus service departs 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.

Need some accommodation in Ballarat? Check out our great accommodation recommendations.

Ballarat to Bendigo by car – towns to visit

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 in the drive from Ballarat to Bendigo, unlocking the region’s hidden gems individually.


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.

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 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.

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


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.

Do you want to spend a day relaxing at hot springs? Consider these top Hot Springs in Victoria

Ballarat to Bendigo by car – attractions to visit

If you prefer to drive from Ballarat to Bendigo and avoid the towns, you may want to visit an attraction or winery or spend an afternoon making some new furry friends.

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.

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 several wineries either on the highway or just off it, making them easy to visit.

1. Passing Clouds Winery: Situated just off the Midland Highway, it 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 tasting their exquisite wines. Each sip from their signature Shiraz to their elegant Chardonnays reveals 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. This hidden gem is located en route and 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 offers.

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.

Is Regional Victoria on your list? Here are 8 spectacular places for a summer holiday in 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, and the Eureka Centre are all fabulous for all ages.

If you are looking for ideas on what to see in Bendigo, seeing the Central Deborah Gold Mine, Bendigo Pottery, the Golden Dragon Museum, or riding old-school trams will all fill your days with exciting activities.

Below we have some accommodation choices for you so you can make the most of your days in Ballarat and Bendigo.

Where to stay 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 to 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 exploring Bendigo’s attractions, including the Central Deborah Gold Mine and the Golden Dragon Museum, convenient.

Where to stay 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: These apartments are a top choice for a tranquil lakeside retreat. Overlooking Lake Wendouree offers fully furnished, self-contained units with modern amenities. You can stroll 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. It boasts Victorian-style architecture and well-appointed rooms dating back to the Gold Rush era. 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 various 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.

Just remember, if you are travelling from Bendigo to Ballarat, all these can be done just in reverse!

We hope this article from us here at Explore Victoria has inspired you to embark on your adventure in Victoria, Australia, from popular caravan parks and pristine beaches to drives along the Great Ocean Road. Enjoy weekends away on the Mornington Peninsula and discover the cosmopolitan charm of Melbourne, Victoria, with a range of experiences for every traveller who wants to visit Victoria.

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 in Victoria.

Even if you love exploring Gippsland or driving the Great Alpine Road, Victoria has something special for you, and there is so much more for you to discover. If you are looking for more incredible 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. Expand your horizons and get out and about in Victoria, Australia, for an unforgettable experience. 

If you have an idea, attraction, or top spot in Victoria, please comment or email us at

More holiday destinations in Victoria


Author Bio

Mark Wyld is a passionate writer and explorer, weaving tales inspired by a deep love for his home state of Victoria. With local knowledge, Mark seeks to share insights and experiences that captivate and inspire readers. When not immersed in writing, you can find him working in Disability Support or spending time with family and friends. Follow Mark for a journey through Victoria’s best sights, tastes and attractions.