11.04.2014 - 14.04.2014 24 °C
Day 27 Charlton to Bendigo
We departed Charlton and drove 108 kms to Bendigo intending to stay at the showground there however, when we arrived we were told that a large horse event was on the whole of the weekend and that on the Sunday, a large market was on so we decided to book into a caravan park instead and after phoning around chose one out at Maiden Gully.
After checking in and setting up our sites we drove into Bendigo and walked all around the city centre. There are some wonderful old buildings here which are the result of all the gold found in the area.
The first building we looked at was the Soldiers Memorial Museum completed in 1921.
The old Post Office built in 1887 is now the Information Centre and next door to it is the Law Courts opened in 1896.
One of the hotels in the city centre is the Shamrock – it is a very decorative hotel.
We went and had a look at the Bendigo Pottery which is Australias oldest working pottery.
Day 28 In Bendigo
This morning we drove into Bendigo to the markets at the showground. It is quite large and then we went to the Tram Depot and purchased a two day pass for the tram and an entry into the Chinese Joss House then caught a tram and went and had a look at the Joss House and the Chinese temple there. The attendant was very informative and we learnt a lot while we were there. This Chinese place of worship was constructed in the 1860’s. Originally part of Ironbark Chinese Camp, it is one of the few remaining original buildings of its type in Australia. The main temple is dedicated to Guan Di (Kwan Gong), the god of war and Prosperity.
We got back on a tram and came back to Charing Cross stop and took a photo of the Alexandra Fountain there.
Day 29 In Bendigo
This morning we drove to the Central Deborah Mine site and after parking there we caught a tram to the Charing Cross stop then walked through Rosalind Park to the Golden Dragon Museum and Chinese Garden. The museum is the home of Bendigo’s famous Chinese dragon Loong, the oldest imperial Chinese dragon in the world, and Sun Loong, the longest imperial dragon in the world.
The garden needs a bit of maintenance however the Temple and the museum were well worth the visit here. In fact, they were so good we found it was after 1.00 pm and we hadn’t had lunch nor even morning tea.
We walked into the city centre and found a venue for lunch then caught a tram back to the Central Deborah Mine, collected Pommy Bob’s car and drove to the Catholic Cathedral to have a look at it. This building was commenced in 1897 but not completed till 1977.
Still in Bendigo. This morning we went to have a look at the “Great Stupa” being constructed on the outskirts of Bendigo. Work began in 2000 with the site being prepared. It is hoped to have it completed the end of this year. It will house the Jade Buddah which is currently on a world tour.
Great Stupa of Universal Compassion is the largest Buddhist monument in the Western world (50 metres high and 50m square at its base). It is being built near Bendigo, Australia and final home for the world’s largest gem quality Jade Buddha. There is a vast collection of Asian sacred relics and statues on display at The Great Stupa exhibition centre. Set in the Aussie bush The Great Stupa is already a popular domestic and international tourist attraction.
The Jade Buddha for Universal Peace is the largest Buddha carved from gemstone quality jade in the world, created for the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion. The Jade Buddha is 2.7 metres high and weighs 4 tonne. It sits on an alabaster throne of 1.4 high. The size and beauty of the Jade Buddha make it a wonder of the world. It is considered to be priceless. The Jade Buddha has been on a world tour since March 2009. So far it has visited 61 cities in Vietnam, Australia, USA, Canada, Germany, Norway, Sweden, France, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and Sri Lanka. To date close to 7 million have seen the Jade Buddha.
What will the Great Stupa look like when completed?
We then drove to the Bendigo Woolen Mills. Unfortunately we were not allowed into the actual mill (Safety concerns like everywhere else) but we did look at products in the shop there.
Next stop was at the old WW2 Armaments factory which now produces the troop transport vehicles being used in Iraq and Afghanistan – Trackmaster. Again we couldn’t get in. (This time security).
We continued on to the Bendigo Botanic Gardens which whilst being nice and tidy were not too extensive. An interesting pine was there.