Bendigo named top town

February 20, 2024 BY

Big name: City of Greater Bendigo mayor Cr Andrea Metcalfe joined Sarah King from Wotif had a good chat over what made Bendigo special enough to win the 2024 Aussie town of the year award. Photo: ALICIA S. COOK

HOTEL booking website Wotif has named Bendigo as the 2024 Aussie Town of the Year, bringing the title back to Victoria for the first time in half-a-decade.

Wotif travel expert Sarah King said the award, which is now in its seventh year, was about putting a spotlight on regional towns in Australia.

“Bendigo is an absolute star winner of town of the year, it punches above its weight in terms of what you can do and see here,” she said.

According to new research, more than half of Australians are hoping to travel domestically this year and 89 per cent of local travellers are seeking educational and historic experiences.

Ms Kind said Bendigo fulfills these categories with its connections to the gold rush, Chinese heritage, creative scene, events calendar, and local food and wine offerings.

“What’s important to these awards is that they attract a diverse traveller,” she said.

“There’s the families, there’s the couples, there’s the Melbourne and Victorian traveller but through these awards we also hope to bring more interstate travellers to the region.”

City of Greater Bendigo mayor Cr Andrea Metcalf agreed that town had come out on top for having diverse heritage and cultural attractions on offer.

“This is just a fantastic award, and great recognition from Wotif that we actually are up there as the only city in Victoria that was in the top 10,” she said.

Bendigo even has plenty for the local tourist, and Ms Metcalf said she had her own staycation in Bendigo over the Christmas period.

“I went to the art gallery, they had four free exhibitions on,” she said. “I had lunch at Miss Batterhams, went out to Star cinema in Eaglehawk, you know there’s so many things to do.”