What you need to know about Bendigo
Bendigo is a city in Victoria, Australia, located very close to the geographical centre of the state and approximately 150 kilometres (93 mi) north west of the state capital, Melbourne. It is the administrative centre for the City of Greater Bendigo which encompasses both the urban area and outlying towns spanning an area of approximately 3,000 square kilometres (1,158 sq mi) and over 111,000 people.
The discovery of gold in the soils of Bendigo during the 1850s made it one of the most significant Victorian era boomtowns in Australia. News of the finds intensified the Victorian gold rush bringing an influx of migrants to the city from around the world within a year and transforming it from a sheep station to a major settlement in the newly proclaimed Colony of Victoria. Once the alluvial gold had been mined out, mining companies were formed to exploit the rich underground quartz reef gold.
Area: 287.4 km2
Australia’s national currency is the Australian dollar which comes in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes. Coins come in 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent and one and two dollar denominations.
Australia has no official language, but is largely monolingual with English being the de facto national language. Australian English has a distinctive accent and vocabulary. According to the 2011 census, 76.8% of people spoke only English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Mandarin 1.6%, Italian 1.4%, Arabic 1.3%, Cantonese 1.2% and Greek 1.2%.
Bendigo has a relatively dry temperate climate with warm to hot summers and cool to cold winters. Under Köppen-Geiger classification, it lies on a humid subtropical/oceanic transitional climate zone (Cfa/Cfb), due to its location being on the boundary of the hot, sultry inland areas to the north and the cool, damp southern ocean to the south. Bendigo gets 109.9 clear days annually.
The mean minimum temperature in January is 14.3 °C (57.7 °F) and the maximum 28.7 °C (83.7 °F), although temperatures above 35 °C (95.0 °F) are commonly reached. The highest temperature officially recorded was 45.4 °C (113.7 °F), during the early 2009 southeastern Australia heat wave. There is also a disputed recording of 47.4 °C (117.3 °F) (on 14 January 1862).
The mean minimum temperature in July is 3.5 °C (38.3 °F) and winter minima of below 0 °C (32 °F) are recorded 28 nights per year on average. Mean maximum winter temperatures in July are 12.1 °C (53.8 °F). Most of the city’s annual rainfall of 582.1 millimetres (22.92 in) falls between May and September. Snowfalls are virtually unknown; however frosts can be a common occurrence during the winter months.
Bendigo is a large and growing service economy. The major industries are tourism, commerce, education and primary industries, with some significant engineering industries (see below under “Manufacturing”).
Bendigo’s growth is largely at the expense of small surrounding rural towns (such as Elmore, Rochester, Inglewood, Dunolly and Bridgewater) which in contrast are in steep decline.
The Bendigo Senior Secondary College is the largest VCE provider in the state. Catherine McAuley College follows close after, which ranges from Years 7–9 at the Coolock campus and 10–12 at the St Mary’s campus. Girton Grammar School, an Independent school, provides education to students from Years Prep-12.The Bendigo campus of La Trobe University is also a large and growing educational institution with over 5,000 undergraduates and postgraduates in its two colleges.
The Bendigo Base Hospital is the city’s largest hospital, only public hospital and a major regional hospital. St John of God is the largest private hospital. Bendigo is also served by a privately owned smaller surgical facility, the Bendigo Day Surgery.