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Gold was discovered in the Bendigo district in 1851, and its boom lasted well into the 1880s. The city's magnificent public buildings bear witness to the richness of its mines. Today Bendigo is a bustling, enterprising small city, with distinguished buildings lining both sides of Pall Mall in the city center. These include the Shamrock Hotel, the General Post Office, and the Law Courts,
all majestic examples of late-Victorian architecture. Although these glorious relics of a golden age dominate the landscape, the city is far from old-fashioned. You'll also find a lively café and restaurant scene, 30 boutique wineries, some of which can be visited on organized winery tours, and one of the best regional art galleries in Australia.
In the local Aboriginal language, the name Ballarat means "resting place." In pre-gold-rush days, nearby Lake Wendouree provided the area with...