It’s official: Bendigo has been named Australia’s second best tourism destination

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It’s official: Bendigo has been named Australia’s second best tourism destination

With historic buildings, hidden laneways, modern street art, and fascinating exhibitions, Bendigo should be on your bucket list.

Placing regional Victoria firmly on the map, Bendigo has just won silver at the National Top Tourism Town Awards, confirming what we’ve all known about the destination for some time.

With famous, authentic heritage attractions and world-class gastronomic delights, the regional city of Bendigo has carved itself a strong reputation in recent years as a centre for food, bars, art galleries and natural treasures, making it a worthy victor in the recent national awards.

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The Top Tourism Town awards recognise Australian towns with a population over 5,000 people that offer amazing visitor experiences and are committed to working collectively to increase visitation to its region.

The winners of the Top Tourism Towns 2022, presented by the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC), were announced at ceremony at Parliament house last week. The central western NSW town of Mudgee took out the top honours at awards ceremony for the second year running, with Bendigo coming in second place while Mandurah on the south-west coast of WA claimed third-prize.

Mudgee Region is loved as a contemporary country destination, infused with art and music, serving quality produce and wine, and shaped by a strong sense of community. Visitors are invited to connect right across the region including Mudgee, Gulgong, Rylstone and Kandos, and the community collaborate to support the sustainable growth of tourism in keeping with a vibrant yet intimate setting.

Previously only known as the hub of Victoria’s gold rush, Bendigo is a vibrant city that boasts a rich history, grand architecture, and magnificent gardens, making it easy to see why it was named the second-best across the nation.

Earning the title of Regional Victoria’s premier arts and cultural destination, Bendigo is bursting with historic buildings, hidden laneways, modern street art, and fascinating exhibitions hosted by the Bendigo Art Gallery. Recently titled Australia’s UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, Bendigo also celebrates a paddock-to-plate philosophy with businesses using local produce and wine to create unique food experiences.

Mayor Cr Andrea Metcalf said she was thrilled with Bendigo’s award, which reflected its strong arts and culture brand.

“The visitor economy is crucial for our region’s success and we are lucky enough to have amazing and passionate businesses in hospitality, accommodation, retail and attractions who create memorable experiences for visitors,” she said.

This accolade follows Bendigo’s win at the Victorian Top Tourism Town Awards, as well as news that Bendigo Visitor Centre has been recognised by Tripadvisor as a 2022 Travelers’ Choice award winner, celebrating businesses that have received great traveler reviews from around the globe on Tripadvisor over the last 12 months.

Just in: Bendigo has been crowned Victoria’s best tourism destination

Also at the award ceremony, Exmouth on the westernmost tip of WA; rural Sheffield in Tasmania and the Victorian fishing village of Port Fairy won gold, silver and bronze respectively in the Small Tourism Town category, which recognises towns with populations of between 5,000 and 1,500.

The tiny tourism town awards, for towns with fewer than 1,500 people, went to Strahn on the west coast of Tasmania (gold); Outback Winton in Queensland (silver) and Mount Macedon in Victoria (bronze).

Winners were determined via a state and national level voting process combining people’s choice votes and an industry judging panel.

You can find out more about the Top Tourism Town Awards here