200 McCrae St, Bendigo
Phone: (03) 5441 6088
The location This central Victorian city prospered enormously during the 1850s gold rush, with hopeful miners coming from all over the world to try their luck. The city that evolved over the next few decades boasted wide streets featuring grand Victorian architecture, much of which still stands today. The famous Chinese Joss House was built in the 1860s by the local Chinese community, which, at the height of the gold rush, comprised about 20 per cent of Bendigo's population.
The place Alexandra Place Apartment is a tastefully restored self-contained Victorian worker's cottage just half a kilometre's walk from the centre of town. The apartment's two bedrooms sandwich the comfortable open-plan living space, with the kitchen separating the dining and lounge areas. The laundry is tucked unobtrusively behind folding doors.
The experience Bendigo Art Gallery (bendigoartgallery.com.au), the military museum and the city's Rosalind Park and shops can all be enjoyed within an easy walking radius. Walk or take the vintage tram to the Golden Dragon Museum (goldendragonmuseum.org), which houses the oldest Imperial dragon in the world. Now, foot sore and weary, opt for an easy dinner at the neighbouring pub or try the historic Shamrock Hotel's dining room (cnr Pall Mall and Williamson Street; 03 5443 0333; hotelshamrock.com.au), before returning to the apartment for a good night's sleep.
Don't miss The Central Deborah Gold Mine (central-deborah.com) and, a little further out of town, the Joss House Temple (bendigojosshouse.com) are both fascinating. sally dugan
Need to know
Cost: $185 a night for two, $25 per additional person. Sleeps up to five (including sofa bed in lounge).
Location: 125km (1.5 hours' drive) north of Melbourne.
Wheelchair access: No.