Located 150 km north-west from Melbourne and 225 metres above sea level, Bendigo has one of the finest collections of Victorian buildings of any inland city in Australia. The streets are literally awash with huge granite edifices and, in the centre of the city, a fountain dedicated to Queen Victoria's daughter-in-law, Princess Alexandra, sits in the centre of the main street.
The town was named after a boxer. The world-famous (at the time) English bare-knuckle boxer, Abednego William Thompson whose first name, a Biblical reference, was reduced to 'Bendigo'. This nickname was given to a shepherd at Ravenswood Run because he was a good boxer. In turn a local creek was named Bendigo and thus it was that this impressive city became known as Bendigo. For much of its life the town/city was known as 'Sandhurst'. It wasn't until 1891 that it was officially named Bendigo.
Prior to European settlement it is thought the Jaara Aborigines lived in the area. The first European into the district was Major Thomas Mitchell who passed through the area on his journey of exploration into the western district of Victoria.
By 1840 squatters had moved in and sheep were being successfully grazed. The history of Bendigo changed in 1851 when gold was discovered. No one knows who made the first discovery. A committee in 1890 claimed that the first discoverer was Henry Frencham but there is also a claim that a man named William Johnson was the first person to pick up a nugget. According to one popular legend, Margaret Kennedy, wife of the station master at Ravenswood Run, found gold. If she did discover it, she could not have known that her discovery would create one of the greatest goldrushes in Australian history, that Bendigo bloated by the wealth from gold would build huge buildings celebrating its new wealth, or that the Bendigo gold seam covered an area of 3600 hectares. In the period from 1851 until 1954 (the year of the last gold mining in the district) a total of 25 million ounces of gold were taken from the area around Bendigo.
As miners rushed to the site the settlement grew dramatically. Like so many mining communities Bendigo formed a series of small ethnic communities. The Irish moved into the district known as St Killians. The Cornish (many of whom had come from the copper mines in South Australia) established themselves at Long Gully. The Germans settled at Ironbark Gully. The Chinese at Emu Point made a huge impression on the goldfields. In 1854 there were over 3000 Chinese on the Bendigo goldfields and by 1861 they formed such a distinctive part of the community that Cobb & Co ran a special coach service from Bendigo to Guildford especially for Chinese passengers.
The early discoveries of alluvial gold quickly gave way to the more difficult quartz-based gold. By the 1860s the goldfields had changed from small operations to major mines with deep shafts.
By 1870 Bendigo, or Sandhurst as it was known at the time, was the most important gold mining site in the world. As a producer of gold from quartz it was unequalled for the next thirty years.
When Mark Twain visited the city in 1897 he described it as 'The town is full of towering chimney stacks and hoisting works, and looks like a petroleum city.'
Today Bendigo is a charming and elegant rural centre with an economy which is driven by a mixture of tourism, industry and servicing the surrounding agricultural district.
The Bendigo Easter Fair, operating since 1871 and climaxing with a famous parade featuring historic Chinese processional dragons, is a popular annual event, as is the NEC Bendigo Cup in November. The Australian Sheep and Wool Show is held on the third or fourth weekend in July each year.
Things to see
Historic Buildings in the Centre of Bendigo
Bendigo's Visitor Centre offers the option of a self-guided walking tour with audio player and map or, for additional money, a full guidebook. It covers some of Bendigo's history, buildings, monuments and structures. The centre is located at 51-65 Pall Mall and offers a full range of assistance to visitors, tel: (03) 5444 4445.
There is no better place to start an exploration of Bendigo's great buildings than the Alexandra Fountain which was completed in 1881 and opened by the future King George V and his brother, Prince Albert Victor. It is located at Charing Cross and is the beginning of Pall Mall, the city's most elegant street. The fountain was named after Alexandra, the Princess of Wales. It is built of Harcourt granite and is a symbol of the town's prosperity at the beginning of the 1880s
Post Office and Law Courts/Federation Exhibition
Further along Pall Mall are two public buildings dating from the gold boom of the late 19th century. With their two-storey, elaborate facades and decorative roofs, both reflect the wealth and optimism of the era. Indeed, the old post office (1883-87) and the law courts (1892-96) look remarkably similar. This is because both were designed by the same architect, G.W. Watson, of the Public Works Department. The post office has a tall clock tower with a carillon and the interior of the law courts, featuring a superb staircase and court room, is considered to be among the finest in Victoria.
Within the old post office is a permanent exhibition celebrating Bendigo's role in the Federal story, tel: (1800) 223 422.
At the corner of Pall Mall and Williamson St is the Shamrock Hotel which dates from 1897. It is the third hotel on this site - the first dating from 1854. At four storeys high, it is almost too big. The Shamrock was completed at a cost of $25,000 and was designed 'to embrace all English and continental ideas in the construction of hotels'. At the time it boasted every 'mod con' including a pneumatic lift, marble stairs, electric light and 100 rooms. Highlights are the ornate facade, the corner tower, the verandah and the mansard roofs.
This outstanding example of Boom-style arhitecture is located in Hargreaves St (running parallel with Pall Mall). One of the architectural highlights of the city, it was completed in 1859 but extensively altered in 1883-1885. The main hall has a superb ceiling and the complex classical facade is notable for its towers, pediments and porticos. The hall was newly restored in 2003.
Central Deborah Mine
Located at 76 Violet Street, this mine was first established in 1909 when a shaft was sunk. However, work was soon abandoned and new operations did not commence until 1930, with the first dividends emerging in 1945. The mine was closed in 1954, after extracting one tonne of gold from 60,000 tonnes of ore. It reopened as a public display in 1972.
A fully guided tour sees visitors putting on miner's gear and descending 61 metres below the surface. There is a surface display where you can inspect machinery and mining equipment. It is open daily from 9.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Contact (03) 5443 8322 for details.
Bendigo Vintage Talking Tram
Bendigo Vintage Talking Tram, at 76 Violet St, conduct tours of the Central Deborah Goldmine and they also operate the 'Takling' Trams which operate regularly from the terminus through the heart of Bendigo to the Chinese Joss House, 8km away. There is a taped commentary for visitors and the tram stops at the Tram Museum in Arnold Street.
The first trams, introduced to Bendigo in 1890, were battery operated,running fromt he railway station to Eaglehawk. However, the hilly terrain exhausted the batteries at inconvenient moments and steam trams were utilised from 1892. Electric trams with overhead lines replaced them in 1903. the trams ceased to function as general public transport in 1972, but all the trams were retained, and were put into service as 'Talking Trams' or placed in the museum which retains 31 restored trams. For details about cost and times contact; (03) 5442 2821.
Sacred Heart Cathedral.
The 'Talking Tram' passes the magnificent Sacred Heart Cathedral at 66 Short St. This outstanding Gothic cathedral is the largest cathedral outside Melbourne and reputedly the last Early Gothic style cathedral built in the world. It was designed by the architect W Tappin in 1887 and work commenced in 1896 but it wasn't completed until the bell was finally added in 2003! The building is made of Barrabol freestone. Australian blackwood was used to build the pews and Sicilian marble was used for the sanctuary walls. The 21-metre stained-glass window on the western wall was made in Birmingham. The tallest spire stands at 86 metres with a 3-tonne, 7-metre bronze cross at its apex. The eagle lectern was donated by George Lansell who also built Fortuna Villa (see below).
The sprawling grandiosity and elaborate decorativeness of Fortuna Villa, at 30 Chum St, began its life as a modest single-storey home in 1861. At that time it was built by early mining magnates, the Bellerstedts. Believing the '180 Mine' was largely exhausted, the Bellerstedts sold the house and mine, in 1871, for 30000 pounds, to George Lansell.
Lansell arrived in Bendigo around 1854 and, after making money as a butcher and chandler on the goldfields, he began investing it in attempts to find gold at much deeper levels than were then customary. Although these efforts initially failed, they began to pay off in the 1860s until he was, by the middle of the decade, one of Bendigo's richest men, known as the 'Quartz King'.
When Lansell bought the '180 Mine', he surprised everyone by extracting, via deep-shaft mining, 180,000 pounds worth of gold within the first few weeks, from a mine many thought had seen its best days, making him Australia's first goldmining millionaire. By the late 1870s he owned a number of mines and was a director on a huge number of smaller mining operations in the district. His success in locating and exploiting reef deposits was a major impetus behind the town's general prosperity. The 180 became Bendigo's richest mine and, at 968 metres, possibly the deepest in the world at that time.
The mansion was progressively extended over its lifetime, with work concluding in 1924. Highlights of the house include an underground tunnel, a cupola staircase, a tower, pressed-metal ceilings, the 1879 Pompeii Fountain with Roman grotto, fine woods, a billiards room, several ballrooms, luxuriously appointed bedrooms (housing such figures as the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Edinburgh, Victorian governors and Dame Nellie Melba), and some very fine acid-etched ruby glass windows (if the Australian scenes and animals look a little strange it is worth remembering that the glass windows were designed in Italy by craftsmen who had never seen Australia).
Attached to the house is an 1875 crushing works, including a 30-head stamper battery. The old settling ponds from the goldmining days were converted into ornamental lakes (only one remains), just as the former mullocks have been turned into fine gardens.
Since 1942 the Australian Army Survey Regiment have occupied the house, with the former crushing works used to store and print military maps. Unfortunately, tours of the house no longer operate, but it is possible to view the property from the street.
This red Chinese temple is located at Emu Point (follow the Tourist Tram north along Pall Mall and then pursue the signs beside the lake). It was constructed of timber and hand-made bricks during the 1860s by the local Chinese, who were plentiful on the goldfields around Bendigo. It is divided into three sections - the caretaker's residence, the major temple and the ancestral hall, presided over by two stone kylins. Within are a throne and banners.
The Joss House was constructed to worship the god Kwan Gung. Kwan Gung was a Chinese general (221-266AD) and the miners worshipped him as a judge, guide and protector. The building was restored by the National Trust upon advice received from a Chinese historian. The Bendigo Joss House is now the oldest Australian joss house still in use and is operated by the Bendigo Trust. Open Wed, Sat & Sun 11a.m. - 4p.m. For more information contact (03) 5442 1685.
Golden Dragon Museum & Chinese Gardens
The Golden Dragon Museum is located at 5-13 Bridge Street. It was opened in 1991 and the Guan Yin (Kuan Yum) Temple was consecrated on 30 November 1996. It proudly declares itself 'a living history of the Chinese people of Bendigo from the goldrush of the 1850s to the present day.' The collection includes all manner of memorabilia and processional regalia. There are six dragons housed in the museum.
1. The Loong dragon is reputed to be the world's oldest imperial dragon. It was used during the Australian Federation ceremonies in Melbourne in 1901 and appeared again at the 2001 festivities. Apart from very special occasions it has not been used regularly since 1970. It is thought to be about 110 years old.
2. The Sun Loong dragon is the world's longest imperial dragon. Over 100 metres in length, it requires 52 men to carry it and it features 4500 scales, 90,000 mirrors and 30,000 beads.
3. The Gansu Loong dragon is an old night dragon and is a present from the people of Hong Kong.
4. The Yar Loong is a new night dragon which glows in the dark and is specifically for the night procession at Easter.
5 & 6 are the Ming & Ling Loong dragons which are twin male and female dragons with male and female attendants.
The museum is surrounded by the beautiful Classical Chinese Gardens which were modelled on the Imperial Gardens of Beijing. Features are a traditional water garden and a Kuan Yin temple. It is open daily from 9.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. (closed Christmas Day). For more details contact (03) 5441 5044.
Bendigo Art Gallery
The art gallery building was constructed in the 1880s as the orderly room of the Bendigo Volunteer Rifles. The superfluity of money in the gold boom afforded an emphasis on cultural institutions, such as schools, a mechanics' institute and an art gallery, which took over the orderly room in 1887. The building was moved to its present premises (at 42 View Street) in 1890.
The Bendigo Art Gallery is now recognised as one of the finest regional art galleries in Australia and boasts a collection which includes both Australian and European paintings including Alfred Sisley's 'Moonlight' and 'Canal Scene' and works by Gustave Courbet and Theodore Rousseau. There is also a Meissen vase dating from the 1840s which was originally owned by the Tsar of Russia.
A collection of Australian art includes works by S.T. Gill, Louis Buvelot, Arthur Streeton, Walter Withers, Emma Minnie Boyd, George Lambert, Rupert Bunny, Grace Cossington Smith, Lloyd Rees, Penleigh Boyd, Ray Crooke, Jeffrey Smart, Clifton Pugh, Fred Williams, John Olson and Kwementwary Kngwarreye. The gallery is open daily from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. There are free guided tours at specific times. Contact (03) 5434 6088 for more information.
Discover Science & Technology Centre
Located at 7 Railway Place, Discovery Science & Technology Centre and open from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m., this is a science centre designed so that visitors can have fun touching, pushing, pulling and playing with over interactive exhibits designed to show scientific principles. There is a planetarium and a gift shop, tel: (03) 5444 4400.
Bendigo Goldfields Experience
An interesting and unusual opportunity to do some serious gold prospecting. You drive yourself, head off between 8.30 a.m. - 9.00 a.m. and keep going all day. You are provided with metal detectors (if you haven't got your own) and supplied with a pick. The experts take participants to areas where there is some likelihood of finding gold. For more information contact (03) 5448 4140. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web site: http://www.bendigogold.com.au.
Bendigo Bushland Trail
Bendigo is known as a City within a Forest, being completely surrounded by National and Regional Parks. Box-ironbark forests have been shaped by over 40,000 years of indigenous involvment, gold fever and more recently, recreation.
The Bendigo Bushland Trail consists of bicycle and walking tracks, as well as some road tracks. It encircles the urban area of Bendigo and covers a total distance of 65km. Rex, the echidna will guide you. Just follow the blue and gold signposts. This trail goes through pockets of remnant Box-ironbark regrowth.
Look carefully for animal tracks on three trunks, trail tracks and ant's nests. You may even be lucky enough to see a kangaroo (goo-ra) or black wallaby (jhin-bong-goore) bound past. A possum (bun-nar) may be roosting in a shrub or a tree or even in the Dodder Laurel, a vine that tends to strangle the plant it grows over. Most of our native animals are nocturnal, in that they only come out at night.
To obtain a Bendigo Bushland Trail brochure please contact the Bendigo Visitor Information Centre on 1800 813 153.
Bendigo's Regional Potteries
Bendigo is famous for its potteries. It is known as the Ceramic Centre of Victoria. The potteries in the area go back to the 1850s with the famous Bendigo Pottery being established in 1858. The most sensible way to visit the potteries, all of which are located away from the centre of the city, is to obtain a copy of the 'Bendigo Studios and Galleries Guide'.
The most famous of all the potteries, Bendigo Pottery, with its large, distinctive beehive kilns, is located on the Midland Highway 6 km north of the city at Epsom. The pottery, which was established in 1858, is now open from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. seven days a week.
The Bendigo Pottery was created by George Duncan Guthrie, a Scot who was an apprentice potter by the age of 12. He travelled to Australia in 1849 and, visiting his father who was living in Bendigo, he noticed the fine white clay of the district. He returned in 1858 and founded his first pottery on Bendigo Creek at Epsom. However, the lack of transport infrastructure restricted distribution and Guthrie sold the pottery to return to prospecting. When a rail line to Melbourne was established, he bought the land at Epsom and reopened his business, selling unglazed terracotta pots and salt-glazed stoneware such as bottles and jars. He sold on the business in 1882, but continued to work there until 1883 when he retired. However, the business declined ater his departure and he returned as managing director. By 1888 11 kilns were in operation and the site employed 130 people (30 just for cutting wood for fuel).
The fortunes of the Pottery waxed and waned in subsequent years. On the down side of the ledger there was a destructive fire in 1900, Guthrie's death in 1909, a flood (which caused two hot kilns to explode) in 1928, the Great Depression of the 1930s and another fire in 1941. Toby jugs decorated with war figures during World War I, and the demand for mugs, bowels, dishes and bottles for troops in World War II helped keep the business afloat. It became a tourism complex in 1971.
Today domestic pottery is made in the historic kilns, which are fired on wood and coal. The site offers a total tourist experience with free clay play for kids, a potter's workshop, lessons in creating a clay pot on a wheel, an Interpretive Museum (including a theatrette inside a restored kiln), a sales gallery and cafe. The four-acre complex includes five rare and historic bottle kilns from 1868, an 1880s two-storey brick stable block, striking beehive kilns, rectangular kilns, related red-brick chimney stacks and a timber crane jib. For more information contact (03) 5448 4404.
Living Wings and Things Wildlife Attraction
Located at the Bendigo Pottery (see previous entry), the complex houses a collection of Australian animals, including 300 birds, lizards, snakes, wallabies, dingoes and butterflies located in a tropical house. There are picnic and barbecue facilities, a gift shop, access for the disabled, and educational tours for groups. It is open daily from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. (except Christmas Day), tel: (03) 5448 3051.
Sweenies Creek Pottery
Sweenies Creek Pottery displays the wares made by potter Graham Masters who specialises in low relief decorations featuring Australian bushland scenes. The pottery is located east of the city. Head east along the McIvor Highway for 13 km. Turn right into Bowles Road after passing through Longlea. The pottery is near the corner of Bowles and Eppalock Roads. It is open from Wednesday to Monday from 1.00 p.m. - 5.00 p.m. and daily in school holidays. Contact (03) 5439 5793 for more details.
Memorial Military Museum Complex
This large military museum is located in Pall Mall, opposite Myer, and is open evry day but Saturday from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m., tel: (03) 5443 4013.
This is a fun family outing featuring displays on sweets, the wheel and the English language. It is open daily from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. There is an entry fee, tel: (03) 5449 3111.
Mandurang Orchid Nursery
In Tannery Lane the Mandurang Orchid Nursery grows cymbidium and native orchids which are at their best between August and November. To get there head south out of the city centre along Mitchell St, Carpenter St and Spring Gully Rd which becomes Mandurang Rd. 6 km south of the city centre turn left into Tannery Lane. It is open every day but Saturday from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m., tel: (03) 5439 5273.
Tannery Lane Wines
2 km along Tannery Lane (see previous entry for directions) is Tannery Lane Wines, a boutique vineyard established in 1990. It produces shiraz, cabernet, merlot and sangiovese. Cellar door sales are by appointment (Saturday and Sunday afternoons preferred), tel: (03) 5439 5011.
Chateau Dore Vineyard
Located on Mandurang Road, Mandurang (8 km south of Bendigo), the historic Chateau Dore Vineyard is situated beside the deRavin River. Jean Theodore DeRavin planted grapes here as early as 1856. Today the vineyard grows shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, rhine riesling and chardonnay grapes. There is an area where visitors can have a picnic and the winery building has been classified by the National Trust. The cellar door is open Monday to Friday from 9.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m., Saturday from 9.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. and Sunday from 10.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m., tel: (03) 5439 5278.
Mandurang Valley Winery
The Mandurang Valley Winery is located at 77 Fadersons Lane, Mandurang. It produces cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, shiraz, chardonnay and riesling and is open from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. on weekends or by appointment, tel: (03) 5439 5367.
Located 10 km south of Bendigo on the Calder Highway is Chateau Leamon. The vineyard was established in 1973 by Phillip Leamon and has 4 hectares under vine. It produces shiraz, cabernet merlot and semillon. The cellar door is open from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. daily. Barbecue facilities are available, tel: (03) 5447 7995.
Balgownie Estate Vineyard is located on Hermitage Road, Maiden Gully, which is west of Bendigo. Leave Bendigo on the Calder Highway, travel for about 8 km and turn right at Hermitage Road. This winery was established in 1969 and has 12 hectares of land under vines. The cellar door is open from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Monday to Saturday and it also has a cafe, accommodation and a museum. Cheeses from the Bendigo Cheese Company are available. For further information contact (03) 5449 6222.
Sandhurst Ridge produces red wines from cabernet sauvignon and shiraz. It is located at 156 Forest Drive, 3 km north-east of Marong which is a small town located 13 km west of Bendigo on the Calder Highway. The cellar door is open every day except Tuesday from 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and at opther times by appointment, tel: (03) 5435 2534.
10 km north of Marong, on Bullock Creek, is Connor Park. The original vineyard was planted in the 1960s. Recently extended it now produces shiraz, cabernet, semillon and riesling. It is open weekends or by appointment, tel: (03) 5437 5234.
Open weekends and public holidays for lunch and cellar door tastings (and other times by appointment), it is located at 83 Cahills Rd, Mandurang, and offers 4-star accommodation and lunch, tel: (03) 5439 3635.
Big Hill Vineyard
Located 12 km south of Bendigo, at the intersection of the Calder Highway and Belvoir Park Rd, this vineyard offers fine views from its main function/conference room. Catered barbecue facilities are available daily, tel: (03) 5435 3366.
The Bendigo Cheese Company
Cheese lovers can sample the range of white and blue mould, semi-soft and cottage cheeses, as well as the 'Cabernet Classic'. All are made on the premises. Door sales are available from 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. on weekdays and from Balgownie Estate Winery (see above) on weekends (11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.).
Greater Bendigo National Park
Located 8km from Bendigo, the Greater Bendigo National Park protects some of the highest quality Box-ironbark forest in north-central Victoria, along with mallee and grassy woodlands. The ideal time to visit is between August and November when the wildflowers are most abundant and colourful, particularly the brilliantly flowering Whirakee Wattle, found only in the Bendigo area. It is a delightful park for nature study, bird watching, walking, picnics, horse riding and camping. If you are in the park in the early morning or late afternoon you can see the black wallaby, eastern grey kangaroo and if you are very lucky the shy echidna. The 60km Bendigo Bushland Trail goes through part of the park, and the Great Dividing Trail begins in this park and links Bendigo, Castlemaine and Ballarat. Most roads in the park are unsealed.
For more information call the Parks Victoria Information Centre on 13 1963 or visit their website.http://www.parkweb.vic.gov.au
Hartland's Eucalyptus Oil Factory
Hartland's Eucalyptus Oil Factory was established in 1890 and is still operating using the original methods. They are open daily for sales. To get there head north along the Northern Highway (towards Echuca) and turn left at Huntly and the factory is 9 km along that road, adjacent Whipstick National ark.
Campaspe Run: H.V. McKay Rural Discovery Centre
46 km north-east of Bendigo, via the Northern Highway, is Elmore. In Railway Place you will find a discovery and activity centre which celebrates the importance, to the wheat industry, of H.V. McKay (see entries onSerpentine and Warracknabeal) who invented the Sunshine Harvester, the first machine to enter commercial production which stripped, threshed and cleaned grain in one continuous operation. He owned the largest agricultual implement factory in the Southern Hemisphere until his death in 1926. In his will he proved a philanthropist, leaving substantial sums for improvements of conditions in inland Australia, agricultural education and for charitable works wherever the company might operate.
The centre focuses on the heritage of the grain and wool industries, early colonial lifestyles and the culture of the Dja Dja Wrung people. There are visuals and interactive displays. It is open from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. daily, tel: (03) 5432 6646.
Ironbark Riding Centre
This complex offers trail rides and rides on a waterslide. It also has bush cabins for accommodation and a backpackers' hostel. There is also a licensed bar, tel: (03) 5448 3344.
Balloon Flights of Bendigo
This local company offers sunrise flights over the district followed by a champagne breakfast, tel: (03) 5444 1127.
Bendigo Goldfield Experiences Trackline Detectors
Guided tours are offered for those seeking gold and goldmining relics. All equipment is supplied and bookings are essential. Bicycles can be hired for investigating bush trails and interested parties can also learn the art of goldpanning, tel: (03) 5448 4140.
Rose Lee Open Garden
Located at 193-199 Lockwood Rd, at Kangaroo Flat (south-west of the city centre), this garden proffers 1300 roses within a natural setting with picnic areas and other features and flowers. Devonshire teas and light lunches are available. It is open from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. daily from September to May, tel: (03) 5447 0486. There is an entry fee.
Gaylewood Alpaca Stud
Located at 43 Fentons Lane, Ravenswood, this stud has a showroom with alpaca knitwear, knitting yarns and a specialist range of wooden giftware. It is open Thursday to Monday from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m., tel: (03) 5435 3837.