[Victoria] Ballarat and Bendigo

After experiencing the Great Ocean Road (see previous episodes [Victoria] The Great Ocean Road (Part 1) and [Victoria] The Great Ocean Road (Part 2) here), I completed my grand tour of Victoria by heading to the 2 provincial cities of Ballarat and Bendigo.

The long and winding road to Ballarat
The long and winding road to Ballarat

Time was of the essence, and I wanted to get back to Melbourne before dinner. So unfortunately my trip to Ballarat was pretty short (really it was just a quick coffee stop). Ballarat has a wide main street with grand old buildings, I suppose a testament to the prosperous Gold Rush days. The main tourist highlight here is the Sovereign Hill open air museum. But with me being in a hurry, and a $55 entry fee, I didn’t think it would be worthwhile for me. My highlight in Ballarat was this awesome alleyway covered with umbrellas.

Funky alleyway in Ballarat
Funky alleyway in Ballarat

Onward to Bendigo then. After a hearty lunch with some old friends at a cosy cafe called Sim’r, I paid a quick visit to Bendigo’s Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Sacred Heart Cathedral, Bendigo
Sacred Heart Cathedral, Bendigo

The big Gothic exterior doesn’t disappoint. I headed inside to check out the atmosphere. It was a Sunday afternoon, but services were finished so I was quite alone, save for another group of tourists milling about.

Sacred Heart Cathedral interior
Sacred Heart Cathedral interior

I really love the strong geometry and layout of old churches. The age-worn timber pews (although they are not the most comfortable things to sit on for long periods of time). The strong vertical lines and arches.

Afternoon sun spills into the cathedral through the rose window
Afternoon sun spills into the cathedral through the rose window

After this peaceful stroll it was a short 1.5 hour drive back to Melbourne, for a lazy Sunday nap before I figure out what’s for dinner. Thanks for reading!

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