Down the Mall | Bendigo’s grass is greener

NATIONAL TREASURE: Bendigo is consistently rated among the best cities for a host of reasons whether it's things to do or places to stay, to eat and to play.
NATIONAL TREASURE: Bendigo is consistently rated among the best cities for a host of reasons whether it's things to do or places to stay, to eat and to play.

Some of us love whingeing about our home town. It should stop.

When you get your head out of misery-mode and take a look around, you will almost always find that other people in other places think we’re terrific.

The respected travel advice site TRAVELLER.COM says Bendigo is the best town in Victoria.

“Central Victoria's jewel is a grand old lady with an opulence born of a world-dominating gold rush. Today, a giddying array of splendid buildings, elegant boulevards, atmospheric laneways and gracious gardens remain.”

Then there’s the global TripAdvisor.com, which ranks Bendigo highly for an astonishing collection of things to do, places to stay, eat and play.

On one touring website, the National Gallery of Victoria’s director, Tony Ellwood, was asked for his favourite getaway spot. Yep, Bendigo.

“Bendigo is an easy drive from Melbourne and offers a wonderful blend of historic architecture with a vibrant contemporary art and design community,” he said.

Tony spent much of his childhood here and didn’t need to make that up.

The Good Food Guide, the outfit that issues HATS rankings to the nation’s best restaurants gushes: “Bendigo is a grand old dame, with impressive buildings that showcase the spoils of the Gold Rush boom. Recently Victoria's third-largest city has been reinvigorated with a burgeoning laneway and coffee culture. Many majestic ex-banks have been transformed into modern share plate eateries where you can sample the best of the central region's produce.”

Over the years, various groups have rated us tops in areas such bank customer satisfaction, volunteering, liveability, tourism, culture ...

Even The Age remarked that Melbourne’s much-spruiked ranking as the world’s most liveable city was probably really beaten by Bendigo.

It said: “Victoria’s biggest regional cities have outscored Melbourne in 12 of 24 indicators in a new liveability index.” This included things such as house prices, health, access to doctors, and access to nature’s attractions.

So, how often do we need to be reminded how good it is here? From the letters columns and social media, you’d think we’re all going to HELL IN A HANDCART! We’re not. It’s just that people who like where they live tend not to bang on about it … unfortunately.

We reckon that’s why we call it GREATER Bendigo.

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In the US there are 1500 official ‘National Days’ and Friday was officially US National Lazy Day. The on-line explanation: “There will not be much information regarding this annually celebrated holiday as we do not feel like doing any research. Actually, we do not feel like doing anything at all … we choose to be lazy rather than tell you that this holiday is observed each year on August 10th.  The creator and origin of #NationalLazyDay could not be found.”

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Saturday is also a pretty good one – US National Presidential Joke Day.

It pre-dates Donald Trump and is in honour of Ronald Reagan saying during a radio sound check on this day in 1984: “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever.  We begin bombing in five minutes.”