Autumn certainly delivers this year, with Bendigonians and visitors to the regional city spoilt for choice when it comes to colourful, fun and unique things to do. Here's eight ideas to get you started.
1. A firm festival favourite
Throughout the Easter long weekend, Bendigo's beautiful Rosalind Park and surrounding streets will be transformed into a vibrant precinct bursting with family-friendly entertainment. An extensive program of activities and attractions, including Easter Sunday's gala parade, will be held from April 7 to 10, with something for all ages.
2. A night at the opera
One of the biggest productions in the performing arts, Richard Wagner's epic Ring Cycle will be staged exclusively in Bendigo by the critically and popularly acclaimed Melbourne Opera. Performed over six weeks (March 24 - May 1) at the Ulumbarra Theatre, the production also marks Bendigo's inaugural annual Easter opera festival, presented by Melbourne Opera.
3. Representing Australia in art
Bendigo Art Gallery's new exhibition Australiana: Designing a Nation identifies our country's distinct traditions that have reflected and changed alongside popular notions of Australian identity. In partnership with the National Gallery of Victoria from March 18 to June 25, this free exhibition showcases works by more than 200 artists and designers, including many Australian masterpieces.
4. Read all about it
Bendigo Writers Festival is back from May 4, with a packed program of discussions that are intriguing, surprising, challenging and entertaining. With a nod to Australia's first acclaimed novelist, Joseph Furphy, the "Such Is Life" festival gathers together more brilliance than a Bendigo goldmine.
5. Cheers to that
The winemakers of the Bendigo region will unite to celebrate another successful harvest at the annual Strategem Bendigo Winemakers Festival. The autumn event will be held on Saturday April 22 at Rosalind Park. Fun entertainment, competitions and local live music curated by the Bendigo Blues and Roots team returns, and a number of delicious food vendors will be available.
6. Celebrating a decade of sharing skills
For 10 years the Lost Trades Fair has celebrated craftsmanship, skilled manual work, ancient arts, heritage crafts, rare trades and knowledge passed down through generations. Artisans from across Australia and overseas will converge on Bendigo Racecourse the weekend of March 11-12 to share what they do in this weekend of creativity.
7. Step inside for colour and fun
Visiting from March 31 to April 30 in Rosalind Park near the piazza, Kaleidoscope scales a deceptively simple toy to epic proportions, allowing you to step inside a constantly shifting illusion. A brand-new solo project by Keith Courtney (one of the masterminds behind House of Mirrors and 1000 Doors), it provides the brave and adventurous a new and different space to explore, contemplate and dream.
8. I love a parade
Eaglehawk Dahlia and Arts Festival is back! Celebrating its 50th famous street parade with a gold theme, the community will come together for a range of arts and culture events for the whole family during the weekend of March 17 to 19. A highlight is the Empowering Eaglehawk Sunday Family Day, with many free activities for families to enjoy in Canterbury Park.
For more details about all these events, click here to read the autumn edition of Out & About online.