Glen and I finally had a weekend off together last week. It'll likely be our last days off together until Christmas day and even then, we won't have the day to ourselves.
We took advantage of the freedom and spent the day in Bendigo. The drive was quick and easy - basically we get on the freeway near the house and keep driving and it takes us straight there (no turns or anything!). One thing to keep in mind is that Bendigo basically closes on a Sunday. The streets were very quiet and a lot of shops were closed. Thankfully some of the touristy things were open.
We started off at the Chinese Museum and the Chinese Gardens (essentially a koi pond - not something I'd pay to see separately but admission was free when you buy a museum ticket).
We got to see the longest imperial dragon and the oldest imperial dragon.
We walked through some gardens and saw a whole heap of bats (silver headed flying foxes).
We picked up a free tourist guide at the museum and we flipped through it to look for other things to do. The pottery place and the gold mine happened to be open so we decided to take a drive out to the pottery place first. The pottery place was AWESOME. I thought it might be some fancy-schmancy-arty pottery place but most of the pieces were utilitarian type things - sugar/flour/tea canisters, mugs, plates, bowls etc. We bought a few Christmas presents for family and picked up a sugar container for us. I'd love to go back and get their flour and tea bag container.
After that we drove over to the Central-Deborah Gold Mine and took a 75minute underground tour. That was awesome too. I thought I might be a little freaked out by taking the elevator and being 20 storeys underground but I was fine. Part of what made the mine tour great was our tour guide and there were only four people in our group (us and an older couple). They have an even longer tour available (you go further underground!) and I'd definitely consider doing that one as well (and it's definitely on our list of things to do when people come to visit).
We did a little bit of driving around Bendigo and happened upon this great sight:
Unfortunately it was closed so we'll have to take a trip up again.
We're in the process of planning an even more exciting trip for around March but I'm sure we'll get in a day trip or two before then! (more details when we have a few things confirmed!)