City of Greater BendigoEconomic profile
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City of Greater Bendigo

About the area

Name origin

Bendigo was named after a shepherd who was nicknamed after the world famous bare knuckled boxer, William 'Bendigo' Thompson from England.

Location and boundaries

The City of Greater Bendigo is located in north central Victoria, about 150 kilometres north-west of Melbourne. The City of Greater Bendigo is bounded by the Shire of Campaspe in the north, the Strathbogie and Mitchell Shires in the east, the Mount Alexander Shire in the south, and the Loddon Shire in the west.

Included areas

The City of Greater Bendigo encompasses the suburbs and rural localities of Argyle, Ascot, Avonmore, Axedale, Axe Creek, Bagshot, Bagshot North, Barnadown, Bendigo, Big Hill, California Gully, Costerfield, Derrinal, Drummartin, Eaglehawk, Eaglehawk North, East Bendigo, Elmore, Emu Creek, Eppalock, Epsom, Flora Hill, Fosterville, Golden Gully, Golden Square, Goornong, Harcourt North (part), Heathcote, Hunter, Huntly, Huntly North, Ironbark, Jackass Flat, Junortoun, Kamarooka, Kangaroo Flat, Kennington, Kimbolton, Knowsley, Ladys Pass, Lake Eppalock, Leichardt (part), Lockwood, Lockwood South (part), Long Gully, Longlea, Lyal, Maiden Gully, Mandurang, Mandurang South, Marong (part), Mia Mia (part), Mount Camel, Myers Flat, Myrtle Creek (part), Neilborough, North Bendigo, Quarry Hill, Ravenswood (part), Raywood (part), Redcastle, Redesdale (part), Sailors Gully, Sebastian (part), Sedgwick, Shelbourne (part), Spring Gully, Strathdale, Strathfieldsaye, Toolleen, Wellsford, West Bendigo, Whipstick, White Hills, Wilsons Hill and Woodvale.

Land use

The City of Greater Bendigo includes Victoria's fourth largest city in Bendigo, as well as a significant rural hinterland. Smaller townships are located at Axedale, Elmore, Goornong, Heathcote, Marong and Redesdale. The City encompasses a total land area of 3,000 square kilometres, of which a significant proportion is national park, regional park, reserve or bushland. Much of the rural land is used for agricultural purposes, including poultry and pig farming, sheep and cattle grazing and vineyards. Most of the City's retail space is in the Bendigo CBD or along the main roads. There is some industrial land use in the suburbs around the CBD.


The City of Greater Bendigo is served by the Calder Highway, the Loddon Valley Highway, the McIvor Highway, the Midland Highway, the Melbourne-Bendigo-Echuca railway line and Bendigo Airport.

Settlement history

European settlement dates from 1837 when sheep stations and farms were established. Significant growth occurred following the discovery of gold in 1851. The goldfields soon changed from small operations to major mines with deep shafts, with the early discoveries of alluvial gold giving way to quartz-based gold. By the end of the first gold rush in the 1860s, the township had established flour mills, woollen mills, tanneries, quarries, foundries, eucalyptus oil production, food production industries and timber-cutting. From 1860 through to the 1880s the township grew rapidly, aided by the opening of the Bendigo to Melbourne railway line in 1862 and a mining boom in the 1870s. Growth continued at a slower rate until the early 1900s, with mining continuing in some capacity until the last mine was closed in 1954. From the start of the 1900s the population began to decline, especially in the rural areas. Significant population growth occurred in the post-war years. Growth has continued since the 1980s, aided by local economic and employment growth. Recent growth has been most heavily concentrated in areas such as Epsom, Kangaroo Flat, Strathdale and Strathfieldsaye. The population of the City increased from 78,000 in 1991 to about 99,000 in 2011. Bendigo has consolidated its position as one of the fastest growing regional centres in Victoria, with growth expected to continue, especially in the new development areas of Huntly, Jackass Flat, Maiden Gully and Strathfieldsaye.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of Greater Bendigo area were the Jaara Aboriginal people.

Regional labour force

The City of Greater Bendigo labour force region is defined by an area in which a significant percentage of workers travelled into the City of Greater Bendigo to work at the 2011 Census. Details of this calculation and a list of areas included can be found in the data notes.