5.9 out of 10

Bendigo

Ranked 5th best suburb in Loddon
-36.7562502176378 144.279503864901
Great for
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Internet Access
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Shopping Options
  • Resale or Rental Value
Not great for
  • Cost of Living
  •  
  •  
  •  
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Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Students

Reviews

4/5
Jul 23, 2017

"🏡"

4/5 rating details
  • Neighbourly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Bendigo"

Pros
  • Shopping
  • eateries
  • parks, university
Cons
  • Not realy all that friendly
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
2/5 rating details
  • Neighbourly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"This was once upon a time a lovely town with lots of jobs"

I grew up here in the 1970's.....at the time it was a great place to live, however, my Mum always told me that if I had any ambition what so ever, I would move away. Most of my school mates did, I stayed till I was 22. Back in the 70's and 80's there were heaps of jobs here. The local ordinance factory, the pig factory (Mayfair) and some large textile factories were in the town. All of the major employers have either closed down or dramatically reduced their workforce. In short, there is very little work in Bendigo. I was shocked when I finished High School (and later University) to find out that there were no jobs in this place. Even nurses have a hard time getting work in Bendigo. As previous people have mentioned in this forum, this dramatically reduces your quality of life. Crime is also high in this city, due to poverty and drugs.
At my 20 year high school reunion, you could tell the people who had moved on from this town and those who had stayed....those who had stayed were ashamed of themselves. They looked older, dressed poorer, drove old bombs for cars and generally have had much harder and more frustrating lives than those who moved on. One of my friends was telling me how hard it was to work at a Rubber factory in Bendigo in the early 1990's....he stated how if you were late for work 3 times in a year, they would sack you. I told him that he should move to Melbourne and earn double the money (in a factory job) and not have to put up with the bullying tactics of an employer like that.
I now find it strange that the price of real estate in Bendigo is so expensive too. Were is the money coming from? or are they all just expensive due to the rental income they might get if rented out to an overseas student studying at the University.
Oh and another point about the University.....it doesn't have a great choice of courses and guess what? ....telling a prospective employer that you went to Bendigo College isn't exactly a selling point. Countless times I have had to justify my choice of studying at Bendigo College...."it was close to home" "I grew up there" "I lived at home" etc etc etc....
The College doesn't have a good reputation for academia, this is because back in the 70's they passed anyone. My first year lecturer in Chemistry actually admitted that there was one student in the 70's who just read the Womens Weekly in his lectures. They were forced to pass students so that they could keep their jobs because the numbers were so low. They needed xyz students to finish the course so that the University would stay open. In short, its pretty much at the bottom of the list when it comes to academic reputations.
Pros
  • Compared to elsewhere - none.
Cons
  • High cost of housing compared to low incomes in the town
  • University has a bad reputation
  • High living cost
  • Not realy all that friendly
  • Unemployment
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
2/5 rating details
  • Neighbourly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Not what it used to be"

I first moved to Bendigo about 20 years ago. At the time, it was a friendly, smallish country city with a population of about 80,000 people. Work was difficult to find, although no more so than anywhere else in Victoria.
Through various periods of employment elsewhere, we have retained our house around Bendigo, and have kept coming back.
However, things have changed.
These days, the population is well over 100,000, however it seems that the number of jobs available is still about the same as it was 20 years ago. So unless you are a brain surgeon or have some specialist skill which happens to be in high local demand, or you are prepared to shovel animal manure on slave wages, it is not unfair to say that meaningful employment is extremely difficult to obtain.
Because there is a lack of employment, it is not uncommon to see jobs advertisements making ridiculous demands together with rather low wages offered. Employers here obviously know that they can afford to be picky. This can make it very hard to obtain decent work unless you are already known to someone who can offer you a job. This, of course, affects quality of living severely.
Because of the increasing population, there has also been a marked increase in traffic. Unfortunately this has not been matched by an improvement in infrastructure to handle it. As in so many areas, some of the things that the council has done to the road system has actually served to impede traffic flow rather than improve it, and has created many localised nuisances.
While is fair to say that the bus system has improved over the years, is equally fair to say that it still leaves a great deal to be desired.
Many people think they're moving to Bendigo to enjoy the rural environment, however when you have been here for a while you cannot help but notice the pace at which the local bushland is being cut down to make way for new housing estates. This is effectively converting many of the leafy environments, that people are paying top dollar for, into nothing more then suburban estates.
Medical care can be difficult to obtain, with many of the local doctors full up and having closed their books. Several new ambulance stations have recently been built, but if you need an ambulance at short notice it still might depend on how lucky you are. Waiting times for treatment at the public hospital, as a public patient, are through the roof. Some time ago I had to wait 5 years for minor elective surgery, I don't know if that has improved or not - I somehow doubt it. A&E is the usual story of long waits, although there is a teaching clinic that has taken some of the pressure off the public system.
Like most other places in Victoria, the traffic police here are best described as parasites, as also are the local council traffic inspectors, all of whom seem to typify the usual process these days of viewing the motorist as being nothing more than a source of ready revenue.
At the same time it can be difficult to get assistance from the law if something should go wrong and you need it.
Night life leaves something to be desired. While there are nightclubs and the like available for the local youth (if they are into that sort of thing), there is little available for those kids who are not into "raging"; and if you are of more mature age and simply wanting to have a quiet cup of coffee after hours on a weeknight with the Missus, well, forget it, you probably won't find anywhere open. Even the McDonald's McCafe closes in the evenings. (Although you can still get a normal cup of coffee in Maccas in the evening). There is a cinema that presents a good program of films.
Bendigo has the usual assortment of schools, some having been heavily refurbished and renewed. However, all of the local state secondary schools only go to year 10. After that, all students go to the senior secondary school in Bendigo. Because of this, their enrollment is something like 2000. This can make it very difficult for students who tend to " get lost in a crowd". Bendigo does have a very good university, and several good post secondary / TAFE type colleges, although they do tend to be expensive.
As a long-term resident, particularly having spent several periods working away from Bendigo, I have been struck hard by the general increase in the cost of living here. Not only is the cost of living, food, clothing, general living costs etc. become rather high, but there is the added issue of not being able to do anything or go anywhere without using the car or otherwise being transported. This adds considerably to the weekly budgetory needs.
Another unfortunate trend that I have observed to have increased greatly over the years is the apparent care-free willingness of certain local businesses and services to tell customers that they won't serve them. This is an issue I have not encountered in any other place in the country in which I have lived, and it quite astounds me that organisations that are supposed to be working towards being profitable are so willing to turn profitable customers away when it suits them. From a customer's perspective, this can provide disappointments, not to mention unnecessary difficulties of living.
As for community spirit, well, I guess it depends on what you are looking for. There are plenty of clubs, groups and organisations to get involved with, everything from cricket clubs to SES and all the usuals in between. But I wouldn't say the spirit of "general neighbourliness" is anything special here compared to anywhere else; I have certainly lived in friendlier places. There are plenty of people here who will try to con you or push in frount of you at the checkout if they get the chance. Just like anywhere else.
I could continue, but I think the picture is taking shape here. Bendigo was once a great place to live. Once - but no longer. To come and live here is to invite unnecessary hardship and probable unemployment.
In good conscience, I can no longer recommend this city as a place to live.
Pros
  • Compared to elsewhere - none.
Cons
  • Unemployment
  • High living cost
  • Not realy all that friendly
Tarq
Tarq I agree completely with Dayo. Our family have lived in Bendigo on and off for sixteen years and it is certainly not what it used to be.
Forget affordability in housing or living costs. That was a dream that dissipated long ago. The heaters (all three of them in our house) need to be on for six months of the year at least, then you need to switch fairly quickly to the A/C (the summers can be fierce - the winters - freezing). We almost lost our homes in the fires - CFA were hours too late.
I have lived interstate and in many other places in Victoria, so I am used to weather extremes. Autumn In Bendigo, however, is lovely - pitty it is so short.
I am a professional and find working here tricky compared to anywhere else. The jobs look good on paper, but there is a lot of 'extra' work - which is not outlined during the interview or application process. Morale is therefore quite low in many areas. As a registered nurse - there is plenty of work in both hospitals, but shifts are very busy and often understaffed. My mother recently attended A&E at 9pm for a fairly serious condition. The line to be seen at triage stretched a fair way outside of the Emergency Dep't and people were just walking away (one had a head injury). She was forced to go home without even being triaged. The staff, however, are fabulous - very dedicated and professional.
The town has grown - the services have not - that's it in a nutshell.
I have profoundly disabled child - GP/paediatric services are limited - we go to the Royal Childrens in Melbourne for most of her care.
Employment has been worse for my husband. He has all the tickets and is very hard working (an employers dream really) and yet he has been forced to work 55-65 hour weeks with very few benefits, just to bring home a wage. He doesn't get payslips and in the past if he has - they have been written on a yellow envelope (scribbled down) and most don't make sense. Very dodgy. Employers have been known to pay us late, countless times (up to one week), even after asking them several times (atrocious).
The typical wage in regards to jobs with earthmoving/fabricating/industrial plumbing is about $19-23 hour. Overtime is paid very inventively - small extra amounts here and there, increasing over time (????).
I have found the elderly people here absolutely lovely - very warm and friendly. They are the only ones though. I made more friends living in Newcastle NSW in 2 years, than I have in Bendigo and I've lived here much longer and yes, I have been involved in the groups etc..
Rental accommodation is not easy to find - there is almost a zero vacancy rate here, although the pressure has eased a bit of late. We have owned homes here over the years. The last one didn't make us any money even though it was fully renovated and we owned it for 6 years.
Lake Weeroona and the Eaglehawk lakes are lovely to walk around - we spend a lot of time at them. Parks are lovely - although the CBD's Rosalind park has a smelly creek running through it.
Bendigo Council are very slow to make decisions (10 years to get a high rise car park - millions on a mall that is not safe for wheelie frames, wheelchairs etc...) and most of them are not good ones.
Primarly Schools are excellent - secondary schools aren't so good. Girton is great if you can afford it. The Catholic College is quite good, however it is very large.
A post secondary school family member recently started a Tafe course here and it is not being offered next year, so he's off to Melbourne to complete it.
We will be moving to QLD in two years time. I would not recommend Bendigo as a great place to live anymore. The heart has been sucked out of it.
2yrs+
Add a comment...
5/5 rating details
  • Neighbourly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"Happy busy town"

l lived in bendigo for 10 years and loved it my family still live there and they love it as well
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5
2yrs+

"A large country town with a real sense of community"

Bendigo is Victoria's 4th largest city, and has a population of close to 90,000 and continues to grow. It is a provincial hub and commercial centre, situated 130 km from Melbourne.

It is a great spot for raising a family. The town has all of the essential services, a number of schools, lots of shops and restaurants and cafes. There are a number of recreational activities, with a number of sports facilities, ovals and sporting teams.

Housing options are numerous. There are lots of typical suburban brick homes in the town streets. Many locals choose to live in some of the smaller nearby towns or on farming properties, and commute to the town for work.

Central to the town's growth and success is Bendigo Bank, Australia's 5th largest bank, which is headquartered in the town centre.
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
4/5
2yrs+

"Something for everyone"

Bendigo is the type of city that really does have something for everyone. Suited to families, professionals and retirees, the area plays host to art galleries, a performing arts centre, cathedrals, a tramway museum, sporting grounds, an ice rink, both horse and dog racing clubs, public parks, a gold mine, an airport and a science and technology centre. An historical town best known for its gold mining history, Bendigo is a major provincial hub and minor financial centre, as well as being the home of the Bendigo Bank and the Bendigo Stock Exchange. The area also boasts a TAFE, secondary college, catholic college, private school and university. But while Bendigo is a rapidly growing area, its neighbours – including Elmore, Rochester, Inglewood and Bridgewater – are in steep decline. Train services run from Bendigo to Melbourne, Ballarat and Geelong.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5
2yrs+

"Plenty to see and do in Bendigo"

The grand buildings in Bendigo are a reminder of the city's gold rush. Today, it's well worth a visit with plenty to see and do. A great way to get around is on the talking tram and if you want to experience what it was like to work in a mine, head to Central Deborah where you can travel underground in a miner's cage. Other places to visit are the Golden Dragon Museum and Life Adventure Park which offers heaps of physical challenges. If you love the great outdoors, there are plenty of picturesque bush walks including a trail through the Whipstick Forest.