Day 3 Bendigo > St Arnaud
We allowed ourselves a small sleep in and then went back to the Shamrock Hotel for a nice hot cooked breakfast. Which was such a shame, as it was really awful, cold and they stuffed our orders up and we waited over an hour for them! Now a little behind in our schedule, we made the most of the sunshine and blue skies and headed for the Bendigo Gardens and the Conservatory. I was a little disappointed in the lack of variety, but the beautiful blooms more than made up for that, It was so beautiful in the sunshine. We were not alone, so many people out and about enjoying the sun.
We then visited the Golden Dragon Museum, which was really interesting. Bendigo has a long history shared with the Chinese, who mostly from Canton in the 1850’s seek a life free of political violence and upheaval and to seek their fortune in the gold fields. Dragons are traditionally used in China to celebrate special occasions, like the Lunar New Year. The first processional dragon [Loong] was brought to Bendigo in 1892 to celebrate the Easter Festival. Every year the Chinese community has played an integral part in the Easter Festival. The Golden Dragon museum was built in 1990 to preserve and display this collection of dragons.
Loong is the oldest intact processional dragon in the world, sorry the photo isn’t as good as I would have liked, it was dark and no flash photography was allowed, so it’s a little grainy and hazy.
We then visited to The Chinese Gardens next door, just lovely. Would have loved to had had it all to ourselves, but that was not to be. This is a tourist town, after all.
It really was time by now to make our way over to St Arnaud, we were meeting up with a group of friends, 16 of us in total, mostly photographers and a few partners. They usual group we travel with, a few new faces. It took a few hours to get there, we grabbed some lunch and then checked into our room. We then went exploring. There is a new Silo Art piece in St Arnaud, since our last visit, as well as quite a few pieces of street art, all of which was painted by local artist Kyle Toney. Lovely Monochrome stylings that were terrific to see breathing a little life back into this sleepy little town.
After an afternoon of exploring, we finally caught up with everyone else for dinner at the Royal Hotel, continuing our ‘Royal’ tour as it became our little joke. A evening spent with good food, good friends and a few drinks (and laughs). I will leave our trip here and pop in shortly with another post for day four.