Discovering Bendigo through Most Iconic Vintage Talking Tram
“Bendigo just wouldn’t be Bendigo without its iconic trams!”
In 2018, AIYEP 37 th was held under the corporation of Ministry of Youth and Sport Affair (KEMENPORA) Indonesia and Department of Foreign Affair and Trade (DFAT) Australia that links 18 youths (21-25 years old) of Australia and Indonesia through social, professional and cultural exchange. The program lasts for 4 months which give the opportunity for participants to travel in Indonesia and Australia, stay with a host family, get involved in the local community and build relationships between our two neighboring countries. Bendigo became a host of regional phase of the program which all participants were going for visit for a month after spending the first month in
Melbourne as a city phase.
It was my last week in Bendigo, there were so many place that I really wanted to
visit but haven’t fully accomplished. At that moment I was thinking about some alternative ways to travel around and see the beauty of Bendigo in really short time, and finally found out about this information. People say there is no better way to see the sights of Bendigo than aboard a beautifully refurbished Vintage Talking Tram. Whether
you’re in Bendigo for the weekend or just have an hour to spare, a Vintage Talking Tram Tour is the quickest way to get your bearings and see the city key landmarks and monuments. And here I go, in my last week in Bendigo, finally I got the chance to board on this most iconic tram in Bendigo!
On 11th November, my host family took their time to let us discovering the city by hopping on and off the tram to explore many parks, attractions, shopping and dining facilities in Bendigo trough vintage talking tram. We arrived at Central Deborah Gold Mine where the tram was departed at 01.00 PM. The tram is scheduled to travel twelve times a day, yet we chose to start our journey at 02.00 PM. Thus, we had an extra time to explore more about Central Deborah Gold Mine which is one of Australia’s premier underground tourists mine experience and find out about the story of Australia’s richest Goldfield.
The tram were waiting until its time to depart, right at 2 o’clock the machine was working. The tour lasted for almost one hour, the vintage trams trundled through the busy city, carved a path from the Central Deborah Gold Mine, passed the Alexandra fountain on Pall Mall, passed the stately Rosalind Park the grassy open spaces, playground, ornate statues, conservatory, fernery and the most beautiful gardens in Bendigo! It continued to pass the majestic court house and on to Lake Weeroona and the Bendigo Joss House Temple, a Chinese place of worship which constructed in the 1870s. An audio recording explained the 30-minute route, was pointing out landmarks
and sharing snippets of Bendigo’s history. The tram itself was really a spectacle, from the crumbling, faded carriages to those that have been lovingly restored, bright with shiny lacquered paint and an incredible attention to historic detail. Instead of having a steel body, the tram had timber chassis and louvered windows which made it more classy. Unlike the modern trams, the tram gave people an example of what they were like 50, 100 years ago. Of course its vintages look was not made without any reasons. Let’s look back at the history, Bendigo Tramways has been in operation since June 1890. From that time, the citizens of Bendigo have experienced battery, steam and electric traction as the principal modes of propulsion for their trams. It was facing many transformation with so many issues until finally the government-owned power supply corporation opted out of the tram business in 1972 and handed the urban passenger services over to private.
bus operators. It said that no other Australian city which closed its tramway system left track, trams and a depot behind in the manner that Bendigo did. Even though the trams had stopped running, as an retention, the government keeps all the trams, maintenance equipment, uniforms, ticket punches, cash bags and historical records then examine the possibilities of retaining the trams as a tourist attraction. Based on the official travel website for Bendigo, it stated that Bendigo Tramways is Australia largest tourist tramway and welcomes over 40,000 visitors annually. The Bendigo Tramways Depot is the oldest operating tram depot in Australia and is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. And currently have 45 trams in their fleet, which 13 of it is operated as part of the Tram service, thus run perfectly down the main street.
To be experienced that short yet attractive journey is really amazing! Exploring all the beauties of Bendigo in one our yet being explained about its history is an interesting way to learn about Bendigo. And of course to be able to be living in the place which well known as a grand and gracious city, thus to travel yet to learn about how this city is adapting the modernity yet keeping history alive is pretty special! Feeling like fully equipped with all those xperiences, I was thinking about what’s waiting for me in Indonesia later on, which would be hosted by Riau province! Well, expect the unexpected!