Bendigo is just a two-hour (V/Line) train ride away from the city - just catch the train going to Echuca or Swan Hill from Southern Cross. At the Bendigo train station, you can get a map of the town's CBD, which helps heaps with going around the downtown area. At the end of Mitchell Street, the main street from the train station, is the Alexandra Fountain, a charming, classic piece that is at the heart of a roundabout that branches out into the Queen Victoria Gardens, Pall Mall, and View Street.
Turn into Pall Mall and this takes you down a tree-lined lane where you will find the RSL Military Museum, the Visitor Information Centre, and the Shamrock Hotel, where you can grab a hearty meal or a pint of your favourite brew while enjoying the view on the street.
If you walk down View Street, this is where you'll find the Bendigo Art Gallery, an intimate space where you'll find contemporary and classic art pieces. And right across from it are rows of antique shops and cafes where you can either browse for a souvenir to take home, or just hang out.
If you've built up an appetite with all that walking around, turn into Chancery Lane, off Hargreaves Mall, where you'll find Dispensary Enoteca and El Gordo, considered two of the best cafes in Bendigo.
End your trip by going up Poppet Head Lookout, in Rosalind Park, behind the Visitor Information Centre. Make sure you climb all the way to the top. And enjoy the breathtaking bird's-eye view of this sublime town.