It is no surprise that Bendigo was designated Australia’s first UNESCO Creative City and Region of Gastronomy in 2019.

Our gastronomy story is about growing, sourcing, cooking and sharing food. It is how our culture and heritage is represented and shared through what we eat, drink, the places we share meals, and the memories we make around food, family and community.

When we decorated the Bendigo letters with a gastronomy theme, we wanted to nod to our heritage, our mixed cultures, both the oldest living culture in the world and also our Chinese heritage.

What does the letter ‘B’ represent?

The first orchards were planted in Harcourt way back in 1857 by Mesrs William Eagle, William Ely, Henry Ely and Nathanael Vick. By the 1880’s Harcourt apples were so saught after that they were being expoted to England.

Today, hundreds of hectares of apple orchards are famed across the region and a gobsmackingly 40% of Victoria’s apples are grown in Harcourt. We thought that was worth celebrating!

What does the letter ‘E’ represent?

The state of Victoria is the largest olive producer in Australia and Bendigo has a thriving olive industry. Ranging from large scale commercial producers through to artisan small scale producers. Olive products raging from oils, table olives and even soap is available from farms just a few clicks away from this sign. head to our gastronomy Producers guide at

What does the letter ‘N’ represent?

The pretty pomelo is one of the largest members of the citrus family. It is significant to our region, connecting us to our long Chinese heritage. A pomelo tree was first planted in Bendigo more than 100 years ago. It is believed that all Pomelo trees growing in Australia have come from seeds from this very fist tree. The pomelos beautiful golden hue symbolises prosperity and abundance. They are significant because the pomelo tree is the life of the dragon. before each Easter fair in Bendigo, water in which the pomelo leaves are immersed is sprinkled over the Chinese dragon, Dai Gum Loong and a leaf is placed in his mouth to reawaken him from his slumber.

What does the letter ‘D’ represent?

Would you believe Bendigo had a thriving tomato industry, with the ‘Bendigo tomato’ considered prestigious and the ‘most suitable variety with exceptional flavour and the finest texture’ on the market. It was during the gold rush that tomatoes really boomed and we saw the beginnings of now infamous Leggos started right here in Bendigo!

What does the letter ‘I’ represent?

It is no secret that we have an ever growing award winning wine industry across Bendigo and Heathcote. Know for our shiraz we now have almost 100 vineyards across the entire region. Heathcote wine is characterised by a rich, deep aroma and a dark colour. Across Bendigo you’ll find shiraz and rich, earthy cabernet sauvignon.

What does the letter ‘G’ represent?

Bok Choy is a nod to our Chinese heritage, as well as our multi-cultural community. We are incredibly fortunate to be a melting pot of cultures, including Chinese, Karen, Indian, Hazara and Sudanese just to name a few.

What does the letter ‘O’ represent?

To the naked eye, this may just look like a flower and it is, however it is a yam flower, a colourful and bright indigenous flower and whilst it is beautiful to look at, it is the root system that has been a staple food product for the First Nations community for thousands of years. A tuber, not unlike a small white carrot and tastes a little like nutty with a mild coconut flavour. It can be eaten raw or cooked.