City of Gastronomy

Farmers Market Stalls

Bendigo is a UNESCO Creative City!

On October 31, 2019 Bendigo joined 65 cities around the world who have been newly admitted to the Creative Cities Network. Bendigo has been designated as a creative city of gastronomy – recognising all the exciting things happening across our city and region in food and beverages, culture and sustainability. Our gastronomy region covers Bendigo and eight other local government areas, and has been recognised for its quality produce, agriculture, creative businesses and strong networks of cooperation.

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network is a network of 246 cities around the world that are putting creativity at the heart of their economic, social, cultural and environmental development plans. There are seven categories that make up the network. The categories are: Crafts and Folk Arts, Media Arts, Film, Design, Gastronomy, Literature and Music. There were already four Australian cities in the network – Melbourne (Literature), Geelong (Design), Sydney (Film) and Adelaide (Music) – and in 2019 Ballarat was also admitted, in the category of Crafts and Folk Art. Bendigo’s creativity and gastronomy has been recognised on the world stage and opens up exciting opportunities locally and internationally.

Find out more about the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

What are we focusing on?

The City’s application to join the network was based around four key themes. These themes – or pillars – continue to guide our work as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy.

Four pillars:

  1. Celebrate and elevate First Nations’ culture, creativity and knowledge 
  2. Recognise our creativity, cultural diversity and innovation 
  3. Improve health and wellbeing particularly through healthy eating
  4. Prioritise environmental sustainability, sustainable agriculture and food production as we tackle climate change (and now recovery from COVID19)

Explore our city and region and discover how the Four Pillars are represented through the Region  

Find unique food and beverage experiences, trails and workshops with our interactive Gastronomy Guide, discover artisan produce with our Local Producer Directory, download the Healthy Catering Guide 

How does the Network help my city?

Becoming a UNESCO Creative City provides your city with strategic positioning and opportunities to stimulate local policies and action towards creativity and strengthen regional and international outreach and impact. Being part of the UCCN represents a genuine added value, allowing your city to:

  • Nurture and strengthen international cooperation between cities that have recognized creativity as a strategic factor of their sustainable development;
  • Strengthen its national, regional and international profile and impact, by providing visibility for your innovative policies, strategies and activities towards creativity and sustainable cities;
  • Increase its regional and international attractiveness to economic investors and stakeholders, skilled creative professionals or visitors, and facilitate the mobilization of financial resources from the public and private sectors;
  • Network with fellow Creative Cities through joint events and common projects, to stimulate cross-fertilization, share knowledge and know-how, and build partnerships;
  • Build momentum on creativity by putting the spotlight on your creative sector as a driving force, mobilizing all stakeholders including the public and private sectors, and nurturing dialogue between local authorities, professional organizations, academia and the creative community;
  • Propel its local creative field and communities to nurture an encouraging policy and economic environment, and further connect creative professionals and local creative businesses to international networks and markets;
  • Connect to the international development agenda through UNESCO, obtaining opportunities of illustrating your cities experiences and good practices at the international level to reinforce your city’s image and outreach.

- From UCCN Secretariat documentation

Contact us

If you have any questions about the City of Gastronomy, please contact the Gastronomy Project Officer on 1300 002 642 or email [email protected]

For more information check out our Frequently Asked Questions. 

Find out more on our City of Gastronomy website:

Or to explore Bendigo’s gastronomical experiences: