Ignite program brings heartwarming winter events and experiences

Media release

Take the chill out of winter and indulge in a fantastic range of heartwarming events and experiences showcased in the new 2024 Ignite program, including the Australian Sheep and Wool Show, the Bendigo Writers Festival, Bendigo on the Hop, a Winter Moonlight Market in Hargreaves Mall, and a superb range of gastronomy offerings to delight.

The Ignite program will tantalise your senses with 42 food and beverages experiences developed by some members from Bendigo Tourism and the Heathcote Tourism and Development Board.

The menus celebrate local producers who contribute to Greater Bendigo and the region’s enviable status as Australia’s first UNESCO Creative City and Region of Gastronomy.

City of Greater Bendigo Manager Tourism and Major Events Terry Karamaloudis said the Ignite program was a winter haven to relish and indulge in memorable experiences.

“Immerse yourself in a series of delectable events and cosy experiences designed to warm you up,” Mr Karamaloudis said.

“A big thank you to the local tourism businesses who have developed a superb range of mouth-watering delights to shake off the winter chill and entertain residents and visitors.

“Whether you're seeking a romantic getaway, a family adventure, or a rejuvenating solo retreat, Ignite has something for everyone. Bookings are open now.”

Ignite program

Ignite has a variety of experiences and entertainment for residents and visitors with major highlights:

July 19 to July 21: Australian Sheep and Wool Show
The epicentre of woollen fashion, fine food and beautiful fibre featuring the popular Festival of Lamb and Women of Wool and Wearable Art

July 20, 3pm to 8pm: Winter Moonlight Market in Hargreaves Mall
Featuring live music and art, speciality food trucks, street performers, a huge range of stalls from crafty creators, talented food producers, jewellery and much more

August 16 to 18: Bendigo Writers Festival
Packed program, including a Gastronomy theme that features a dinner at MacKenzie Hall with Australia’s favourite cook and author Julie Goodwin, The History of Oysters and Champagne on the Victorian Goldfields with Max Allen and Richard Cornish, Milk and Merino panel session with Matthew Evans and An Edible Weed Walk through Rosalind Park Gardens.

For the full program head to Bendigo Writers Festival website

August 31: Bendigo on the Hop
A favourite winter craft beer festival held at venues across the city centre and at breweries. Enjoy rare beers, locally made craft beers, food and live entertainment. For their 10th year celebration, Bendigo on the Hop forms part of Bendigo Beer Week (August 28 to 31) with a series of celebratory events.

Bendigo Tourism and Heathcote Tourism and Development Board members have created mouth-watering offerings, experiences, and events to entertain and indulge. Please check availability with the operators involved.

  • The Woodhouse Bar and Grill events: Rye Whiskey tasting July with The Gospel, a winter special menu in August, and The Taste of Italy in regional Victoria
  • Nimbus Rooftop Bar provides spiced Mulled Wine and a Winter Boozy lunch on Saturdays and Sundays in a cosy setting to warm the heart
  • PepperGreen Farm has roasting marshmallows over the wood fire oven every Saturday and a fantastic range of produce to buy
  • Beechworth Bakery has a selection of new winter goodies on the menu including golden veggie pie, Canadian date slice and salted caramel lattes
  • Red Energy Arena has winter delights at its outdoor heated entertaining space at The Terrace serving a delicious winter menu
  • Munari winery’s cosy cellar door evenings with exquisite wine and charcuterie boards to share. Live music every month
  • Tellurian Winery is the perfect setting for Ms Batterhams winter pop up with a menu paired with beautiful wines
  • Loddon with Turners Crossing Vineyard showcases amazing producers with a multi course winter dinner at Bridgewater Hotel
  • Bendigo Community Farmers Market is a must (every second Saturday of the month), Talbot Market is every third Sunday of the month
  • Killiecrankie Wine and Cocktail night at Nimbus Rooftop Bar with crafted wine cocktails, live music from Josh DeAraugo, wine trivia with prizes
  • Balgownie Estate Bendigo presents a steak and shiraz night every Thursday evening through winter
  • Mackenzie Quarters events: Bastille Day Eve Dinner, Fleece to Feast, Bootleggers and Barrels, Mountains to Vineyards
  • The Dispensary events: Whiskey Experience, Bastille Day lunch and a Gin Experience
  • St. Anne’s Winery events: Pop-up delicious Italian lunch and two-course dinner and a wonderful evening of music with a homage to Eagles’ songs
  • Gin Maker Workshop at In Good Spirits at Domaine Asmara
  • Indulge in local wines and treats at Star Cinema while you enjoy must-see movies during the Melbourne International Film Festival
  • Cornella Canola Walk at Shiraz Republic and Cornella Brewery – a perfect day out for nature lovers and beverage enthusiasts
  • Alium Dining events: Dining in the Dark for a unique blindfolded experience and Truffle Degustation dinner paired with selected wines and spirits
  • Vin Du Van Estate with Masons Slovenian style Sunday lunches with wine tasting and a specially prepared lunch from Masons of Bendigo chef and owner Sonia Anthony                              

Other winter events:

Other winter events to complement the Ignite program for residents and visitors:

Until July 14 Paris: Impressions of Life 1880 – 1925 at Bendigo Art Gallery
170 works of art and artisan objects from the renowned collection of the Musée Carnavalet in Paris.

July 30 Peasant Prince returns to the Ulumbarra theatre
Award-winning children’s version of Li Cunxin’s iconic autobiography, Mao’s Last Dancer.

August 10 onwards Rob McHaffie: We are family at Bendigo Art Gallery
The central Victorian artist’s keen observations of every day surrounds of urban Australian life with colour, whimsy and humour.

August 10 PROMISES PROMISES at Ulumbarra
The music of Burt Bacharach and Hal David performed by Janet Ross-Fahy in a two hour concert spectacular 

August 30 La Bohème at Ulumbarra theatre 
A heartwarming love story this winter with Puccini’s famous score for this new production celebrating one of the world’s favourite operas.

Greater Bendigo