Bendigo is a city of 92,000 people situated 150km NNW of Melbourne. Described as the "Golden Heart of Victoria" Bendigo is a city of great historical charm. Many of the majestic buildings, including Sacred Heart Cathedral, were built during the second half of the 19th century. Bendigo is synonymous with gold and the gold rush produced great wealth for Bendigo and at one time it challenged Melbourne as the capital of Victoria. The city is only a short two hour drive from Melbourne and has a vibrant tourism industry because of wine, pottery and fine restaurants. The city has an observation tower which can be easily climbed and the views at the top are well worth the effort.