CATCH UP: Experience Oz users voted Bendigo “a truly cool and varied Aussie travel destination”. But the site doesn’t have a section devoted to us like it does other areas.
As that old country song says: “Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way …”
Fantastic – but not really unexpected – news this week that Bendigo is surfing on a tsunami of positive feedback online. We’re the most searched for regional tourism destination on the Trip Advisor website, and voted no.1 regional destination by users of the Experience Oz and NZ travel site.
We can already sense the bile-tipped pens going to work in other centres, pointing out such failures as “Aha! They don’t have a BIG something. Where’s your pineapple, prawn, penguin?” Forgetting of course, we have the cleverly named Big Hill.
Trip Advisor’s rankings can raise an eyebrow. It lists Eaglehawk Courthouse at 31 of the top 57 things to do in Bendigo. It has a picture of the historic courthouse, but then has a comment: “Great beer!” We assume they meant the Court House Hotel up the road.
This week our nervous attention was drawn to the Bayne Street ghost which terrified Bendigo in 1898.
In articles around Australia and even overseas, news of the ghost was that it was a white, flowing spectre that attacked and frightened young women. Ithad been sighted by dozens of people, including a tram driver,who reported the ghost being armed with a pistol. One woman was punched in the face by the ghost. A son of one of the terrorised women, Eugene George Johnson, gotinto hot water when he dressed up in women’s clothing and set out with an iron bar to lure it. Silly bugger got arrested and had to convince a mob at the police station that he was not the ghost himself.
The whole riveting story appears to come to an end at the start of September 1898 when some youthful vigilantes armed with a double-barrel shotgunfound the ghost on the corner of Bayne and Stewart streets and blasted away. The ghost took off over a garden fence. The ghost hunters found about six metres of white muslin cloth left behind,peppered with shotgun pellet holes.
Not surprisingly, the ghost vanished from that point.
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