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New hub and heart of Bendigo Botanic Gardens opens


Children play out the front of the newly opened Larni Garingilang Hub in the Bendigo Botanic Gardens

Bendigo Botanic Gardens’ Larni Garingilang Central Hub is helping bring locals and visitors together and further boost the city’s strong arts and recreational offerings, thanks to support from the Victorian Government.

The newly completed one-hectare visitor hub that serves as a new entry and meeting point within Bendigo’s major public garden.

The project is backed by more than $4 million from the Victorian Government’s Building Works package and Growing Victoria’s Botanic Gardens grants program.

The Australian Government provided $1.75 million from the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program for the project in addition to the City of Greater Bendigo Council’s $1 million contribution.

The hub is already generating more jobs for the region, with more than 50 jobs created during construction and is set to create up to nine café and three garden maintenance positions.

The sustainably designed visitor centre is at the heart of the project and includes a new café facility and meeting spaces providing immersive opportunities to learn about and appreciate nature.

In the courtyard, plantings and ponds reflect the unique conditions of the Bendigo region. A new indigenous garden showcases the palette of plants that would grow naturally in Bendigo’s dry-arid region, while a series of ponds represents the importance of water in the local landscape.

The project was designed by architects from GHDWoodhead, who worked closely with the Dja Dja Wurrung Traditional Owners to ensure the project reflects the region’s important cultural history. Larni Garingilang means “home of growth” in the Dja Dja Wurrung language.

The Larni Garingilang Central Hub is part of a larger rejuvenation and extension of the Bendigo Botanic Gardens identified through a masterplan to grow one of regional Victoria’s earliest botanic gardens.

The master plan’s vision is to gradually transform the location into an inspiring and sustainable garden the whole community can enjoy.

With the Bendigo region being one of the fastest growing regional populations in Victoria, the expanded gardens provide the growing community with more open public space. They offer residents and visitors to the region opportunities to connect with the nature, with each other and with ideas of caring for Country.

The Building Works program is part of the Victorian Government’s investment of more than $36 billion in rural and regional Victoria since 2015.