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Sunday 24 April 2022

Bendigo's Rockin' Rollin' Tram Ride for Elvis

Bendigo's historic trams get into the Graceland spirit

 “I said Shake Rattle ‘n Roll, I said Shake, Rattle ‘n Roll!” we bellow in clumsy unison, clutching - and spilling - our Blue Suede cocktails as the vintage tram does its own wobbly rendition along the main street of Bendigo.

We get to the end of the street and prepare to complete the return journey while the music never skips a beat. Our driver, Steve, makes the perilous change-of-ends and is co-opted into a few choruses of “Hound Dog” before he reaches the relative safety of the cab.

Bendigo’s beautifully ornate trams transported the gold-enriched city’s citizens from their introduction in 1890 until their controversial closure in 1972. Now a working and popular tourist attraction, Bendigo Tramways have 15 working trams among the collection of almost 50, operating along the preserved route through the city’s centre. 

They stop - usually - at six points between the Central Deborah Gold Mine and the Bendigo Joss House Temple, a distance of a little more than four kilometres, taking 45 leisurely minutes.

Tonight our carriage is festooned in bold Viva Bendigo livery and gaudy party lights to coincide with the Elvis - Direct from Graceland exhibition currently being held at the Bendigo Art Gallery (BAG), founded in 1887 and one of Australia’s oldest and largest regional art galleries.

# Roderick Eime was a guest of Visit Bendigo

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