Gold was discovered on the banks of Bendigo Creek in 1851. The creek remained at the heart of the settlement as it quickly developed. The goldfields of Bendigo were known world-wide. In 1852, the government named the settlement ― not Bendigo, but Sandhurst.
The Bendigo Advertiser summed up the case for change, asserting the name Bendigo was: ‘A good one, a strong, manly name, as befits a mining community’, while Sandhurst recalled ‘a dark period of the goldfield’. As a result of a public campaign the name was officially changed to Bendigo in 1891.