Bendigo General Cemetery, dating from 1875, continuously developed and still in use as a cemetery is of regional significance:
*for its collection of trees and plants; these are typical of nineteenth century cemeteries in Victoria and demonstrate strong associational links with their cemetery setting and links with suppliers in Melbourne including von Mueller;
*for its retention of a portion of its original vegetation;
*for its collection of buildings and structures; these include representative examples of typical features such as the entrance gate, lodge, chapel, fencing, rotunda and headstones;
*for its considerable aesthetic appeal derived from the undulating site, sense of enclosure and vistas both within the site, views out of the site and from the exterior into the site;
*for its unique path system and its associations with fragrant flowers;
* for its strong historical and social links with the City of Bendigo, exemplified by its early date of development, its long continuity of use for its original purpose, its links with the early development of the town and its prominence within the life and society of Bendigo.
Bendigo General Cemetery extends over approximately 28 acres, the majority of which is utilized. The undulating site is located along the Back Creek (Carpenter Street) and extends west up the hill where the reserve for native plants was part of the original cemetery reserve. The formal path layout extends throughout the north and south of the site, much of the southern section still undeveloped. The cemetery is located to the south of the main civic centre of the town and commands views in the east to nearby forested hills. The main entry from Carpenter Street and facing west is the original entry and contains gate and fence. Major structures are the lodge just within the Carpenter Street gates and to the south the chapel to the north west of the lodge and facing the entry and the decorative octagonal rotunda, restored in the past decade. The path layout is a complex arrangement of sinuous bitumen paths looping from the central path off Carpenter Street and from there throughout the site including the southern section. Much of the present layout can be compared to the 1857 survey plan for integrity such as the entrance off Carpenter Street and the southern path loop defining the Independents. The paths form boundaries of denominational coml?artments and the central western section is occupied by a large section of Chinese graves and associated burning towers. The cemetery contains important examples of headstones demonstrating a range of styles and the different periods of burial. Planting in the cemetery consists of a backdrop of Elicalypus spp. on Quarry Hill with some individual specimens throughout the grounds as well as Cypress, Cedrus deodara, Magnolia grandiflora near the chapel, Washingtonia filifera and a carob, Ceratonia siliqlla.However the grounds do not contain anywhere near the collection of rare and mature exotic trees as at the White Hills or Eaglehawk cemeteries. It seems that a different and possibly unique planting style was the development of walks dating from c1870s? identified by iron markers each bearing the name of a fragrant flower both native and exotic. Walks still visible are the wallflower, primrose, violet, geranium, boronia, aster, marigold, wattle and columbine paths.