Newbridge is a rural village on the Loddon River 32 km west of Bendigo. It is located near a ford across the Loddon River, and in 1853 a wooden bridge was built. The structure probably inspired the place name. It is intersected by roads from Bendigo, Dunolly, Bridgewater and Maldon.

Newbridge was settled as an agricultural and pastoral area, but was stimulated by the nearby gold mining centres of Llanelly and Tarnagulla. It was part of the Tarnagulla borough (1864-1915).

A brewery was opened in 1859, a school and a flour mill were opened in 1861 and an agricultural society formed in 1863. By the mid-1860s there were also three hotels.

The nearest goldfields were at Llanelly, 5 km westwards. Llanelly was also on the Dunolly-Inglewood railway line (1888), where a silo was later built for the transhipment of wheat.

During the 1870s a literary institute and a cheese factory were opened at Newbridge, and there were Anglican, Wesleyan, Primitive Methodist, Presbyterian and Plymouth Bretheren churches. In 1903, when Newbridge was described in the Australian handbook, the flour mill, the breweries and some of the churches had closed:

The cheese factory fell on hard times when many dairy herds failed during a drought in 1902-03. The mill was apparently used to make bone meal.

Newbridge has retained one hotel, a general store, a public hall, two ovals, tennis courts and a church which is available for weddings and funerals. The school closed in 1993, leaving an attractive brick building (1867) and two-storey teacher's house (1906) of Swiss Chalet design. The Dunolly-Tarnagulla State Forest is to the south-west. Newbridge Winery occupies part of the old cheese factory.

In September 2010 and again in January 2011 many parts of regional Victoria experienced widespread severe flooding. In Newbridge on the Loddon River the local football clubs were inundated and netball and tennis courts destroyed.

Newbridge's census populations have been:

Area Census Date Population
Newbridge 1861 118
  1881 218
  1911 378
  1966 126
Newbridge and environs 2006 476
  2011 358

Further Reading

Edna and Ken Arnold, Tarnagulla and district: the way it was, Bendigo, 1992