There's more to Melbourne's west
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There's more to Melbourne's west
Looking for Melbourne's hidden gems? There's way more out west
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Wetlands in Melbourne's west ...more than one third of Australia’s bird species

Wetlands in Melbourne's west ...more than one third of Australia’s bird species | There's more to Melbourne's west |

Watching birds, and trying to understand their freedom and variety, can be one of the most rewarding activities. Some say Werribee and surrounds are second to Kakadu National Park for bird watching activities.


The Western Treatment Plant provides a haven for tens of thousands of birds and is recognised as one of the world's most significant wetlands. The Western Treatment Plant supports large numbers and groups of waterfowl and several species of waders and ducks.


Within the Western Treatment Plants is Lake Borrie, the most significant wetland in Victoria for migratory shorebirds. Migratory birds travel to Lake Borrie from as far as Alaska, Siberia, China and Japan, doubling their body weight on the abundant food over Summer before heading back overseas.


The Western Treatment Plant can house an estimated 65,000 birds at any one time with over one third of the country’s species being recorded there (about 270 species). This is second only to Kakadu National Park. 


The Point Cook Coastal Park and Cheetham Wetlands rank among the top places in the world for migratory wading birds Over 250 fauna species have been recorded at Point Cook Coastal Park.


During the Victorian summer, visiting migratory birds move between the wetlands and saltmarsh at Point Cook, the beach sand flats and Cheetham Wetlands, depending on the tides. The endangered Orange-bellied Parrot is known to feed in the saltmarsh at Point Cook. The Double-banded Plover flies from New Zealand to spend the winter in Australia, and the Eastern Golden Plover migrates here from Siberia and Alaska. The Werribee River is also a great location for bird watching.


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Jawbone Marine Sanctuary ...more underwater wonderland

Jawbone Marine Sanctuary ...more underwater wonderland | There's more to Melbourne's west |


Jawbone Marine Sanctuary, named after its shape, is located in Williamstown and protects 30ha of coastal waters. The little promontory, west of the beach at Williamstown, has been fenced off from the rest of the world for over 80 years by a coastal rifle range. This forgotten and unspoilt place is now considered a haven for coastal and marine life right next to Melbourne.


Patches of all marine habitats from northern Port Phillip Bay are packed into this small area. On the west of the promontory, there is saltmarsh and the largest occurrence of mangroves within Port Phillip Bay. They also happen to be the only mangroves in Victoria which grow on a basalt coast.


Offshore there are areas of fine clayey sand and patches of seagrass. The eastern side has a complete set of rocky environments. There are areas high up on the shore that only occasionally get wet from storm waves and submerged boulders and ledges that lie below the lowest tides. The soft basalt rock has weathered into smaller rocks and pools that support a full range of tidal life. In between the clay and rock lie some small sandy beaches.  Underwater is a combination of rocky reefs, seagrass meadows and sandy plains. Sea urchins, rays, flathead and schools of zebra fish call these places home. Explorers should keep an eye out for stony corals that come in a range of bright and bold colours.


Port Phillip’s unique location in the middle of the Victorian coastline, where the cool waters of the west intertwine with warmer waters of the east, creates a spectacular showcase of unique marine biodiversity. In fact, over 80 per cent of marine life found along these southern shores is found nowhere else in the world. It’s a veritable biological melting pot; a stunning marine biosphere that features over 500 species of fish, 1000 species of marine plants and other animals, including Victoria’s state marine emblem, the vibrant weedy seadragon.

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Organ Pipes National Park ...more naturally monumental

Organ Pipes National Park ...more naturally monumental | There's more to Melbourne's west |

The Organ Pipes National Park, situated off the Calder Freeway 20 km northwest of Melbourne,  contains one of Melbourne's premier natural attractions.


The Organ Pipes, a set of basalt columns formed by the cooling and cracking of molten lava, are a geological monument and considered as the best example of columnar jointing in Victoria.


Come here and enjoy a picnic, see spectacular wattle blossom in spring, take a walk and be rewarded by sightings of Swamp Wallabies and Eastern Grey Kangaroos.

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Melton Botanic Garden ...more for generations to come

Melton Botanic Garden ...more for generations to come | There's more to Melbourne's west |

“Over time the Melton Botanic Gardens will become an important natural asset for our community."


Melton Shire Council has endorsed the masterplan for the future development of the Melton Botanic Garden. The masterplan details the works to be undertaken to transform the current Town Centre Park in Melton Township into a botanic garden.


Council has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding agreement with the Friends of Melton Botanic Garden to assist the group in seeking funds for the development of the gardens.


Melton Shire Council Mayor, Cr Justin Mammarella JP, welcomed the endorsement of the Masterplan saying it would help guide the future direction of the gardens.


“Over time the Melton Botanic Gardens will become an important natural asset for our community and will provide residents with a wonderful place to experience many different aspects of nature,” the Mayor said.


“The Friends of Melton Botanic Garden have already undertaken significant works towards the development of the gardens and this masterplan will provide further direction on how the garden will be developed,” the Mayor said.


The Melton Botanic Gardens is located on approximately 24 hectares of Council owned land on the corner of Tullidge and William Streets, Melton.


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Maribyrnong's Artist in Residence ...more collaborative community public art

Maribyrnong's Artist in Residence ...more collaborative community public art | There's more to Melbourne's west |

Maribyrnong City Council is hosting internationally recognised New York public artist, curator and arts administrator, Kendal Henry, to lead collaborative community public art projects that will involve local artists creating a variety of works for temporary public display in central Footscray.


Kendal has been working with local artists interested in collaborating to create innovative, provocative and exciting public art to celebrate the diversity and vibrancy that is unique to Footscray.


This is a rare and exciting opportunity for our local artists to not only work with and learn from an internationally recognised leader in the field of public art, but to create something specifically for Footscray.


Kendal has been working as a public artist for over twenty years and has initiated collaborative projects and programs in the US, Europe, Russia, Asia, Central Asia, Caribbean and Australia.


All Kendal's projects are a product of direct collaboration with local artists and are site specific. Projects began with a discussion about how public art can address and impact some of the issues present in the proposed site and how public art can be used as a tool for social engagement and economic development.


Kendal has completed the first phase of his residency and we eagerly await his return in September to install the artworks for Council's Footscray on the Edge: Public Art Festival to be held in October 2012.


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Footscray Community Arts Centre ...more inclusive creativity

Footscray Community Arts Centre ...more inclusive creativity | There's more to Melbourne's west |

'Footscray Community Arts Centre is the blueprint that all arts organisations should aspire to worldwide. Groundbreaking, innovative, inspirational, encouraging and most importantly inclusive. Creativity is strong in your hands.'
Charlie Dark, UK performance poet, musician and cultural activist (May 2010)


Established in 1974, Footscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC) is widely acknowledged as Australia’s leading centre for contemporary arts and community engagement. It's a unique place of learning and sharing where the dynamic between community, culture and contemporary art is explored and celebrated.


FCAC offers the diverse communities of Melbourne’s west a place and an opportunity for cultural expression, participation and exchange. The FCAC works with artists, producers, teachers, students, community groups and cultural facilitators to build communities which are capable, inclusive and creative.


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Reconciliation Week in Melton ...more recognition

Reconciliation Week in Melton ...more recognition | There's more to Melbourne's west |

Mark National Reconciliation Week by attending the unveiling of an acknowledgment plate at the ‘Scarred Tree’, located at the Melton Golf Club.


The brass plate will be unveiled on Sunday, June 3 2012 at 2pm located in the car park of the Melton Golf Club followed by afternoon tea for all to enjoy at Dunvegan Cottage at the Willows Historical Park.


National Reconciliation Week is celebrated across Australia each year between 27 May and 3 June. The dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey - the anniversaries of the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision.


This year’s theme is ‘Let’s Talk Recognition’ with a focus on how Australians can better recognise each other and recognise the contributions, cultures and histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


Melton Shire Council Mayor, Cr Justin Mammarella JP, said Reconciliation Week was an opportunity for residents to come together and increase awareness and knowledge of Indigenous history and culture.


“National Reconciliation Week is the perfect opportunity for us to reflect and recognise all Australians, and the unique place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within our community and within this country.


“It is also important to recognise and preserve the history of Melton and this Scarred Tree is part of that story.”


Melton Shire Council will also be expanding its Indigenous book collection within its libraries, acquiring an additional 50 new books. Some of these new acquisitions will become available for use in the libraries during National Reconciliation Week, and the remaining books added to the collection by early July.


For information on the unveiling please contact Melton Shire Council’s Community Development Team on 9747 7200.


What are Scarred Trees?

Aboriginal people caused scars on trees by removing bark for various purposes. The scars, which vary in size, expose the sapwood on the trunk or branch of a tree. Aboriginal people removed bark from trees to make canoes, containers and shields and to build temporary shelters.


[The picture above shows a scarred tree in the Pinkerton Forest, not the one at Melton Golf Course]


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Mainstreet Innovation Awards ...more unique main streets

Mainstreet Innovation Awards ...more unique main streets | There's more to Melbourne's west |

Three sites in the West have won Mainstreet Australia awards, showing growing public recognition of the unique culture and activities found in the Western suburbs.


Yarraville’s Pop-Up Park won the Mainstreet Innovation Award after Council transformed a section of Ballarat Street in Yarraville into the great outdoors by installing large planters, synthetic turf, tables, chairs and umbrellas, to allow people to come together, relax and take part in village life.


The street was completely closed to vehicle traffic between Canterbury and Murray Streets.

The Mainstreet Australia awards are designed to celebrate and recognise the people, programs and organisations that make our Main Streets unique.


“I’m pleased Council has won this award as it publicly recognises the unique concept and the effort Council and the community has made to bring some open space into the heart of Yarraville,” said Cr John Cumming, Mayor of the City of Maribyrnong.


“The community and traders in Yarraville worked together with Council to make this happen and the award is thanks to the efforts of the whole community,” said Cr Cumming.


"The Pop-Up Park has been a resounding success with the community and full credit to the businesses along Ballarat Road for their support during the months that the park was in place," said Cr Martin Zakharov, Sheoak Ward Councillor.


"The transformation of a busy street into a pedestrian-only pop-up park is park of a growing move to challenge car-only shopping precincts across Australia," said Cr Zakharov.


Other sites in the West to win were St Albans Lunar Festival (Best initiative with No Special Rate) and La PasseggArta Art in Window Union Road Pascoe Vale (Best Initiative with Special Rate Program Under $100,000).


For more information about the Mainstreet Awards, visit

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Wyndham Community Food and Garden Swap ...more sharing

Wyndham Community Food and Garden Swap ...more sharing | There's more to Melbourne's west |

Is the lemon tree SO full that the branches are hanging to the ground, the basket is up to the brim with an endless amount of eggs, your worm tea overflowing or your herbs are taking over your garden???


Well then head to the Wyndham Community Food & Garden Swap. Held on The first Sunday each month, 10.00- 11.00am ... it's on tomorrow, Sunday June 3.


The Food & Garden swap encourages the community to join together and share their growing and cooking experiences. Meet and talk to people with the same interest, get ideas on how to grow fabulous fruits & vegetables.


So load up with all your excess and share with the Wyndham Community at Warringa Crescent Reserve (opposite Woodville Primary Melway Ref 206 F3)


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Greening the West ...more green healthy spaces

Greening the West ...more green healthy spaces | There's more to Melbourne's west |

Green spaces create more liveable suburbs, a cleaner environment and contribute to improved community health.


As part of City West Water’s Healthy Urban Habitat Strategy, we’re facilitating a Greening the West program to plant more trees and vegetation in the western suburbs of Melbourne.


Greening the West will explore how to improve the climate, environment and health status of Melbourne’s west through increasing vegetation and tree canopy cover through its suburbs.


All stakeholders such as councils, businesses, our customers, community groups and the Department of Health and many others will collaborate to make a greener west a reality.


To ensure the long term viability of the new plantings, CWW will determine the best water solutions which could include recycled water, stormwater harvesting or reclaimed water.


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Highpoint at Maribyrnong ...more than shopping

Highpoint at Maribyrnong ...more than shopping | There's more to Melbourne's west |

With over 400 stores to explore, ample car parking and family friendly facilities, Highpoint provides a fashion and entertainment destination for people of all generations.


And with even more of your favourite brands in-centre, Highpoint is your centre for fashion in the West. More than fashion at your fingertips, Highpoint is also a great place for entertainment. Catch a movie at Hoyts cinema, one of only two cinemas in Melbourne showcasing IMAX, enjoy the fun of Playtime and 9th Avenue or grab a bite to eat at any of the delicious restaurants located close by.


To celebrate our community, we're also committed to an exciting school holiday entertainment program and community events. We encourage you - our community - to become a part of the Centre through our inaugural school performance program "Windows on the West" and the famous "Star Search", which allows the youth of the West to showcase their amazing talent.


Highpoint Shopping Centre is managed by The GPT Group on behalf of the owners GPT Wholesale Shopping Centre Fund, Highpoint Property Group and The GPT Group. The GPT Group is today one of Australia’s largest diversified listed property groups, which through proactive management creates great customer experiences. The Group’s business is focused on high quality Australian real estate in the retail, office and industrial/business park sectors as well as funds management and selective development. The ability to own, manage and develop quality Australian real estate that lasts, that is distinctive and that becomes part of people’s lives and Australia’s history is a key focus for GPT.


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Brimbank Writers Awards ...more love of writing and literature

Brimbank Writers Awards ...more love of writing and literature | There's more to Melbourne's west |

The Brimbank Writers Festival encourages a love of writing and literature, celebrates diversity and creativity and promotes life-long learning. Festival events include a panel, interviews, workshops for kids, teens and adults, readings, storytelling and more. All events are offered free of charge. Stay tuned for all the details...


In the lead up to the Brimbank Writers Festival 2012, Brimbank City Council is pleased to present the Brimbank Writers Awards for short stories and poetry. These awards are open to all persons who live, work or study in Brimbank. There is no charge to submit an entry. Entries open June 4 and close Friday 20 July 2012.

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The Substation, Newport ...more cultural significance

The Substation, Newport ...more cultural significance | There's more to Melbourne's west |

The Substation is one of Melbourne’s newest and most exciting arts destinations, and is quickly establishing a name for itself as a vibrant artistic hub for the people of Hobsons Bay and beyond.


After a 15 year restoration process led by a small band of committed volunteers, The Substation opened in 2008 as Melbourne’s newest community-based, contemporary arts venue. It aspires to be one of Melbourne’s leading presenters of the Arts across all art forms, and boasts a 250 seat, flexible performance space, creative development studio, visual arts workshops & studio spaces, as well as the western suburbs’ most extensive gallery space.


The Substation seeks to establish a unique brand of programming that seamless brings together innovative community-based projects and the best of contemporary arts programming.


With a firm commitment to making the Arts accessible to all, The Substation aims to enhance our community’s appreciation and knowledge of the Arts through encouraging active participation in public programs, such as classes, forums, a schools program, artists’ talks and more, as well as exposing our audiences to challenging, thought-provoking and stimulating artistic experiences.


Originally used to convert electricity for the railways for half a century, Newport’s substation is one of the oldest in the metropolitan system, and also one of the largest.


Once operations at the substation ceased in the late 1960s, the building was left abandoned and derelict for 27 years. In 1996 local residents embarked on the enormous task of restoring the building and converting it into a community arts facility.


After 12 years of hard work The Substation  officially opened its doors to the public in late 2008.

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You Yangs Regional Park ...more magnificent views

You Yangs Regional Park ...more magnificent views | There's more to Melbourne's west |

The distinctive granite peaks of the You Yangs rise from the flat volcanic plains between Melbourne and Geelong.


The You Yangs is a fantastic park for mountain biking. It has two mountain biking areas with over 50 kilometres of exciting trails catering for riders of all ages and ability.


The park is also popular for its magnificent views, birdlife and for bushwalks and picnics

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Heavenly Queen Temple ...more community made cultural treasures

Heavenly Queen Temple ...more community made cultural treasures | There's more to Melbourne's west |

The remarkable transformation of a vacant Maribyrnong River site into a Buddhist temple complex began with a statue of the Heavenly Queen, the Chinese seafarers' deity.

Sydenham and Werribee train line passengers have a perfect view of the statue, which is just south of the railway line, opposite the Newells Paddock site.


There are more than 1500 Heavenly Queen temples worldwide, but this is only the second one in Australia.  At 16-metres tall, it's also the largest in Australia. The stainless steel, gold-painted statue was designed and made in Nanjing, China.


Heavenly Queen, also known as 'Mazu', Lin Mo Liang A.D. 960-987) was born in Meizhou Island in FuJian Province during the Sung Dynasty in China.


The six-building complex has been a decade in the making, since the 35,930-square-metre site was remediated and sold to the Heavenly Queen Society. When complete, it will include a memorial hall, souvenir shop, office, exhibition centre, drum tower, a secondary temple, bell tower, lake pavilion and extensive Chinese gardens.

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Victoria University ...more excellent, engaged and accessible

Victoria University ...more excellent, engaged and accessible | There's more to Melbourne's west |

Victoria University was established in 1990 and aims to be a great university of the 21st Century.


VU aims to provide its students with an outstanding and unique experience and to help make the world a better place through our research and knowledge exchange with industry and the community.


The origin of the University was the establishment of the Footscray Technical School in 1916 and we look forward to its centenary year in 2016.


VU is now a modern dual-sector university, offering qualifications across the full range of the Australian Qualifications Framework.


The best way to find out what is special about Victoria University is to read the strategic plan, Excellent, Engaged and Accessible - Victoria University's Strategic Plan to be a great university of the 21st century.


VU's mission, which emphasises engagement with industry and the community, has two parts.


The first is to empower students from diverse countries, cultures, socioeconomic and educational backgrounds to be successful lifelong learners, grow their skills and capabilities for the changing world of work, and to be confident, creative, ethical and respectful citizens.


The second is to find creative and evidence-based solutions to important contemporary challenges in Australia, Asia and globally, relating especially to:


- education and lifelong learning;

- health and active living;the cultural diversity and well-being of

- economic development and environmental sustainability; and

- the success of particular industries and places, especially our
   heartland of Melbourne's west, Australia’s fastest growing


As well as operating in Melbourne’s CBD, on two campuses in Footscray, and in other parts of the West of Melbourne, VU operates as a trans-national university with students in China, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and India.


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The Incineratory Gallery ...more visual art

The Incineratory Gallery ...more visual art | There's more to Melbourne's west |

The Incinerator Gallery is Moonee Valley's centre for visual arts. The gallery houses the City of Moonee Valley Art Collection and through our two main gallery spaces, we offer a curated exhibition program exhibiting work from established and emerging artists, as well as providing a community access space.


Built in 1929, this striking building was once the Essendon incinerator. It opened in July 1930 and operated until 1942. It was designed by Walter Burley Griffin for the engineering company RIECO and was one of thirteen incinerators built across Australia from 1930 to 1938. Of these, only six remain, with the Essendon Incinerator being the only one in Victoria.


With its blend of architectural influences ranging from the charming Arts and Crafts movement to the dynamic modernism of Art Deco, it is a building of major architectural significance. It is listed with The National trust of Australia, Australian Heritage Commission and Heritage Victoria. It was even included in the list of Victoria's best buildings compiled by the Victorian Chapter of the Royal Institute of Architects in December 2003.


In 2004, the City of Moonee Valley restored the unused building and created the Incinerator Arts Complex with both a theatre and gallery spaces. It is now simply an art gallery dedicated to visual art, ideally located just metres from the banks of the Maribyrnong River and close to Aberfeldie and Maribyrnong Parks and has been renamed The Incinerator Gallery.


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Shadowfax ...more to savour

Shadowfax ...more to savour | There's more to Melbourne's west |

'They don't come much more impressive than the Shadowfax winery at Werribee Park. No expense has been spared on the winery and the results look mighty impressive. The cellar door is spectacular with an underground barrel cellar and if you stay too long, there is luxury accommodation at The Mansion Hotel & Spa.' STUART GREGOR


Situated just 30 kilometres from Melbourne, Shadowfax Winery is one of Australia's leading wineries. With a strong focus on quality, Shadowfax has established an enviable reputation for its super premium wines and boutique style.


Open daily from 11am, the Shadowfax invites you to taste and purchase the range of wines on offer at the cellar door. The team of cellar door sales experts will provide an informative overview of wines and offer advice on the best food to serve with each.


If you are a lover of fine foods, then you will enjoy the range of wine friendly produce available. The delicious antipasto and cheese plates, and wood fire pizzas are available every day and perfectly complement the many Shadowfax wines on offer. Also, every Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon - 3pm, the cellar door comes alive with the smooth jazz sounds of the Paul Rettke Trio and other favourite bands.


Descend the orange spiral staircase to an underground cavern where all Shadowfax's fermenting wines are stored. In the depths of the barrel hall, you can soak in the atmosphere, savour the aromas of maturing wines and learn more about the art of winemaking. Ask one of the cellar door sales staff to take you on a guided tour of this stunning space.

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Melbourne International 3 Day Event ...more equestrian

Melbourne International 3 Day Event ...more equestrian | There's more to Melbourne's west |

An equestrian competition set to draw horses and riders from across Australia, will offer families, equine enthusiasts, trendsetters and lovers of the outdoors to the picturesque Werribee Park precinct for a great winter’s day out over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.


Conducted in the beautiful surrounds of Werribee Park Mansion and the National Equestrian Centre, only half an hour from Melbourne, Melbourne 3DE is not to be missed.


Spectators are well catered for with the dressage and showjumping phases held indoors at the equestrian centre.


The cross country course winds through the State Rose Garden and formal grounds of Werribee Park Mansion. Outdoor hospitality marquees on the Cross Country Course plus an enormous and expanded enclosed trade village, food court, educative masterclasses, and entertainment ensure an eventful weekend for all!


Join us to support the best Australian and International riders and horses compete in dressage, cross country and show jumping.


Tickets for Adults from $28 and Juniors from $11.50 (pre-sale) Tickets are on sale now via Ticketek, please visit


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West Hollywood at the Sun Theatre ...more MQFF highlights

West Hollywood at the Sun Theatre ...more MQFF highlights | There's more to Melbourne's west |

Maribyrnong City Council is proud to co-present West Hollywood 2012 at the Sun Theatre in Yarraville.


Our Festival City program aims to enrich life in the west by bringing great festivals like the Melbourne Queer Film Festival to our city," Cr John Cumming said. "We hope you enjoy."MQFF is proud to be part of the Festival City - a vibrant and engaging array of festivals and events which recognise and celebrate the wonderful cultural vitality of the west."


West Hollywood 2012 includes great drama with The Green from USA and Kawa from New Zealand, the fascinating Australian documentary The Cure, and the brilliant British biopic Daphne


There will also be a screening of the OZ Shorts – the best in Australian short film - SUNDAY JUNE 3 2012 at 4pm. OZ Shorts is a free session, tickets will be available to collect from the Sun Theatre from 3pm on Sunday June 3 only.


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Ride for Reconciliation 2012 ...more respect

Ride for Reconciliation 2012 ...more respect | There's more to Melbourne's west |

On Sunday, June 3 ride with us to celebrate Reconciliation Week.


Celebrating the 20th anniversary of Mabo Day, the ride will take in a number of local indigenous and historic interest points along the route.


In partnership with Wyndham City Council and Goldcross Cycles the ride commences at 9.30am from Selwyn Park in Albion where riders will follow the Kororoit Creek Trail connecting with the Federation Trail then west to Werribee, a distance of approximately 35kms taking around 2 hours.


It's a ride suitable for families and individuals. Both professional and novice riders are welcome. 


Best of all it's about reconciliation which involves building better relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider Australian community for the benefit of all Australians.


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Brimbank Park Playscape ...more fun for all abilities

Brimbank Park Playscape ...more fun for all abilities | There's more to Melbourne's west |

An exciting place for all children and their families to play will be established in the main visitor area of Brimbank Park in 2013.


The unique design of the playscape will be based on the natural and cultural heritage of the park. It will become a great meeting place for everyone, welcoming people of all ages and abilities.


Contact with nature is great for kids. Nature encourages children to use their imagination, and imaginary play helps children develop social, cognitive and creative skills. The playscape will also encourage children to be active and to understand and improve their physical abilities. All of these skills are essential building blocks for life.


The project is being developed in partnership with the People and Parks Foundation, Variety Victoria – the Children’s Charity and the Department of Sustainability and Environment’s Vision for Werribee Plains grants program. Funding secured to date has now reached $1 million.


A nationally recognised team comprising ACLA Consultants in partnership with Ric McConaghy Pty Ltd has been appointed to prepare the designs.


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Eynesbury Homestead ...more beautiful heritage

Eynesbury Homestead ...more beautiful heritage | There's more to Melbourne's west |

It's hard to imagine what our pioneering settlers were thinking when they arrived in Australia, a foreign and unforgiving land on the other side of the world.  But arrive they did to try their hand at life in a hard land.


The old homesteads of these settlers are dotted across Victoria's landscape, many with just a chimney stack remaining, others in serious disrepair.  So it was for Eynesbury Homestead only a few short years ago when the development of a township started around the bluestone building (c 1870) and work commenced on it's careful, and very successful, restoration.


Now the centre of the town and surrounded by an impressive Top 100 Ranked golf course and environmentally significant Grey Box Forest, Eynesbury Homestead is today a stunning venue for weddings, functions, golf days and meetings.  The Homestead Restaurant and Spike Bar Cafe are open every day of the year from 10am to 4pm, with Friday night dining running until 10pm. 


Particularly popular at this elegant property is the English pub-style Sunday carvery throughout Winter (May to September).  On those lovely warm winter days, when the sun is on your back but your breath forms little clouds in the still air, the carvery can be coupled with a walk around the self-guided heritage trail (maps at the bar) or a hit on the golf driving range.  Alternatively, settle in for a game of pool in the simply stunning billiard room with friends or family.


Cafe meals start from $10 and the carvery is $30 adults and $15 kids for 2 courses.  Fill in a postcard to get a free dessert - the sticky date pudding is lovely, but the chocolate mousse is sublime!


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Reading Room Cafe, Footscray ...more snack-tivism

Reading Room Cafe, Footscray ...more snack-tivism | There's more to Melbourne's west |

This smart cafe on the Victoria University Footscray campus isn’t just for the studious. It’s reaching out for the wider community too.


Reading Room Café showed the way to practice snack-tivisim. For eight weekends from April 7, the Victoria University campus coffee stop opened up to run as a pop-up-for-charity café, serving up the Reading Room’s classy campus menu for a good cause.


A campus cafe this may be. A cheap and nasty student dive it ain't. 


The building itself is modern and architecturally designed.  Kitchen boss man Ingo Meissner (of café Übermensch St Ali) elevates the Reading Room above your average hole-in-the-wall, with a literary menu featuring the likes of Fellini's Understudy: a romping salad of prosciutto, figs, parmesan, poached egg and a sweet paprika dressing. Not bad for a uni den.


The uni fraternity certainly likes its coffees; about 600 are brewed a day, with a choice of two blends for educated palates - Chompy from Sensory Lab and Small Batch's Candyman.


At weekends the cafe is less frenetic and the menu takes a more indulgent turn. The kitchen focuses on cooked breakfasts with cute names such as Eggs Hemingway and the Spanish Inquisition and there is time for filter coffees brewed by siphon and pour over.

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This is St Albans ...more delicious diversity

This is St Albans ...more delicious diversity | There's more to Melbourne's west |

St Albans is a myriad of cultures, cuisines, flavours and people, it is truly a must have experience. To this end Brimbank City Council and its partners the St Albans Business Group Association and the Catholic Regional College St Albans are combing to brim to you the "This is St Albans Program".


The program is in three parts and it will offer participants the opportunity to dine, learn to cook using Asian herbs and spices and gain a basic understanding of the Vietnamese language.

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