The north-western Melbourne suburb of Strathmore may be under-the-radar, and that’s exactly how the locals like it.
Boasting an enviable location, just 11 kilometres from the CBD (bordering Essendon and Pascoe Vale), Strathmore offers inner-city convenience but with the safety and family amenity of a tight-knit neighbourhood.
The evidence is in the data, which shows a whopping 50 per cent* of Strathmore residents to be established families or couples (with parents aged 45-54) or older families (with parents aged 55-64). These figures indicate an abundance of households that likely established themselves in Strathmore decades ago, and never saw reason to leave.
It’s not hard to see why; since the opening of the Essendon DFO (Direct Factory Outlet) shopping centre in 2005 on Strathmore’s fringe, the suburb has gone from strength to strength.
Numerous new businesses have been introduced around the suburb’s heart on Bulla Road, and the introduction of new apartment developments are expected to boost the family demographic even further.
For those new to the area, ensure no afternoon, weekend or school holiday goes unfilled with this guide to the best Strathmore spots for family fun.
One of Melbourne’s favourite children’s attractions, Bounce, is located just a few minutes’ drive from Strathmore. This indoor trampoline park includes Australia’s biggest trampoline plus areas for basketball dunking, dodgeball and more.
Kids and adults alike will love jumping around Bounce’s heritage-listed aircraft hangar site while watching planes take off and land through the windows at Essendon Fields airport next door.
Like any great family suburb, Strathmore is also home to several organised sport clubs and facilities for children to get involved with, including their own tennis, cricket, football (with juniors, men and women leagues) and netball clubs.
Major AFL players recruited from Strathmore Football Club over the years include Scott West (Western Bulldogs), Ryan O'Keefe (Sydney Swans) and Jackson Trengove (Port Adelaide).
Shop for back-to-school bargains or everyday conveniences with ease at DFO Essendon, comprising more than 105 retailers from Adidas to JB HI-FI.
The centre is part of Essendon Fields, located just a five-minute walk over the Strathmore border from the upcoming boutique apartment development, Dublin.
Also in Essendon Fields is Homemaker Hub and LaManna – a 10,000 square metre gourmet supermarket owned by a local Italian family that has attracted a cult-like following. Here you’ll find fresh produce and exclusively stocked products, along with a family-friendly cafe serving quality breakfast and lunch dishes.
Westfield Airport West is also close to Strathmore, accessed via bus route 501 which runs through the suburb or a short car ride.
Strathmore has a variety of parks for exercising or simply spending time in nature.
The suburb lays claim to part of the Moonee Ponds Creek Linear Reserve and the famous Moonee Ponds Creek Trail – the shared pedestrian and bicycle path running from Docklands to beyond Tullamarine Airport. This 25 kilometre trail is largely flat, making it an easy ride for the whole family to enjoy.
Other open spaces in Strathmore include Napier Park (a 10-acre bushland park with native flora), Johnston and Lebanon Reserves (both with ovals and playground for young children) and Moonee Valley's first ever dog park, Alf Pearce Park. Alf Pearce features a permanent fenced area for the area’s many dogs to socialise and and play off-leash.
Woodlands Park in Essendon is also only a short walk away – a great sport for barbecuing or enjoying a kick of the footy on the open space.
*according to realestate.com.au