Anyone with more than a passing interest in art, architecture and history should spend some time in Banyule.
There’s so much going on in these north eastern suburbs, taking in Bundoora, Heidelberg, Ivanhoe and more, it’s hard to know where to start. Probably at the beginning, since this is an area rich in the history of Melbourne’s early European residents. The Heidelberg School was formed here, when artists like Arthur Streeton and Frederick McCubbin would trek into local bushland to paint. Many of them resided at Eaglemont, a heritage garden suburb designed by influential architect Walter Burley Griffin. It was his first in Victoria and the most successful. In Ivanhoe and Ivanhoe East, some of AV Jennings’ first projects, Beaumont and Beauview Estates, are still standing and demonstrate the developers’ use of cul-de-sacs and Modern European design. Melbourne’s first Olympic Village is still standing in Heidelberg West, and remains largely unchanged from the 1950s.
Leafy, open spaces are a feature of Banyule. With Plenty River running through it, there’s ample opportunity to enjoy it. The Plenty River Trail follows its course and is a great spot for walkers and cyclists to take in bushland views. Or you could go bird and wildlife spotting at Rosanna Parklands.
As gentrification moves steadily north, these suburbs are also attracting cool new eateries and stores that combine light, bright charm with a good range of locally sourced produce and products. They offer an excellent diversion on your journey to discovery in Banyule.