Discover your cultural side in the City of Whitehorse. These eastern suburbs are a pot of gold, with parklands, arts venues and multicultural cuisines to explore.
If you’ve never taken yourself east and into the City of Whitehorse, you don’t know what you’re missing. From Box Hill to Vermont, the suburbs here offer so many things to see, eat and do. With the Burwood campus of Deakin University in its boundaries, and residents who come from countries around the world — in particular, those in Asia — there’s a huge diversity to the population and a vibrancy to the communities who reside here.
But what about the visitor? You’ll find enough to keep you entertained and inspired for days. If you’re looking to update your home in any way, start with the MegaMile Home Lifestyle precinct. It extends for about 3km down Whitehorse Road between Blackburn and Mitcham and boasts more than 265 businesses, making it one of the largest homemaker precincts in Australia. Once you’ve got the new sofa ordered and chosen those replacement tiles, it’s time to explore everything else on offer.
Box Hill is often the entry point to Whitehorse, since trains and buses all come into the town centre. You could spend days trying to decide which amazing Asian restaurant you’re going to eat at: there are dumpling specialists and places with all manner of barbecued meats hanging in the window, humble spots that only serve pho and others where you can watch noodles being handmade. And they’re all really affordable, so you can bring the whole family or gather the friends for a catch-up.
Inspired by creativity of the chefs? You’re definitely in luck, because the Box Hill Fresh Food Market is not only one of Australia’s largest, but also supplies a full range of authentic Asian produce — you can even visit the Chinese herbalist while you’re buying your bok choy.
The diverse population also means this is a hub for festivals. Lunar New Year, in particular, is one of Whitehorse’s biggest events. Box Hill Central comes alive with dancing dragons, traditional performances, fireworks, martial arts demonstrations, kids’ activities and, of course, lots of stalls selling delicious street food.
And while there’s plenty of hustle and quite a lot of bustle throughout Whitehorse, there’s also the opportunity for introspection. Quiet contemplation is the order of the day at the Whitehorse Artspace or you can discover your creative side with workshops at Box Hill Community Arts Centre.
Nature dots the district, with parks and reserves preserving the landscape for all to enjoy. Follow the walking trails through Blackburn Creeklands to observe the native fauna, or take the kids for a swing in the playground at Gardiners Creek Reserve in Burwood before meandering along the tracks that pass billabongs and bridges. Combine history with a stroll in the sunshine at Schwerkolt Cottage, a stone house built in 1884 and now turned into a museum.
Last but far from least, Whitehorse plays an important part in Australian popular culture. If you set your GPS to Pin Oak Court in Vermont South, you’ll find yourself on Ramsay Street, the home of Harold and Madge, Dr Karl and Susan, Charlene and Scott and far more characters from Neighbours’ three-decade history. And another piece of Neighbours trivia? The Box Hill Town Hall makes the occasional appearance on screen as the Erinsborough Courthouse.