Here’s our top picks for ways to enjoy a day of fun and adventure on Melbourne’s westside.
Opened in 2013, Alice’s Playspace [Errington Reserve, Main Road East, St Albans] was designed with St Albans residents in mind. Named after Alice Errington — the woman who, in 1910, gifted the land of Errington Reserve to the people of St Albans — Alice’s Playspace features a pirate ship, flying fox and a dizzy wizzy so if the kiddies are in tow, they’re sure to have a blast. But the piece de resistance, however, is the in-ground trampoline that is bound to delight (no pun intended). The playground also features beautiful native bushes and succulents, and it is accessible to those in wheelchairs or prams. And did we mention that there’s BBQ’s, picnic tables, plenty of shade and public toilets? What better way to enjoy a whole day out with the family!
Steeped in over 160 years of history, Overnewton Castle [51 Overnewton Road, Keilor] is one of the most refined and celebrated buildings in the City of Brimbank. Originally built in 1849 and extended ten years later, its Scottish demeanour now commands an imposing, yet beautifully refined, reminder of an era when Keilor was a major stopover for prospectors heading to the goldfields from Melbourne. Nowadays, as well as being used as a function and reception centre with accommodation, Overnewton Castle hosts regular High Teas and Devonshire Teas, as well as seasonal activities like Easter Egg Hunts during Easter school holidays, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day events, and a Mad Hatters Tea Party in November.
Image souce: Overnewton Castle
Bowery Theatre [Princess Street, St Albans] is right at home in the ever-expanding arts scene of St Albans and named after local legend Leigh Bowery who was born and raised in the west and went on to become one of the most influential international arts figures of the 80s and 90s. Leigh was a fashionista and his outlandish character led him to London as a young man. From there he made a name for himself through his sometimes obscure clothing and forthright attitude. He was a great influence on many famous names including Boy George and Lady Gaga. Diversity and bringing people together are at the heart of this community centre’s ethos. The STACC is a place where locals can come together and share arts, culture, bold ideas and not be afraid of judgement. It is a place for creation and freedom. The Bowery Theatre holds 200 and it pulls some amazing acts. Check the website to find out who is playing.
The City of Brimbank has plenty of pristine green parklands, but none as popular as https://www.brimbank.vic.gov.au/arts-and-culture/bowery-theatre-and-st-albans-community-centre-stacc [Keilor Park Drive, Keilor East]. Ideal for picnics, fishing, canoeing and bird watching, the expansive trails and paths make exploring the park a delight for all ages. The Brimbank Park Playspace is an inclusive playground, offering experiences for children of all abilities. Some exciting features include a ‘build-your-own’ cubby house area, a giant ‘Bunjil the Creator’ nest which is just waiting for you to climb in, and beautiful artwork and sculptures that tell the story of this diverse area.
Fancy stepping back into the ‘70s? If so, get yourself down to Sunshine Roller Skating Centre [38 McIntyre Road, Sunshine] stat so you can strap on some skates and roll to your hearts content while enjoying the tunes. If it’s your first time, all the equipment is available to hire, plus there’s a learner’s rink with qualified instructors to help you out — you’ll be up and rolling in no time. Who knows, by the end of the day you might even be ready to take on a round of roller limbo? Be sure to check the website for session times and booking details.
Image source: mammaknowswest.com.au
Sunshine Art Spaces Gallery [11 Sun Crescent, Sunshine] is a program dedicated to enlivening the Sunshine Town Centre, bringing artists together and offering encouragement and mentorship, while providing another opportunity for visitors to discover the cultural landscape that covers this unique part of Melbourne. You can book into a variety of craft workshops, connect with local artists and check out the latest art in an exhibition.
Melbourne has two national parks within 20 kilometres of its centre, one of which is the Organ Pipes National Park [Organ Pipes Road, Keilor North]. Go bush walking and gaze up at the extraordinary formation known as the Organ Pipes — a set of basalt columns formed by the cooling and cracking of molten lava about a million years ago. It’s believed that the lava filled an ancient river valley and was up to 70 metres thick. As well as the Organ Pipes’ ancient history, the park is also ideal for a picnic. Stretch out and enjoy the sunshine as eagles, cockatoos, rosellas and magpies criss-cross above you, and keep your eyes peeled for animals like kangaroos, wallabies or even a platypus.
The newly upgraded Sunvale Community Park [20 Neil Street, Sunshine] has something for everyone. Not only does the park feature a playground, skatepark, large grassy park and an edible garden, it also has a water play space to cool down on those hot summer days. The water play area includes large overhead sprinklers over a splash pad and a water pump leading to a small creek that twists around the main playground. With BBQ facilities also available, be sure to bring a packed lunch and spend the day here.
Image source: tothotornot.com
If you have little ones who love outer space then you need to blast on over to one of the most adventurous playgrounds in Melbourne. Buckingham Rocket Ship Reserve [Kororoit Creek Trail, Sunshine West] is perfect for the thrill seekers with a slide that’s two stories high! Never fear though, there’s fun for all ages and abilities with small slides, a water play area for the warmer months, a dual flying fox, plenty of grass for running wild, walking and riding trails, plus lots of shade and a small shrub maze. Be sure to bring some sausages and a picnic too as there’s a BBQ area and a large communal dining space, the perfect way to make a day of it.
All information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication.
Except as otherwise noted, rights to all photographs posted on this website are owned by Discover Your Own Backyard.