Take to the great outdoors in the eastern suburbs when you explore Burwood for the day.

Burwood was the name of a home built by Sir James Palmer in 1852. Then, the district was known Ballyshanassy and the homestead was surrounded by market gardens and farms, including one that grew daffodils. It was a quiet neighbourhood for many years, but an extension to the tram line in 1912 soon meant the population began to climb. These days, the suburb is home to Deakin University’s Burwood campus and its students add a diversity and energy to the family-friendly district. 

Sporty types should head to Burwood East Reserve, where you can build up a sweat with a game of tennis, a jog on the athletics track, or a cycle around the velodrome. You can also let the kids loose in the playground, where there are slides, a high rope ladder, flying fox, monkey bars and swings. There’s a small, shaded seating area nearby so you can keep a close eye on them. For a walk through thriving bushland, try Gardiners Creek Reserve. As well as barbecue areas and playground in its 2km length, there is an extensive series of trails that meander along the creek, past billabongs and over bridges. There’s also a trail here that extends through wetlands to Blackburn Creeklands for those keen on an extended trek.

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Majestic eucalypt trees line the fairways at Wattle Park Golf Course. Open to the public, this well-established, nine-hole course has sculpted fairways, city views from the second tee, and a creek that runs through it. The wildlife here is almost as big an attraction as the golf itself.

Want to do a little shopping? Burwood One is a centre with Kmart, Coles and Aldi, as well as a number of specialty stores and boutiques. It’s also a great place for a quick bite with Grill’d Burgers, Schnitz and Mochachinos all on site.

While dry zones that have been in operation in the eastern suburbs since the 1920s mean there aren’t any pubs in Burwood, there’s still plenty of options for eating out. Asian flavours dominate the area, and you can tuck into big bowls of ramen, bento boxes and rice dishes at Shuji Sushi. It doesn’t look like much from the outside but Mr Paul Thai is an excellent neighbourhood restaurant. The red duck leg curry and massaman lamb shank come highly recommended. If you feel like something different, Red Gum Wood Fired Pizza is a cheerful spot that serves up pizza with either traditional or gourmet toppings, as well as pasta and salads.

An extensive development is set to come to Burwood with the development of the old brickworks site. Construction on residences, a civic plaza, parklands and a sustainable mall — it’s set to grow its own fruit and vegetables, generate power and recycle rain and waste water — is due to begin in the second half of 2017.

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