Located at the end of the Ring Road, Diamond Creek marks the spot where the town meets the country.
Its name is deceiving. No diamonds were ever discovered at Diamond Creek, but it was a hot spot during the gold rush. Three prospectors first discovered the precious metal here in 1863, and between ₤1,000,000 and ₤2,000,000 worth of gold was extracted from the mine that opened some years later. Once the gold was gone, orchards became Diamond Creek’s main industry and some of the land left after their demise gives this suburb in the Artisan Hills its lush good looks.
Drop by Piccolo Meccanico. Owner Mark Stewart is a coffee aficionado, who sources the best beans then roasts them himself in the store. Prop yourself up at the timber-top bar and order a coffee of your choice and some toast or a sandwich. It’s a simple way to get the day started right.
Get outside and enjoy nature on a walk or bike ride along the Diamond Creek Trail. Begin behind the Diamond Creek East Primary School, then follow the sealed, mixed-use path for 12km through to the town of Eltham. Of course, you don’t have to go all the way to make the most of the beauty of the bushland and spot some of the birds who live there. The trail is also the path followed by the Diamond Creek Parkrun group, which leaves Marngrook Oval at 8am each Saturday morning to take on the 5km course.
When it’s time for lunch, make a beeline for Tancks Corner. Set in a contemporary weatherboard building with a wide veranda and pretty views, the space combines a cafe with a lifestyle and design store. The menu, created from mostly local produce, is short but satisfying, ranging from toasted Turkish rolls to pan-fried Atlantic salmon with poached egg, pea puree and salsa verde.
If the candles, cushions and prints at Tancks Corner have put you in the mood for shopping, head to Fossick. This women’s fashion store has an eclectic range of styles, many of them one-offs, end-of-season pieces or samples. Stock is refreshed continuously and, most importantly, is always on sale. More well-priced fashion for all figures is on display at Gigliola Boutique. The service here comes with a smile and excellent advice, so you’re sure to come away with a new outfit you love. A bottle of wine more likely to excite than a new outfit? Head to Nillumbik Cellars, where you can peruse more than 2500 different wines and pick a slab from fridges filled with microbrewery beers, both from Australia and afar. Of course, there’s also an excellent selection of spirits, as well as a deli counter where you can pick up cured meats, cheeses, sweets and fresh bread to go with your bottle of Spanish tempranillo.
Art lovers will embrace the spirit of Cube Z. It was opened by three local artists, Ixia Black, Mirranda Burton and Melissa Haslam, who work with their peers to display work from the local community. It’s big difference? This gallery can be found in a mural-daubed shipping container located at the Diamond Creek Community Centre.
When you’re ready to kick back, head to The Windy Mile, Diamond Creek’s favourite bar, eatery and music venue. Choose a board of cured meat and pickled vegetables to share or tuck into offerings like calamari salad and coq au vin. If you think you have hidden talents, there’s an open mic night on Thursday, then bands and singers on Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons.