Where in Australia will you find the only suburb with the word ‘airport’ in it that doesn’t have an airport? Right here, in Airport West.
What you will find, however, is a small and lively suburb home to one of north-west Melbourne’s most popular shopping centres, Westfield Airport West. It’s the type of suburban mall that is definitely worth visiting if you’re in the area; start with coffee and a treat followed by a dose of retail therapy, then kick back and relax with a session at Village Cinemas. With the biggest blockbusters and plenty of family fare always on offer, it’s a handy destination for escaping the real world for a few hours – especially if the weather is a little warm (or cold) outside.
For a different type of indoor activity, get in touch with The Studio School of Art and see which classes catch your eye. While they specialise in student classes – perfect if you have a teenager studying art who wants a little extra practice or assistance – for more than ten years Mandy and her team have been inspiring creative adults as well. Starting your New Years’ resolution now might be a little late (or early, depending on when you’re reading this!) but if learning or honing a new skill is on your bucket list, this is the place to do it.
If you’re looking for something really artistic, spend some time browsing the wondrous Halsey Road Recyclers. Open Wednesday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm, there are more than 1000 square metres for you to explore. Lose yourself (hopefully not your shopping buddies) for hours as you search for that special piece of treasure. Many items are in their original condition but others have been lovingly restored by owners Todd and Ann Wren. Todd has owned antique stores for more than 40 years and his love of old and salvaged items lives on at Halsey Road, just 100 metres off the Tullamarine Freeway.
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Another hidden gem, tucked away on a side street (just a few hundred metres from the Wirraway Road exit off the Tullamarine Freeway) is Grandma Jeans, home to one of the most-loved rocky roads in all of Australia. Seriously, people love this stuff, so much so that you can get it delivered practically anywhere. In addition to the rocky road, though, Grandma Jeans is a perfect spot to stock up on all sorts of Australian and imported chocolates and candy, soft drinks and other assorted treats. Just remember to pack a toothbrush.
Of course, if you need somewhere to stretch your legs after all that chocolate, Airport West is home to a couple of great parks where you can enjoy some fresh air. Hansen and Etzel Reserve is where the local footy and cricket teams play, Weather Station Park Playground is one of the best playgrounds in Airport West and there are some big plans afoot for A J Davis Reserve, a huge expanse of greenery just waiting to be frolicked upon!