In Melbourne’s northwest, this thriving suburb has everything on its doorstep, from the airport to the Maribyrnong River.

There are two distinct attributes that shape life in Keilor Park: there’s a large population of Greek and Italian immigrants and their families (in neighbouring Keilor, historical market gardens are still in operation), and everyone, from kids to their elders, love sport and participate regularly. Driving around the suburb you’ll see soccer clubs, the Keilor Park Football Club — home of the Devils —and Keilor Stadium, where both basketball and netball are played. For anyone who’s contemplated joining a comp, this is the place to do it. There are a number of netball and basketball competitions for all ages and at all times. For those who’d rather bring their own team or fancy a game of badminton, there are courts available to hire on a casual basis.

If you’re not feeling quite as competitive, there are still plenty of options for getting active. Head to the Keilor Park Recreation Reserve, where there are fields for kicking the footy, courts for having a hit of tennis, plenty of trails for stretching the legs and a playground for the little ones. If any of your kids are into skateboarding, there are ramps at Packard Street Reserve.

Slow down and enjoy the beauty of nature at the Keilor Botanic Gardens. Covering 10 hectares on Stadium Drive, it is devoted to native flora. Taking a quiet walk, you’ll be amazed at the bird life you see in the trees. Best of all, it’s a bit of a hidden gem, so you may well have the trails all to yourself.

Stray a little further and you can get to the banks of the Maribyrnong River near Horseshoe Bend Farm and Brimbank Park. There’s a good spot here for canoeing and cyclists can join a trail here that runs along the river for 23km right through to Footscray.

When hunger strikes, and it will after all that fresh air, head to Pizza 500 on Fosters Road. This friendly neighbourhood eatery serves up pizza, pasta, gelato and coffee to eat in or take away. 

Any hobby enthusiasts will want to check out Traction RC while they’re waiting for the pizza to cook. This store has everything to sate an addiction to racing cars, buggies, helicopters and anything else that operates via remote control. There are beginner units available that are ready to go, as well as set-ups for pros.

Another dining option is nearby Salt ’n’ Vinegar Fish and Chips, where you can order a serving of whiting and chips, a couple of dim sims and a hamburger. Take them around to Thea Court Reserve, the first park completed as part of the Brimbank Council’s Creating Better Parks Policy, where you can devour your takeaway at the picnic benches while the kids run around in the playground.

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