There are plenty of things to do and places to eat in Bundoora. Ride the route 86 tram all the way to the end of the line.
For students finding their way to La Trobe University or RMIT, the route 86 tram that rolls its way up Plenty Road holds a certain catharsis. For visitors, there are plenty of places to explore, meals to dig into and adventures to be had.
Just past La Trobe Uni, on your left as you travel north, is the sprawling Bundoora Park and Cafe. The perfect family outing – especially if you want to avoid the busyness of Collingwood Children’s Farm – Bundoora Park is one of the only places in metropolitan Melbourne where you can get up close and personal with pigs, emus, chooks, kangaroos and llamas. You could spend half a day meeting and greeting some of the cutest critters in the city, and with playgrounds, a visitor centre and a cafe there to keep your sustenance up, there’ll be no reason to leave until you’ve met every single lamb, chick and joey.
If the weather is fine, spend a little more time in the great outdoors by exploring Mount Cooper, one of the highest points in greater Melbourne. At 137 metres above sea level, there’s nothing between you and the city skyline 16 kilometres away. Tie it in with a walk past the stunning Bundoora Homestead Art Centre and you’ll feel more like a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the big smoke.
Opposite Bundoora Park is the relatively-new shopping centre, Polaris 3083. Home to a few of your daily staples – supermarket, chemist etc – you’ll also find plenty of spots to treat your tastebuds. Vorea Polaris is one of the best, serving up everything from Coconut French Toast to a 350gm grass fed Rib Eye that will have your mouth watering. It also has a second venue further north, past the ring road.
If you’re chasing something a little bit more pizza-y, you can’t do better than Nat’s Place, just north of Grimshaw Street. Sure, it does a roaring home delivery trade (for good reason; devotees stretch from as far away as Preston and Diamond Creek) but pull up a table inside for a rollicking good time. Pizza, pasta and fresh seafood will spill over the side of your plate.
Stay on the route 86 tram a little while longer and then let your purse do the talking at Uni Hill Factory Outlets. From Birkenstock to Levi’s, French Connection to Peter Alexander, you’ll stock your wardrobe – and sort all your birthday shopping out at the same time – for a great price. Student discounts are offered by dozens of retailers, if Factory Outlet pricing isn’t already juicy enough.
If the prospect of heading back to the city with bags of shopping and a full belly is too much, or if you’re looking for a cheeky getaway on the north side of town, Quest Bundoora is the spot to rest your head. One-, two- or three-bedroom apartments are available if you’ve got the family in tow, or spread out in style in one of the new three-bedroom townhouses.