Deep in the heart of one of Melbourne’s fastest-growing areas, Epping is made for the locals and visitors alike.
Epping is located at the meeting place of different worlds. As inner-suburbanites slowly make their way further north into Preston and Reservoir, the pull of a less pretentious shopping experience draws them to the suburb’s well-appointed centre. For those on the outskirts of greater Melbourne – think Mernda, South Morang and further – Epping is the logical entry point to the big smoke.
Most of the action centres around Pacific Epping, one of the northern suburbs’ largest and most enjoyable shopping centres. Wide malls, plenty of natural light and 230+ chain and independent stores means you can spend a morning or afternoon shopping till you drop. And if your legs can’t carry you any further, take a seat in front of one of the 11 screens at Reading Cinemas Epping.
Shopping centre food courts generally leave a lot to be desired, but the outdoor restaurant and entertainment precinct at Pacific Epping means that there’s plenty of delicious options to enjoy, even after the sun goes down. Tasty options in the precinct include China Bar Signature (try the seafood buffet!), Groove Train (think breakfasts, coffee and wood-fired pizzas) and San Churro (fruit and churros chocolate fondue, anyone?). All are the perfect full stop to an afternoon or evening shopping, browsing or catching a movie. Another option that’s pulling the cool kids is one of the newest locations for Gami Chicken & Beer – get set to fill up on succulent Korean fried chicken, without having to trek into the city.
Outside of the main shopping precinct are a number of other family-friendly attractions. Try Winchester Avenue Reserve, Australia’s first park to feature interactive play equipment. Using virtual reality technology courtesy of the Hans Christian Anderson Play Gate app, your kids can not only get some exercise and fresh air, but also be amazed as fairy tales such as The Little Mermaid and The Ugly Duckling come to life before their very eyes.
If the weather’s not as conducive to outdoor playgrounds, a perfect all-weather solution is Kids Space. Let the little ones go bananas in this giant warehouse space, fitted out with all the climbing, sliding and hiding activities a kid could want. The place is bursting at the seams during school holidays, yet it still seems manageable to enjoy a coffee, catch up with friends and keep a (relatively) close eye on your little adventurer. What’s more, Friday evenings feature a magic show (bookings essential) to add some additional excitement.
If you’re looking to extend your stay in Melbourne’s north into a second day – or if you’re a local looking for somewhere to put up some visitors – Quest Epping has just arrived in the area. Not only is it close to Pacific Epping and all the entertainment and dining options it has to offer, but it’s also close to some of northern Melbourne’s key business areas, Northern Hospital and the Melbourne Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market. Whether for business or leisure, it’s perfectly-equipped to satisfy your short stay – or a visit from your loved ones.