Once, not so long ago, it sat on the outskirts of Melbourne. Now Roxburgh Park is a thriving community full of flavour and fun.
Roxburgh Park as we now know it has a relatively short history, but the story of the suburb stretches back to the mid-nineteenth century. The area’s first house, originally known as ‘Ruthvenfield’ was built in the 1850s and renamed by Thomas Brunton, a flour miller, in 1895 as ‘Roxburgh Park’. Fun fact: he named it after his birthplace in Roxburgh, Scotland. Over 100 years later, after the property was donated to the Hume City Council, Roxburgh Park Homestead now operates as a community and learning centre, one of the focal points of the suburb.
Did trampolines exist in the 1850s, when Ruthvenfield was established? The short answer is no, but you could imagine the early settlers’ delight if they wandered into Airborn Indoor Trampoline Park. Bouncing across 1500 square metres of custom-made trampolines that adjoin the floors and walls, they would no doubt love learning to play dodgeball, falling into the foam pits and practicing their slam dunks. Of course, they would probably hold their kids’ birthday parties here too – it’s the perfect destination to do just that.
If those same early settlers preferred to keep their feet on land, they might prefer to spend their afternoons at Lollipops Playland. Purpose-built for children – their motto is ‘where kids can be kids’ – Lollipops is the perfect place to escape the weather outside. From babies to toddlers, young kids to teenagers and the child in all of us, there are tunnels to be explored, walls to be climbed and ball pits to flail around in.
Another change that’s occurred in Roxburgh Park since its inception in the 19th century, and even since its establishment as a suburb in the mid-1990s, is the multicultural community that now calls it home. The most recent census shows that Turkish, English, Italian and Iraqi families make up a sizeable portion of the residents, and those communities all contribute to a vibrant food scene.
Tiba’s has established a name for itself as one of Melbourne’s best Lebanese restaurants through its prominent locations in Carlton and East Brunswick, but the Roxburgh Park outpost is as delicious as any. What’s more, the Roxburgh Park store offers fragrant Zaatar, Shanglishe and Sujuk, as well as one of the tastiest – and also, with a Big Breakfast Plate for $14, most affordable – breakfasts going around.
Other must-visit foodie hot spots are Al Tanoor, which opened in 2018 and takes a modern approach to serving Iraqi and Middle Eastern dishes, Zeit with Zaytoon for a melt-in-your-mouth lunch option, and Kasr Sweets (just around the corner) for the sweetest nightcap in Roxburgh Park.
Opposite Roxburgh Park Train Station sits Corner Store Espresso, an all-day eatery sure to satisfy your tastebuds. From a commute-friendly coffee to a hearty meal (think sticky short ribs or waffles with more fresh fruit you could pick at the nearby Epping Wholesale Fruit & Vegie Market), the service is as quality as the food and you’ll never be short of a smile.