You’ll want to shop, eat and play all day in this thriving suburb on the west side of the bay. And you may just need to take home a few of its famous donuts, too.
Who was Hopper and what did he cross? The narrative possibilities seem endless, but the answer is far simpler. Stephen Hopper and his family lived in the area from the mid to late-1800s. They had a lane named after them and it crossed the Melbourne to Geelong train line.
Like many, they would have worked the land. Hoppers Crossing was little more than a general store until the mid-1960s, when the attractiveness of these suburbs on the western side of Port Phillip Bay was recognised and subdivisions for residential development took place. Now, it’s a thriving community with amenities galore.
If you like your cafes sleek and breakfast all day, try Morris + Heath. It’s got apple pie porridge and chilli scrambled eggs, but there’s also the brekkie board for those who can’t work out what they want. On it is bircher muesli, a mini croissant, a slice of sourdough with smashed avo and a glass of OJ.
Ready to go and burn some energy? The whole family can get active at Jump and Bounce Trampoline Park. A huge expanse of interconnected trampolines — they go up the walls as well — let you leap, flip and perform all sorts of tricks not possible on solid ground. There is also a basketball section where you can practise slam dunks with the safety of crash mats.
If you’re feeling a little sweaty after all that bouncing, plunge into the pools at AquaPulse. While this is a full recreation centre with gym and group fitness classes, families tend to favour the pool section. There’s a 50m pool, a much smaller one for kids learning to swim, an aqua play park and waterslides. While the kids are zipping down the tubes at high speed, adults can slow it right down in the spa, sauna and steam room.
Image below: Tim Marcus
For those who love to shop, there are lots of different options at Hoppers Crossing. There are more than 300 stores, including H&M and Uniqlo, at Pacific Werribee. There’s also Village Cinemas in the mall if you need to take a load off for a little while. If you need to restock the kitchen, Hoppers Crossing Shopping Centre has a large Coles supermarket and a number of specialty stores and fresh food offerings.
Want to stock up on fresh fruit and veg and help others while you do it? Drop into The Community Grocer Market at the Youth Resource Centre on Thursdays between 3pm and 6pm. The idea is to make well-priced, healthy food available to all. Wherever possible, fruit and vegetable is sourced from local farmers and any profits from the market go back to the local community.
Melbourne’s got a taste for fancy donuts and Daniel Bartalotta, who bought his parents’ Brumby’s Bakery and rebranded it Daniel’s Bakery, makes 20 different varieties and sells between 3000 and 10,000 each day. His Nutella donut is by far the most popular, making up half of all sales, but don’t be afraid to buck the trend and try his salted caramel, cherry ripe and fresh cream and jam ones. Perhaps not all at once, though.
If you haven’t completely filled up on Daniel’s sweet treats, head to Squires Loft for a steak dinner to impress. All manner of beef, seafood, chicken and even veggies are flavoured with a special basting sauce then cooked on the grill. If you prefer your meat between buns then you can't go past new kid on the block, Between 2 Buns.
Whether you’re thinking dinner, a few tapas snacks and a glass of wine or a late-night cocktail, Martini + Co has all that and more. The smart venue has a contemporary fitout, including vertical gardens, and is busy day and night. Order a lychee martini and margarita, plus a few share plates — some oysters, grilled prawns and onion rings, perhaps? — and raise a glass to an excellent day in Hoppers Crossing.