It was complicated and political, but ultimately, satisfying. The push by locals to establish Manor Lakes as a suburb in its own right had been going on for four years, in an attempt to sit independently alongside neighbouring Wyndham Vale, rather than as part of the larger suburb. In April 2015, residents were told that, finally, their wish would be granted, only for state parliament confusion to result in a reversal that, in the end, was reversed again. The end result was that, in 2016, Manor Lakes became a standalone suburb.
Of course, before Manor Lakes started to turn up in official records, the area was already home to a vibrant and passionate community. Sun-soaked playgrounds are dotted around the suburb, perfect for that daytrip with the little ones. With so much of the area’s infrastructure brand new or just a few years old, it means that cleanliness, accessibility and best-practice design have been prioritised.
Lollipop Hill Park is a perfect example of these parks, having opened in 2016 and becoming a beacon for young families over the years since. Flying fox, climbing frames, a basketball half court and more are all there to encourage plenty of active play, so if you’re looking for a way to get the kids out of the house and to an undiscovered pocket of Melbourne, you’re all set.
Image credit: heraldsun.com.au
Manor Lakes Central is a one-stop shop for locals, with traders like Russell Family Meats – specialising in scrumptious sausages perfect for a barbecue – and other eateries waiting to keep you sustained as your exploration of the area continues. Planning is in the works to triple the size – yep, triple – of Manor Lakes Central, ensuring it’s not only worthy of a visit when you spend some time in Manor Lakes, but cementing its spot as a hub for this close-knit community.
Getting to and from Manor Lakes is much easier than other suburbs in Melbourne’s outer west. The establishment of the Regional Rail Link in 2015 saw the construction of Wyndham Vale Train Station; although it carries the name Wyndham Vale it is actually located within the Manor Lakes boundary, and for commuters – and visitors – it’s a cruisy 35-minute train trip from Southern Cross Station into the city centre.
Of course, no self-respecting Melbourne suburb is complete without a favourite spot to eat. In Manor Lakes, it’s a spot called Cody’s Café, run by local stalwart Chris Cody. With an eclectic and always-fresh menu catering to his (mostly) local clientele, Cody has made a business out of knowing what his community want when they go out for a bite to eat, so take your lead from the locals and pop by for a coffee or something more substantial. A word of warning, though, the Scorpion Burger has destroyed the mouths of braver folk than you, but it’s a challenge worth embracing if you’re craving some heat.