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This suburb within Frankston is where locals go to shop, dine and play.

Karingal is a Koori word that translates to “happy camp” or “happy home” and whether you’re a local or a visitor you’re sure to find plenty of things that will put a smile on your dial. Nestled between Frankston and Langwarrin, it carries some of the laidback vibes of its beachside neighbours, but here it’s all about the fun you can have on dry land.  

If your little ones love running wild on a good playground, take them to Ballam Park. Not only does it feature an epic wooden playground with slides, swings and plenty of things to climb on, it also features a toddler-friendly skate park. It has mini jumps and obstacles and is bordered by monkey bars, a basketball court and a rebound wall. Why not bring the whole family down for a picnic? 

For a touch of history, head to Ballam Park Homestead. It’s one of the oldest houses in the area and was originally the home one of the state’s early pioneering families: the Liardets. This heritage-listed French-style farmhouse has remained almost untouched since the Liardets occupied it in the mid-1800s. These days it’s home to the Frankston Historical Society who offer tours of the homestead, perfect for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts.

Hero and image credit: Steve Brown

Ballam Park Homestead

In need of some retail therapy? You’re in luck. Karingal is home to Karingal Hub Shopping Centre where all of your shopping needs are catered for. Make a beeline to Sweet Time if you can’t get enough of sugary treats or Avedis Jewellery for something that sparkles. Bookworms will love The Book Hub. It’s a book exchange where you can bring in your pre-loved reads and swap them for new tales to lose yourself in. Prefer to see stories rather than read them? The Karingal Hub has an onsite cinema to keep the movie buffs entertained; and whether you’re looking for dinner or an after-movie drink there are a plethora of dining options to choose from too.  

When lunchtime calls, you’re spoiled for choice. Head to Two Boys One Beagle for a cafe experience that wouldn’t be out of place in the inner city. Its pastel walls,  clad with cool sketches and watercolour paintings (including one of the beagle that inspired its name), will put a smile on your face as will its top-notch menu of tasty brunch and lunch dishes.

For a meal a little later in the day, Fratelli is the place. Specialising in traditional Italian meals and sharing plates, here everyone is catered for. Humble, flavoursome and lovingly-made meals are plated up here, with options including pizza, mixed grills and pasta. 

An eatery that covers every meal of the day is Momentum Cafe. Enjoy breakfasts like cauliflower fritters, eggs Florentine or French toast. Come lunchtime, it’s all about paninis, salads and falafel. For your evening meal, start with an antipasto board before the main event of porterhouse steak or crispy-skin salmon. 

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