Settled by squatters in the 1830s as they established sheep runs, Melton has grown from a small town en route to the Ballarat goldfields to a commuter suburb in Melbourne’s far north-west. It’s named after Melton Mowbray in the United Kingdom and is renowned for its impressive stone walls, as well as the annual Djerriwarrh Festival that’s famed for its carnival-like parade.
Things to do in Melton
Don’t miss a visit to the Melton Botanic Garden, which exhibits an impressive diversity of dry climate flora from around the globe. In addition to its remnant indigenous grassland and woodland, it’s been landscaped with areas dedicated to bushfoods, plants from Western Australia and species native to Southern Africa. Follow one of the themed walking trails while keeping your eyes peeled for native wildlife such as honeyeater birds.
Travelling with kids? Families can enjoy a picnic barbecue at Hannah Watts Park, which boasts a newly built playground complete with slides and swings. Also within Melton is leafy Navan Park, with its all-abilities playspace overlooking a scenic lake and adjacent to an off-leash dog park.
To the north-west of Melton is the Long Forest Nature Conservation Reserve, a 600-hectare protected area that’s home to more than 400 native plant species. You can stretch your legs along the Happy Valley Track or the Canopus Circuit, which are fringed by yellow gums, Werribee blue box and bull mallee. Eastern grey kangaroos and black-tailed wallabies are regularly spotted in the reserve, as are echidnas and koalas.
Getting around Melton
Melton is around 40 minutes’ drive from Melbourne’s CBD and 30 minutes from Melbourne Airport. Buses are the main means of getting to and from the Victorian capital and travelling throughout Melton. Having your own vehicle is best for accessing the surrounding sights.