As we transition into eased restrictions and return to COVID-normal, this August is the perfect time to rediscover your community.
Instead of listing stacks of events you could join or attend this month, we’re here to show you ways to enjoy Brimbank all year round (yes, even during a lockdown!)
1. Learn about Sunshine’s industrial history with a visit to the H.V. McKay Memorial Gardens
More like a work of art than a patch of greenery, the stunning HV McKay Memorial Gardens make learning about Sunshine’s history a walk in the park – literally.
Named in honour of H.V. McKay – an industrialist known for heading the company that developed the Sunshine Harvester – they are the oldest industrial gardens in Victoria, and the only heritage listed gardens in Brimbank.
Originally a private garden for the H.V. McKay factory workers and their families, the lovingly maintained gardens remain a key remnant of the early years of Sunshine.
Whether you’re there for a walk, a picnic, to read a book under a tree or maybe have a cheeky nap, these beautiful gardens are sure to delight, just as they delighted the factory workers all those years ago.
Where: 120C Anderson Road, Sunshine
Cost: No Charge
2. Have a royally good time at Overnewton Castle
As you continue your journey through Brimbank’s history, you simply can’t skip Keilor’s Overnewton Castle.
The castle was built by Scotsman William Taylor in 1849, in Victorian Tudor style, inspired by 16th century English and Scottish architecture. The spectacular venue is one of the most magnificent in Melbourne’s west, and is a popular location for weddings. Notably, the castle’s chapel was built in Scotland and transported to Keilor for the redevelopment.
Overnewton Castle wasn’t always a castle. In fact, it wasn’t until its builder William Taylor returned from a trip home to Scotland in 1959 that he decided to transform his property into the grand site it is today.
In the decade before this, the property was used as a stopover by travellers on their way to the goldfields.
Tours and High Tea are available to book online, but the grounds themselves make for a beautiful walk, and epic photo opportunity. And if you’re looking to explore the castle more, you can always book accommodation and have a staycation!
Where: 51 Overnewton Rd, Keilor
When: For information on events at Overnewton Castle, visit their website.
Cost: Various. More information here.
3. Treat your taste buds with a local feast
It’s never been more important to support local businesses, and that’s especially true of local restaurants and eateries. After all, you have to eat, why not help out your neighbour at the same time?
Station Streat in Sydenham hosts more than 60 eateries, and is just perfect for a lazy lunch or a great night out.
Deer Park Village is home to a diverse array of delicious food options, with authentic Vietnamese at Western Pho, great Filipino food at Lutong Pinoy, Malaysian at Chef Lagenda, and Middle Eastern at Roxy Kebabs.
For a classic option, you can’t go past a pub favourite at the historic Keilor Hotel (circa 1849)
Sunshine Town Centre is home to some of Melbourne’s best Vietnamese cuisine, some of which include Thuan An, NNB Dessert House, Pho Hein Saigon to name a few. As is St Albans Town Centre, where you can enjoy Vietnamese gems, such as Phi Phi 2, Quahn Vinh, Kim Long Pho, Fresh Chilli Deli.
These are just a few of the hundreds of incredible venues all across Brimbank.
Looking for more suggestions? Visit here.
Where: Various Locations
4. Go on a mural safari
Who needs the Louvre! If you’re looking to add a little art and a lot of colour to your day, there’s no better place than Brimbank.
Brimbank is filled with beautiful public art. With murals created by talented, local artists on walls, fences, and more across the entire community, a stroll through Brimbank is like a visit to a gallery.
In fact, there’s so many murals out there, that we guarantee you haven’t seen them all. So this August, take the time to pause and take in your favourite murals, and maybe find a few new ones, too.
If you don’t know where to start, check out this list of 14 must-see murals in Brimbank. Be sure to snap a picture in front of your favourite murals, and tag us on Instagram so we can see and share!
Where: Various Locations
Cost: No Charge
5. Take a trip to the Lakes Reserve
The Lakes Reserve has been recently redeveloped and revitalised with a brand-new playground, park facilities, and even a new neon sculpture. In short, it’s the perfect time to visit.
With fish-shaped playgrounds and a unique layout, the design pays tribute to the wetlands in which the reserve is located.
And floating out in the middle of the Lake, you’ll find a number of beautiful birds, and the ‘Eel Dance’ – one of the newest artworks to light up Brimbank.
The sculpture features a number of entwined short-finned eels, a species native to the lakes. The eels served as a significant food source for the traditional inhabitants of the area. Created by local artist Dave Jones, the sculpture aims to highlight the under-appreciated species and celebrate the vibrant ecosystem of the lake.
By day the stainless steel sculpture reflects sunlight. By night solar-powered neon lights illuminate the space, casting reflections across the water appearing as though the eels are swimming beneath the surface.
Where: Chichester Drive, Taylors Lakes
Cost: No Charge
6. Indulge your creative side at the Hunt Club
The Deer Park Hunt Club Community and Arts Centre creates opportunities for locals to get involved in the arts via classes, exhibitions and artists’ studios, as well as community arts projects, public art and events.
Until 12 August, you can head to the club to view a group NAIDOC exhibition featuring work from Brimbank-based, Indigenous Australian women – Bakindji women Aunty Jeanie Mason and daughter Teiahlah Mason, and Yorta Yorta woman Mandi Barton. In line with the NAIDOC 2021 “Heal Country” the exhibition explores the way Country sustains lives in every aspect – spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially, and culturally.
And while you’re there, you can impress with this bit of trivia: The Hunt Club has served many purposes before becoming a hub of art and community. The building been used as a base for deer hunts, accommodation for local workers, and then a research laboratory.
Where 775 Ballarat Rd, Deer Park
When: Monday – Friday, 9.30AM – 4.30PM
Cost: Various. For more information contact the Hunt Club via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: (03) 9249 4800
7. Head to Brimbank Park to do, well, whatever you want!
Whether you’re looking for a place to walk, cycle, fish, canoe, picnic or a playground to take the kids, Brimbank Park is the place to be.
The park is made up of a huge network of scenic walking tracks. The main trail runs alongside the Maribyrnong River, forming a circuit of 4.3 kilometres and linking to the Maribyrnong River. This makes it possible to walk or cycle from Keilor along the river as far as Footscray.
If that’s not enough, there’s plenty of opportunities for bird watching, while a walk along the Australian Plant Trail showcases the colour and beauty of the local flora.
If the little ones are in tow, spend some time at the Brimbank Park Playscape, which has been designed to cater to children of all ages and abilities.
To refuel, make sure you include a stop at the Lumbar & Co café for some of the best scones you’ll ever have.
Where: Keilor Park Dr, Keilor East
When: Every day. 6AM – 5.30PM
Cost: No Charge
8. Explore YOUR neighbourhood
It’s fair to say there’s a lot to explore and experience in Brimbank.
In fact, there’s so many things to do in our community that we’ve made a whole new website dedicated to sharing them – Experience Brimbank!
The website features awesome curations of all the brilliant year-round activities available in Brimbank (in fact, everything on this list features there!) but also provides super specific recommendations for keeping occupied within Brimbank’s many neighbourhoods.
Whether you’re a local, or just visiting, you’re sure to have fun exploring Sydenham, Deer Park, Keilor, St Albans, and Sunshine.