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The Western suburbs of Melbourne include the areas of Airport West, Caroline Springs, Essendon, Flemington, Footscray, Keilor, Melton, Point Cook, Sunshine, Sydenham, Werribee, Williamstown and Yarraville.

Understand[edit]

  • 1 Footscray. It has long been a working class area due to its close proximity to the factories and warehouses of Melbourne's nearby industrial centre. It is also home to a large concentration of the city's Vietnamese population and is increasingly a hub for the growing East African community, home to many immigrants from Ethiopia, Sudan and Eritrea. Footscray is also notable as the setting of Russell Crowe's breakout 1992 film Romper Stomper, which dealt with a fictional gang of neo-Nazi skinheads and their battle with the Vietnamese immigrants. Footscray is affectionately known by some Melbourne residents as "Footsy", "Footscrazy" and "Footscary". Footscray (Q5466574) on Wikidata Footscray, Victoria on Wikipedia
  • 2 Moonee Ponds. The heart of Melbourne's comfortable suburbia, Moonee Ponds is the home of Barry Humphries' character Mrs (later Dame) Edna Everage. The local racecourse is one of Melbourne's Big Three, along with Caulfield and Flemington. With a variety of cafes and restaurants, there is enough here to capture the attention of a traveller for an afternoon. Moonee Ponds (Q1586921) on Wikidata Moonee Ponds, Victoria on Wikipedia
  • 3 Sunshine and Melton. Two of the major suburbs in the outer western suburbs of Melbourne. Historically, it has been considered the working-class side of the city. There has been huge development and a notable improvement in the socio-economics of the area. However, these regions hold little of interest for the tourist. Sunshine (Q7641406) on Wikidata Sunshine, Victoria on Wikipedia
  • 4 Wyndham. A region and local council in the outer suburbs Melbourne. It is south-west of the Melbourne CBD. Wyndham comprises a number of suburbs and towns. The seat of the council and primary settlement is Werribee, which holds the largest number of attractions and services. Point Cook, Werribee South, Hoppers Crossing and Wyndham Vale are other significant suburbs in the area. Wyndham is the third fastest growing area in Australia. City of Wyndham (Q1502429) on Wikidata City of Wyndham on Wikipedia
  • 5 Hobsons Bay. A seaside area to the immediate south-west of Melbourne's city centre. City of Hobsons Bay (Q660298) on Wikidata City of Hobsons Bay on Wikipedia
    • 6 Williamstown. The main tourist town in Hobsons Bay, a suburb steeped in an impressive history. The town was founded in 1835, before Melbourne, and served as the city's main harbour until the turn of the century. Today, it's a popular seaside suburb with a nautical feel, home to a number of both historic and modern ships and more fish and chip shops than you could wish for! Williamstown (Q1012058) on Wikidata Williamstown, Victoria on Wikipedia
    • 7 Spotswood. Another major tourist hub, home to the interactive Scienceworks museum, which sits along its foreshore. Spotswood (Q1796979) on Wikidata Spotswood, Victoria on Wikipedia
    • 8 Newport. The area's bustling administrative centre Newport (Q14935251) on Wikidata Newport, Victoria on Wikipedia
    • 9 Altona. Another seaside suburb, and the home town of former Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Altona (Q443946) on Wikidata Altona, Victoria on Wikipedia

Get in[edit]

Map of Melbourne/Western suburbs

Footscray[edit]

  • 1 Footscray Station. The station can be easily reached from Southern Cross Station (on weekday mornings and weekends) or any City Loop station (on weekday afternoons) (in Melbourne's CBD) on the Werribee, Williamstown and Sunbury lines. If the train is not travelling via the City Loop, it is only a 6-minute train ride and most trains run express through the station before it, South Kensington. Footscray (Q5466579) on Wikidata Footscray railway station on Wikipedia

A number of frequent bus routes also operate from the CBD to Footscray. The 402 operates every 10 minutes on weekdays and every 20 minutes on weekends from St Vincents Plaza through the inner-north suburb of Carlton to Footscray. The 220 also operates through Queen Street from Gardenvale to Sunshine via Footscray, operating every 15 minutes on weekdays.

While Footscray is not connected directly to the city by tram, the route 82 from Leeds Street, 150 m from the train station, runs to the Moonee Ponds bus and tram interchange on Mount Alexander Road, which connects with trams to the city and north-western suburbs, with buses that run to the north-west and cut across the northern suburbs.

Hobsons Bay[edit]

By train[edit]

The Werribee railway line terminates at Werribee, with trains direct from the city. A number of other Werribee suburbs also have stations along the line. Check Public Transport Victoria for the latest timetables and service information.

Some regional V/Line trains from Geelong will also stop at Werribee.

By bus[edit]

The Werribee Park Shuttle leaves from the National Gallery of Victoria in the city, and travels to many Wyndham sights and attractions; the stops are the Werribee Open Range Zoo, Victorian State Rose Garden, Shadowfax Winery, Mansion Hotel, Werribee Mansion and the RAAF Museum.

The bus departs at 9:30AM (arrive by at least 9:20AM) and returns mid-afternoon. Bookings are necessary. Adults cost $25, 10-14 years $20, 4-9 years $15 and under 4 years are free.

By road[edit]

The Princes Freeway conveniently connects most Wyndham suburbs to the city centre and Geelong. For the Werribee town centre, get off at the Duncans Road exit-ramp and turn right, about 30 minutes from the city.

Moonee Ponds[edit]

  • 2 Moonee Ponds Junction. The Moonee Ponds tram and bus interchange is at the intersection of Mount Alexander Road, Ascot Vale Road and Pascoe Vale Road. The route 59 tram stops there, heading south to the city and north to Essendon and Airport West. The 82 tram terminates there, connecting Moonee Ponds and Footscray. Buses from the interchange connect Moonee Ponds to the northern suburbs, to north-western suburbs past Essendon, and to Footscray and Williamstown. Moonee Ponds Junction (Q19875726) on Wikidata Moonee Ponds Junction on Wikipedia
  • 3 Moonee Ponds Railway Station. On the Craigieburn line, it has trains to and from the city every 20 minutes. Moonee Ponds (Q6907731) on Wikidata Moonee Ponds railway station on Wikipedia

Wyndham[edit]

By train[edit]

  • 4 Werribee railway station. The Werribee railway line terminates at Werribee, with trains direct from the city. A number of other Werribee suburbs also have stations along the line. Check Public Transport Victoria for the latest timetables and service information. Werribee (Q7983586) on Wikidata Werribee railway station on Wikipedia

Some regional V/Line trains from Geelong will also stop at Werribee.

By bus[edit]

The Werribee Park Shuttle leaves from the National Gallery of Victoria in the city, and travels to many Wyndham sights and attractions; the stops are the Werribee Open Range Zoo, Victorian State Rose Garden, Shadowfax Winery, Mansion Hotel, Werribee Mansion and the RAAF Museum.

The bus departs at 9:30AM (arrive by at least 9:20AM) and returns mid-afternoon. Bookings are necessary. Adults cost $25, 10-14 years $20, 4-9 years $15 and under 4 years are free.

By road[edit]

The Princes Freeway conveniently connects most Wyndham suburbs to the city centre and Geelong. For the Werribee town centre, get off at the Duncans Road exit-ramp and turn right, about 30 minutes from the city.

See[edit]

Royal Hotel at intersection of Barkly, Nicholson, Hopkins and Droop Streets, Footscray
  • 1 Footscray Community Arts Centre, 45 Moreland Street. Non-stop art exhibitions and an endless list of music gigs and theatre shows. In summer outdoor film screenings take place on the banks of the Maribyrnong River.
  • 2 VU at MetroWest, 138 Nicholson Street, +61 3 9919 7043, . M-F 9AM-5PM. A community art space run by Victoria University, whose main Footscray campus is a bit further south along Nicholson Street. Features community and student exhibitions. Free.
  • 3 Trocadero Art Space, Level 1, 119 Hopkins Street. W-Sa noon-5PM. Small art gallery upstairs. Click through to their website to see examples from current exhibitions. Free.
  • Five Walls, +61421706205 - 0421706205, . W-Sa noon-5PM. Artist-run art space in the same place as Trocadero (above) Free.
  • K Road Cliffs, K Road, Werribee. An interesting cliff-face that overlooks the Werribee River, near the golf course. It's possible to launch canoes from the site along the river.
  • 4 Moonee Ponds Courthouse Museum, Corner Mount Alexander Road and Kellaway Avenue, Moonee Ponds, . Closed. The former Moonee Ponds Courthouse housed a museum of the local area, run by the Essendon Historical Society. In June 2016, a fire damaged the building and the collection. Restoration is happening, but the museum remains closed until further notice.
  • 5 Incinerator Gallery, 180 Holmes Rd, Moonee Ponds (catch the 82 tram from Moonee Ponds interchange to Stop 41 at Maribyrnong Park; walk north along the river then turn right into Holmes Street; walk a minute or two along Holmes Street until you reach the gallery, opposite a lawn bowls club), +61 3 8325 1750, . Tu-Su 11AM-4PM. Interesting gallery with exhibitions, art history talks, adult art courses, and workshops. Free.
  • 6 RAAF Museum, RAAF Base Williams, Point Cook Rd, Point Cook, +613 8348 6300, . Tu-F 10AM-3PM, Sa Su 10AM-5PM. The air-force base is still used for flying and training. Houses authentic aircraft in hangars, as well as numerous exhibitions and displays. Conducts free tours of the museum during weekdays. There are also options for pay joy-rides in old military aircraft. Free. RAAF Museum (Q4306366) on Wikidata RAAF Museum on Wikipedia
  • 7 Queens Park, Corner Mount Alexander Road and Kellaway Road, Moonee Ponds. A place to spend a relaxing day. There's a rose garden, a sunken garden, a lake, a cafe, and a 50-m pool open from November to March ($5.70 pool entry). Monuments include a cenotaph remembering Australia's dead in World War One, and a cairn marking the spot where the doomed Burke and Wills expedition camped on its first night heading out of Melbourne in 1860. There's a children's playground and an island rotunda, and if you follow the website link there's a brochure for a free self-guided local heritage walk starting and ending at the park. Queens Park, Moonee Ponds (Q7270791) on Wikidata Queens Park, Moonee Ponds on Wikipedia
  • 8 Werribee Mansion, Gate 2, K Road, Werribee, +613 8734 5100, . Nov-Apr: daily 10AM-5:30PM; May-Oct: M-F 10AM-4PM, Sa Su 10AM-5PM. An Italianate mansion from the 1870s, built by famous Scottish landlords Thomas and Andrew Chirnside. The building and its 60 rooms have been restored, and an audio tour is available. A café is available nearby. Paid tours depart Su-F at 11:30AM. Adult: $7, student/concession/child: $5, family (two adults and two children): $22.
  • Werribee Historical Museum, Cnr Watton St & Duncans Rd, Werribee, +613 9749 2713. Sa 10AM-1PM, Tu 10AM-3PM. Houses a collection of artefacts, documents, maps and photos relating to the Werribee area's history.
  • 9 Werribee Park, K Road, Werribee. A 10-acre park that used to be pastoral farmland. Includes fruit orchards, flower gardens, sculptures and wide open spaces. Contains many attractions, including Werribee Mansion and Zoo. Free. Werribee Park (Q7983573) on Wikidata Werribee Park on Wikipedia
  • 10 Victoria State Rose Garden, Gate 2, K Road, Werribee, . Daily 9AM-5:30PM. Winner of a global award for excellence, the gardens contain 5,000 roses in four interesting shapes. Roses look best from November to April. Free.

Do[edit]

  • 1 Werribee Open Range Zoo, K Rd (take Werribee Sth exit from Princes Freeway). Daily (including Christmas Day and all public holidays) 9AM-5PM, entry closes at 3:30PM. Sa Su during Jan-Feb open till 9PM. Safari bus tours (50 minute) begin 10:30AM-3:40PM (Jan Feb: Sa Su until 7:40PM). An open range park with animals from the grasslands of Africa, Asia, North America and Australia. $24.80 adult, $12.40 4-15 years. Werribee Open Range Zoo (Q14935316) on Wikidata Werribee Open Range Zoo on Wikipedia
  • 2 Moonee Valley Racecourse, McPherson Street, Moonee Ponds, toll-free: 1300 843 825, . See website for race meeting dates and times. One of Melbourne's Big Three horse racing venues, there are several race meetings a month in the busy season from September to March. The famous Cox Plate weight-for-age race is run here in late October each year Most general admission tickets $20, GA for Cox Plate $55.
  • 3 Moonee Ponds Clocktower Centre, 750 Mount Alexander Road, Moonee Ponds, +61 3 9243 9191, . Performing arts centre including drama, dance, music performances and movie screenings.

Buy[edit]

Downtown Footscray has a great community feel, with a dozen streets filled with small businesses. As well as the listings below, Footscray also has a number of interesting shops selling traditional African clothing, art and hair products. You can also find several large, over stocked $2 style shops, packed with weird Chinese imports, cheap plastic toys and household goods

While far from being one of Melbourne's shopping destinations, Footscray houses two large markets:

  • 1 Footscray Market, 18 Irving Street, +61 3 9687 1205, . Tu W 7AM-4PM, Th 7AM-6PM, F 7AM-7PM, Sa 7AM-5PM; closed Su M. Footscray Market is a fresh produce, meat, poultry and seafood market, catering particularly to the various ethnicities and local restaurants. There's also eateries, nut and coffee stalls, tobacconists and a few variety shops. It has the reputation as one of the cheapest places in Melbourne to shop so if you're cooking for yourself it's definitely worth a look. Or just wander around and enjoy the sights and sounds of business going on around you.
  • 2 Little Saigon, 63 Nicholson Street. M-Sa 9AM-7PM, Su 9AM-6PM. Little Saigon is another large market. It opened in 1992 to cater to the growing Asian population, but now has customers from all backgrounds. Little Saigon is noisy and crowded, with a wide array of tropical fruits and Asian produce.
  • 3 Konjo African Craft, 87 Irving Street, +61 3 9689 8185. Store selling Ethiopian food and crafts: spices, flours, raw and roasted coffee, pots, wood craft, clothing and jewellery. Also has a cafe.
  • 4 Pacific Werribee (formally Werribee Plaza) (on the corner of Heaths and Derrimut Road in Hoppers Crossing, approximately 30 minutes from the Central Business District). A variety of specialty item stores including mens and ladies fashion, banks, beauty and food stores. Has over 150 stores including a 10-screen cinema. Werribee Plaza (Q7983576) on Wikidata Pacific Werribee on Wikipedia

Eat[edit]

Like Victoria Street in Richmond, Hopkins Street running through the heart of Footscray is home to a number of very cheap Vietnamese restaurants and noodle shops.

The area centred on the Footscray Hub has become a Little Ethiopia of sorts, and Nicholson Street in particular is lined with African cafes and restaurants, mostly serving traditional Habesha cuisine (that of Ethiopia and Eritrea), characterized by stews and curries dished up on layers of flat bread called injera. Very tasty and ridiculously cheap.

For many more ideas about eating in Footscray than are listed here, the Footscray Food Blog has five years' worth of love for the inner West.

  • 1 Cafe Lalibela, 91 Irving Street, +61 3 9687 0300. Daily 11AM-10PM. Probably the best Ethiopian cuisine in the area, and not a main course over $12. Served in the traditional custom of sharing, the food is poured on layers of injera (flat, sour bread) covering one big plate to be shared by all at the table.
  • 2 African Town Cafe, 161 Nicholson Street, +61 3 9689 9660. More Ethiopian cuisine, while local regulars pop in and out for a chat over excellent $2 Ethiopian coffee. All main courses $10.
  • 3 Ras Dashen, 121 Nicholson Street, +61 3 9687 3293. M-F 11:30AM-8:30PM, Sa Su 12:30PM- 8:30PM. A whole baked fish for $13, beans and egg in a mild stew for $8, nice dark "Amber Beer" from Ethiopia like a porter or mild stout.
  • 4 Dumplings and More, 96 Hopkins Street, +61 3 3 9689 2165. Daily 11AM-9:30PM. Great entrees. The main courses not particularly cheap, but the entrees and dumplings are dirt cheap.
  • 5 Olympic Doughnuts, Footscray Railway Station, near Irving Street entrance. Sold in an old caravan at Footscray station, the best in Melbourne.
  • Konjo Cafe Footscray, 87 Irving Street, +61 3 3 9689 8185. M-Sa 8:30AM-4:30PM, Su 9:30AM-4:30PM. Same location as Konjo African Craft in the "Buy" section above. Features a $15 all-you-can-eat buffet lunch W-Sa (vegan on W and Th).
  • Breizoz, 139 Nelson Pl, +61 3 93972300. This French crêperie is so authentic that even the waitstaff are all natives. In addition to sweet crepes and tart Brittany cider, they offer savoury galettes with an array of toppings; for something different, try the boudin noir (blood sausage) with apple sauce. The building itself is worth a tour, as it was built as Williamstown's first church and then converted into a bank before being repurposed as a restaurant.

Drink[edit]

  • 1 The Station Hotel, 59 Napier St, +61 3 9810 0085. Daily 11AM to late. Footscray - Opposite the Town Hall. Casual bar, indoor and outdoor seating, coffee. One of the "Top five places to eat steak" as judged by The Age Good Food Guide Dining Companion 2010.

Sleep[edit]

  • 1 Plough Hotel, 333 Barkly Street (Corner Barkly St and Geelong Rd), +61 3 96872070. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM. Above a large pub. $120-165 per night.
  • Bed and Breakfast at Stephanie's, 154-160 Fergsuon St (300 metres west of Williamstown Town Hall). Has B&B accommodation and self-contained accommodation. Great value romantic get-a-way with a good cooked breakfast and quiet and comfy rooms with ensuite. Whilst staying there you can use of their bikes, helmets and locks to explore the many waterfront bike paths at no charge.
  • 2 Mansion Hotel & Spa at Werribee Park, Gate 2, K Road, Werribee, +61 3 9731 4000.

Stay safe[edit]

Like the northern suburbs, the western suburbs have been associated with high crime rates, poverty, and high levels of drug use. Whilst inner-city suburbs such as Yarraville have gentrified, crime is still higher in this area of Melbourne than other areas. You should take care of your belongings, avoid being out and night, and stick to the commercial areas of these suburbs.

Like much of the western suburbs of Melbourne, the Footscray area has a large volume of heavy vehicle traffic. Coupled with the many narrow roads in the area this can be especially hazardous to cyclists.

Connect[edit]

This district travel guide to Western suburbs is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.