PLEASANT PARKLAND AND WALKING TRACKS
As you speed from the city towards Tullamarine airport, you’ll see that the large homes spreading down the hillside to the south of the freeway just before you reach Essendon Airport have a decidedly comfortable middle-class feel. However, it quickly peters out once you reach Airport West and beyond. This is the most northern section of that affluent bulge in the north-west, the suburb of Strathmore. The streets are leafy, the streets are wide and the houses are big, even if they are not quite all as imposing as the period homes of Essendon to the south.
There’s a mix of houses, some of them period stock from the 1930s and 1940s, with a smattering of Californian bungalows and the occasional Victorian going back to the days when this was farmland. But recent redevelopment has also seen numbers of older homes being replaced by well-built family homes.
The area has two good state primary schools at each end plus a highly regarded Catholic school, and Strathmore Secondary College is also drawing families looking for a quality state school education for their teenagers.
Transport is good, with two stations, Strathmore and Glenbervie, serving the suburb. There are a number of parks, and Moonee Valley Creek gets to wind its way free at this point through pleasant parkland, lined with cycle and walking tracks, before it is channelled alongside the freeway towards the bay.
There’s no denying the existence of the freeway, which divides the north from the south of the suburb, but the effect of the division is reduced a little by the fact that the freeway is in a cutting, with the suburb rising over the top – so driving along Napier Street from the north to the south, you can almost ignore it as you rise over the top.
LOCALS LIKE: Napier Street shopping village is buzzy even in the middle of a weekday, with old school cafes serving good hearty fare, alongside produce stores, smart clothing and homewares. Woodlands Park is strictly in Essendon, but with its lake, playgrounds and barbecue areas, it’s a favourite with locals walking their dogs and taking family picnics on the weekend.
Strathmore is a popular solid mid- to upper-price range suburb located 11 kilometres to the north-west of Melbourne within and adjacent to the Moonee Valley and Essendon precincts.