Melton comes to life

Djerriwarrh Festival

Visitors will delight in a full day of free music, art and entertainment.

The annual Djerriwarrh Festival returns to Melton Recreation Reserve on Saturday 9 November.


The streets of central Melton fill with music, art, activities and food in celebration of the Djerriwarrh Festival.

Designed to unite the vibrant mix of cultures that call Melton home, the Festival will include a colourful street parade, live music performances, a massive bonfire, Market Stall Village, carnival rides and amusements, gourmet food trucks, a huge fireworks display and much more.

Catch Sneaky Sound System

Headline act of the 2019 Festival will be crowd favourite Sneaky Sound System. Other performances include up and comers The Vanns, Billy Davis & The Good Lords, and Tom Tuena Band.

Festival-goers will also find market stalls bursting with wares from local artists and designers, an upgraded kids zone offering a cove of amazing free activities, and a food truck alley serving delicious burgers, sweet treats, and more.

Did we mention that entry is free? Find out more here.


More reasons to visit Melton

The Djerriwarrh Festival is just one of many reasons to spend a day exploring this fast-growing pocket of Melbourne’s west. From urban wineries to historic homesteads, there’s a dingo sanctuary, river trails, sprawling gardens and much more.

Urban wineries

An easy 25-minute drive from the centre of the city, you will find a collection of urban wineries.

Witchmount in Bonnie Brook (just of the Melton Highway) is home to a winery, function centre and cellar door. Relax and unwind at the cellar door with views over 100 picturesque acres, growing and producing varieties such as Shiraz, Cabernet, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc.

A two-minute drive away you will find Galli Estate Winery, here you can sip on award winning wines at the cellar door before enjoying lunch in the adjoining restaurant.

A little further north, Russo Estate in Diggers Rest is a family run winery boasting a restaurant and cellar door. The Houdini wine is delicious and not without its own intriguing background story. Famous escape artist Harry Houdini made the first controlled, powered flight of an aircraft in Australia at Plumpton Dam in Diggers Rest, on 18 March 1910.

Houdini flew his Voisin biplane from a paddock over the land and gum trees where the vineyard now grows.

Dingo Sanctuary

Learn about the conservation efforts being made to preserve one of Australia’s iconic native animals at the Dingo Discovery Sanctuary and Research Centre. Set on 40 acres of rolling hills backing onto state forest, the Sanctuary opened just north of Melton at Toolern Vale in 2001.

Guided tours are available by appointment year-round, giving visitors the opportunity to learn about the work the Sanctuary is doing to preserve the species, as well as get up close to the 40 plus dingoes who call the Sanctuary home. Over winter each year the Sanctuary provides a rare opportunity to meet, cuddle and photograph adorable dingo cubs.

Visiting the sanctuary is both an educational and unforgettable experience.

Eynesbury Heritage Trail

For a slice of history, spend the day exploring the Eynesbury Heritage Trail. Here you’ll discover various buildings classified by the National Trust. Walk or ride the two-kilometre Homestead Trail which encompasses the magnificent bluestone Eynesbury Homestead, designed in Georgian era style and built in the 1870’s.

The Homestead itself is currently closed and is undergoing renovations for a new restaurant and function space to be opened in coming months. During the closure, the lawns of the Homestead will come alive every weekend with food trucks, pop-up craft beer stalls and live entertainment.

Continue on to the sprawling landscaped gardens which surround the homestead, discovering rare plants along the way. Other key features along the trail include rural buildings, staff quarters, stables and a butcher’s shed.

Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a hit at Eynesbury Golf Course. A championship layout by Graham Marsh with beautifully kept greens set against the magnificent heritage grey box forest backdrop.

Head out on the three-kilometre Forest Trail, past the Ornamental Lake, the shearer’s quarters and an original bluestone cottage which was built in the 1860’s.

Melton’s food scene

The food offering in Melton and surrounds is reflective of the diverse number of cultures who call the area home. Top picks include Melton South based vegan diner Oh My Greens, which serves up Asian fusion dishes. A local favourite, Izumi in Caroline Springs is the go to for affordable and tasty Japanese, while Houdini’s in Diggers Rest serves up authentic Italian dishes.

For a casual brunch or lunch, popular options include Aintree Café and Garden, Earth Village Café and The Village Foodstore. For an afternoon tipple, head to The Gamekeepers Secret Country Inn and enjoy a beverage surrounded by old English charm. 

DRY LAND Eucalyptus Arboretum

One of Melbourne’s newest Botanic Gardens, the Melton Botanic Garden has been established and is maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers. Features of the space include a Dry-land Eucalyptus Arboretum, Botanic Trail walk, numerous Indigenous plants and a plant nursery.

Garden beds have been created with a focus on conservation, indigenous growth and dry climate gardens similar to the environment of the Melton region. Visitors can come to the garden any day of the year, and groups can book a private tour.

The nursery is open on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s and every second Sunday, and features native plants, that can all be found within the Gardens (all available at very affordable prices).

An impressive and sustainable library

In the heart of Melton, you will find the Melton Library & Learning Hub. This state-of-the-art two-level building opened in 2013 and received a 5 Star Green Star accreditation from the Green Building Council of Australia.

The monumental building features sustainable design and energy efficiency and was built and designed to minimise heating and cooling costs. The Library hosts a dynamic range of events for young and old, including Saturday morning mindfulness sessions.

Xtreme Paintball

Bonnie Brook is also home to one of Victoria’s premier paintball facilities – Xtreme Paintball. Here you can choose from Paintball, Juniorball (for children aged 7-16) or Archery Tag.

The newest addition to their offering, Archery Tag allows you to fire arrows (with soft foam tips), which bounce harmlessly off your enemies. Sessions cost $35 per person and include a training session and unlimited arrows over 1.5 hours of outdoors and energetic fun.

Willows Historical Park and Homestead

A picturesque open space in heart of Melton with walking trails and native gardens, Willows Historical Park is a great spot for a wander. Bring a picnic and make the most of undercover tables and the BBQ facilities.

Uncover Melton’s pioneering past and explore historic collections from the early 1800s at Willows Homestead. Drop by on a Sunday between 2 pm – 4 pm when the homestead is open for visitors.

For further details on all of these activities, and more during your visit to the City of Melton, download the free Melton City Much More smart phone app.

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article by Amy Gardner

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