Visiting Boroondara

Visitors to the City of Boroondara enjoy the best of both worlds – easy access to cultural, retail and business centres plus multiple opportunities for leisure and relaxation.

Colourful markets, charming parks and gardens, a year-round calendar of events – our suburbs have it all and are just a few kilometres east of Melbourne’s CBD.

So come and explore the tree-lined streets, vibrant shopping hubs and green spaces that make up Boroondara.

Whether you’re in the mood for a morning stroll, a lazy picnic or an outdoor get together, Boroondara has some of Melbourne’s most beautiful established parks and gardens.

Our gorgeous green spaces are expertly maintained and provide drinking fountains, comfortable seating and clean toilet facilities. Some have on-site barbecues for users to share. Check out what’s available at a park near you and soak up a little serenity.

If you love to draw and paint, see if you can join one of the Town Hall Gallery’s Walk and Sketch tours of gardens in Boroondara. 

Want to take the kids? Select from 102 children’s playgrounds, including playgrounds for families with mixed abilities. 

Tracks and trails

Cyclists and walkers will love our off-road shared paths:

  • Gardiners Creek Trail
  • Outer Circle Trail
  • Anniversary Trail
  • Main Yarra Trail
  • Koonung Trail

We also have 'Walk Rest Talk' walking maps that show the locations of seats, drinking fountains, pedestrian crossings and toilets along some popular leisurely routes.

Playgrounds

Boroondara’s many shopping villages are drawcards for stylish and discerning shoppers.

Between them, Camberwell Junction, Glenferrie, Balwyn, and Kew Junction are home to hundreds of businesses including major retail chains, supermarkets, and epicurean fresh food and produce outlets.

You will also find antique stores; sophisticated designer clothing and footwear; speciality shops featuring unique gifts and home wares; and first class professional service providers including beauticians and award-winning hairdressers.

If the high-end shops aren’t your speed, consider one of Melbourne’s oldest and best-known markets:

Local accessible dining options accommodate friends with particular physical needs. Otherwise, search for your preferred cuisine in the suburb of your choice, arrange a couple of friends to join you, and you’re set for an outing you’ll all remember.

Afterwards, check out what’s on at The Palace, Balwyn, the Rivoli, Camberwell, and Hawthorn's Lido, and wind down in Boroondara’s elegant and art deco cinemas that screen major releases and art house films in comfort and style.

With so much on offer, you’ll return to Boroondara, again and again.

The suburbs that make up Boroondara are among Melbourne’s oldest: you can see heritage architecture on every street.

Consider walking one of the local history trails for a guided history of Boroondara’s Edwardian and Victorian architecture and historical sites.

Research the area's history, the history of your house, or even your family ancestry at Boroondara’s libraries. Consider making an appointment with a specialist librarian to help you get started – email Local and Family History Librarian. And check out the local Indigenous history.

See Research your local history for a list of local historical societies and an overview of the area’s history, recommended historical publications and other resources to guide your research into Boroondara.

 

Keeping active

Residents and visitors are welcome at Council’s four aquatic and leisure centres, managed by the YMCA.

All our leisure centres are conveniently located near public transport. They stay open long hours and have first class facilities and equipment. Check out the centre nearest you for their schedule of classes tailored to all interests and fitness levels.

Council-managed Sportsgrounds and sports facilities are well-used by local sporting clubs and associations, but many will have times available for casual use.

Private gyms and activity centres also operate throughout Boroondara.

Libraries

Spend a quiet afternoon in the company of a great book … or magazine, audio book, music selection, or documentary film.

Boroondara’s libraries in Ashburton, Balwyn, Camberwell, Hawthorn and Kew are all located on public transport routes and in main centres. You can join and borrow if your ID shows a Victorian residential address. Otherwise you can browse and read to your heart’s content in peaceful surrounds.

Our libraries open 7 days a week and hold large public collections of books, online resources and audio-visual materials. Resources in other languages include Chinese, Greek, Indonesian and more.

Take the little kids to children’s storytime; help the bigger ones to browse the children’s shelves for new stories; and use the library’s extensive resources to research local and family history.

Our library building, facilities and collections cater for members and visitors with a disability.

Boroondara Arts offers programs of events taking place in elegant, comfortable venues throughout the city. Get involved or sit-back and watch – there’s something to suit all tastes.

Our program of talented local and international artists includes performances of contemporary and traditional music, theatre, dance, or cabaret, and exhibitions from contemporary artists finding expression through multiple styles and media.

Search for events by date range, event category, intended audience, and location. Or search for accessible or free events.

If you want to experience the beautifully-restored Hawthorn Arts Centre, the Town Hall Gallery, or the gorgeous Kew Court House, each have individual programs to choose from.

Or find out what’s happening in the categories of:

Participate

Visual Arts

Consider also the Town Hall Gallery public programs including Walk and Talk tours of each exhibition and Walk and Sketch tours of gardens in the City of Boroondara.

Public transport

Melbourne is famous for its excellent public transport. Wherever you stay in Boroondara, you will have multiple public transport options (trains, trams and buses) to take you anywhere you want to go – and bring you safely home again.

Trams and trains go to popular CBD destinations and others throughout the greater Melbourne area:   

  • Trams: to multiple CBD cultural venues, St Kilda Beach, Docklands, Melbourne University, Etihad Stadium, and Olympic Park sporting complex.
  • Trains: via the Belgrave line to the Dandenong Ranges, to Lilydale (gateway to the gorgeous Yarra Valley), and to the CBD for other connecting services including regional destinations.

There are multiple bus services supporting the tram and train networks. For more information, go the Public Transport Victoria website.

The Boroondara TravelSmart map shows walking trails, public toilets, water fountains and public transport routes. The VicRoads website has many other Victorian TravelSmart maps.

Download TravelSmart map part A

Download TravelSmart map part B

Cycling

The Boroondara TravelSmart map also shows on-road and off-road cycling routes, on-road bike lanes, informal cycling routes and local bike shops.

If you’re a cyclist, consider downloading the Boroondara recreational cycling map to your smartphone or tablet. Then ride around with a handy guide of Boroondara’s off-road cycling paths in your pocket.

Driving

Car share is a private, membership-based, pay-as-you-go, on-demand car service. It's easy to join online and a great way to use a car without the expense of owning one.

Car share companies offer members access to a fleet of cars parked in designated locations across Melbourne.

Watch out for parking restrictions! If you are staying with local family or friends, you may be able to borrow your host’s Visitor Parking Permit – valid in residential ‘permit only’ zones. The Boroondara car parks map will help you find local public car parks.  

For current traffic information, follow VicRoads on Facebook or Twitter.

Boroondara is one of Melbourne’s oldest areas. It is located in the inner-east, starting about 4 kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD – a quick trip via public transport.  

To stay here is to experience the world’s most liveable city at its best. Boroondara continues Melbourne’s vibrant energy, restaurants and cafes, fashion boutiques, stimulating arts, and spacious parks.

Peruse the heritage architecture as you stroll along safe, tree-lined streets. Soak up the peaceful atmosphere of our many charming parks and gardens. If you have an engagement in the CBD, the 24-hour weekend public transport will bring you home safely, and with ease.

Thanks to the internet, boutique accommodation options are more accessible than ever. You can choose between hotels, converted mansions or local bed and breakfasts.

Search online accommodation sites by ‘Boroondara’ or your preferred suburb(s) – Ashburton, Balwyn, Balwyn North, Camberwell, Canterbury, Deepdene, Hawthorn, Hawthorn East, Kew and Kew East, and surrounding areas.

Wherever you stay, you’ll be spoiled for choice: regular, reliable transport just a stroll away; stylish shopping and dining; indoor and outdoor leisure opportunities for every age; artistic and cultural attractions; and the welcome of friendly, inclusive locals.