Nestled between the suburbs of Melbourne and the hills bordering the Yarra Valley, Hurstbridge is just 35km by car, an hour by Metro Train, yet feels like a little country town. It's a place where old weatherboard shops line the main street of Hurstbridge while towering white gum trees line the course of nearby Diamond Creek.
This historic hamlet is an accessible city escape offering unique retail, exceptional food and beverages and a chance to take long walks in the bush but not spend all day getting there and back.
Forget the name. Greasy Zoes is a beautiful and elegant tiny restaurant, just a few steps from the main drag, serves only eight guests at a sitting. The room is exquisitely hand-built and feels like a remote ski cabin. Chef Zoe Birch brings together a 12-course menu of hyper fresh and local ingredients brought to your table by her partner Lachlan Gardner. There is a zen-like beauty to the service and the couple recommends booking accommodation after the evening service to really enjoy the matching wines.
The aroma of coffee rolls down the street as the team at Black Vice roast another batch of green coffee beans. Order your choice of blend or single origin at the counter and enjoy it under the marquee looking out over the streetscape. It's busy, fun, lively, and a good place to meet some of the Hursty crew.
Step inside an active artist's studio at Forging Ahead Metal Sculptures. Award-winning artist Mel's home studio in Hurstbridge is where she crafts metal sculptures from 20cm, up to three metres in
From large-scale artworks to garden sculptures, birdbaths, water
fountains, wall art and more, you can visit her space and view
sculptures for sale in her garden.
Watch Mel at work or book into an Artistic Welding Workshop and build your own sculpture to take home - all in half a day
Along the banks of Diamond Creek is almost a hundred hectares of reserve, some bush, some playing fields. This includes Fergusons Paddock, a popular destination for families with children. It's a place to let the kids run, spread out a blanket, and picnic under a towering gum tree.
A family favourite, the Diamond Creek Regional Playspace (pictured above) is located at Diamond Creek
Reserve, near the Diamond Creek Bowls Club and the
off-leash dog park. The playspace is easily accessible from the Diamond Creek Trail.
The nature-themed playspace is designed for all ages and abilities and works closely with the natural parkland environment. Kids of all ages love the play areas featuring flying foxes, nature play and a cubby area.
There are also picnic shelters, seats, tables,
barbecues, and public toilets. Alongside the playspace is the Tram Café, operated by the Rotary Club of Diamond Creek.
During the warmer months, the Diamond Creek Outdoor pool is also a great space for the family to keep cool.
The last leg of the Diamond Creek Trail connects Hurstbridge to the Main Yarra Trail at Eltham and Melbourne's
trail network. The trail intersects with train stations and shopping
strips offering the European style of riding or walking where you can
jump on a train if you're tired or slip into a restaurant for lunch.
It is a beautiful journey of 11km to Eltham and then a further 22km to Melbourne, riding beside the waters of Diamond Creek and the languid flow of the Yarra.