Eltham main street old milk bar 1968 1800

General Stores of Nillumbik

See & Do

30 Apr. 2021

A little bit of nostalgia and a whole lot of neighbourhood good cheer. Remember the days when you made a trip to the General Store or Milk Bar to actually buy milk!

Today’s General Stores in Nillumbik carry the hallmarks of service that we grew up with, and they have retained the charm of laden shelves, and at least one of everything. The general store/milk bar is alive and thriving in Nillumbik and an essential part of daily life.

General stores in these townships have largely resisted the 24 hours a day, brightly lit, convenience store for the local feels that come from knowing the owner behind the counter and still being able to buy the basics at one stop. Country hospitality is guaranteed. The food is home-grown delicious and local produce is the real hero of the day. They are also the go-to for locals for a great coffee and serve as meeting points for the community. Just check out the community noticeboard for proof of the essential links between people these general stores provide!

Kids can still save up their silver (and gold) coins and pop in for a selection of mixed lollies that, if they are really lucky, they can still select themselves – remember ordering 5 cobbers, 3 lolly bananas, 4 freckles, 2 musk sticks and a chocolate frog all in a paper bag?

Add in a little rustic charm, some original buildings – some date from the early part of last century – and the preservation of some old-world signage and you have a perfect spot for photos – many a wedding party has posed on these verandahs!

Photo: Sarah Godenzi Photography

Post a letter, grab a bag of apples, buy a pie and sit and chill on the front step and watch the world go by. The General Store, nestled in the surrounding hills and pastures, is the pace of life you’ve been yearning for!

Kangaroo Ground General Store was established in 1891! Imagine the yarns that have been told there!

Where to find the General Stores of Nillumbik:

  • Kangaroo Ground General Store - 280 Eltham Yarra Glen Rd, Kangaroo Ground
  • Yarrambat General Store - 474 Iron Bark Rd, Yarrambat
  • St Andrew’s General Store - 10 Caledonia Street, St Andrews, St Andrews
  • Panton Hill General Store and Post Office - 586 Kangaroo Ground-St Andrews Road, Panton Hill
  • Smiths Gully General Store - 914 Kangaroo Ground-St Andrews Road, Smiths Gully