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Top 10 Things to do in Melbourne Abbotsford

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Melbourne Abbotsford is a suburb 2 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD.

The Yarra River runs through the heart of the suburb and much of the original land was used for farming in the early years.  

As the years progressed sections of this land were sold off for residential and industrial development. 

The land that surrounds the meandering Yarra River has remained intact with beautiful river gums lining the banks.

An area that is much used by locals and tourists alike either walking, riding or boating.

Melbourne Abbotsford is filled with history and things to see and do I have divided the page up into the 9 points of interest for you to visit in the Melbourne Abbotsford area. 

Clicking on each link takes you to that section for more information.

Melbourne - Abbotsford Points of Interest

The map below of Melbourne Abbotsford, shows the points of interest that will be of benefit for you to explore.

Clicking onto a number will show you more detail. Just follow the link shown, for directions on how to get there.

Read on past the map for more information on each point of interest.

No 1 - Melbourne Abbotsford Convent

The intriguing and somewhat sad history of the Melbourne Abbotsford Convent makes for excellent subject matter for film and books. 

The land consists of heritage buildings once used to provide accommodation, schooling and work for female orphans, Wards of the State and girls considered by the State and/or the Church to be in moral danger. The large buildings were largely unheated and girls were pressed into laundry and other activities that involved long hours and no pay. An interesting history that Australia really need not necessarily be proud of.

The land surrounding the convent used to be used for farming and the Collingwood Childrens Farm (established in 1979) which borders the Melbourne Abbotsford Convent continues the community farming tradition.

Abbotsford Convent compliments of https://www.flickr.com/photos/avlxyz/2985779375/Abbotsford Convent in Victoria, Australia compliments of https://www.flickr.com/photos/avlxyz/2985779375/

The site now has become a community art and cultural hub, hosting various cultural institutions across art, music, food, community gatherings, textiles etc.

Markets That Are Held On The Convent Grounds

  • Supper Market (Every Friday evening in Summer)
  • Shirt & Skirt Market (Third Sunday of every month, 10am – 4pm)
  • Makers' Market (Third Sunday of every month, 10am – 4pm)
  • Slow Food Farmers' Market (Fourth Saturday of every month, 8am – 1pm)
Collage of images from the Abbotsford ConventAbbotsford Convent in the Melbourne suburb of Abbotsford

The buildings and out houses along with the gardens and grounds provide an excellent subject for photographers and a fascinating, and yet somewhat disturbing, history lesson.

There are indoor and outdoor function areas, often used for wedding celebrations, along with exhibition and rehearsal spaces and an auditorium.

No 2 and 3 - Collingwood Children's Farm and Children's Farm Market 

Adjacent to the Melbourne Abbotsford Convent is the Collingwood Children's Farm. This is classified as an inner city farm and is situated on the banks of the Yarra River in Melbourne Abbotsford.

The public are able to explore the farm all year round and the opening hours are from 9:00am through to 5:00pm daily. Every month on the 1st Sunday (not January though) the farm hosts a family barbecue and horse and hay rides for the little ones. On the second Saturday of the month the Farmer's Market is held showcasing produce from many Victorian producers.

Cyclists using the Yarra trail often use the farm to stop off and enjoy a break at the independently run Farm Cafe

Collingwood Children's Farm chickens and roosters compliments of https://flic.kr/p/7c3GoZCollingwood Children's Farm chickens, roosters and ducks compliments of https://flic.kr/p/7c3GoZ

Follow this link for directions on how to get to the farm if you are driving. Parking can pose a bit of a problem at certain times of the year, if you would prefer you can reach the farm using public transport.

Fancy an exciting day out exploring the region on a Boom Trike?

Viator Trike Tour of Yarra Bend

Explore Melbourne’s own Yarra River beyond the CBD and discover the greenery, sights and rich history of Melbourne’s Yarra Bend Park, officially reserved in 1877.

The Reserve consists of over 600 acres.

Visit two Boathouses and walk along their banks or over their bridges, checkout the bird life - including the colony of flying foxes, a large roosting camp of up to 30,000 flying foxes – an Australian native megabat.

Enjoy the views of the Melbourne CBD through the trees, wander past the Abbotsford Convent and the Collingwood Children’s Farm.

collage of pictures from the Collingwood Childrens farm in Abbotsford

Activities at the farm consist of ...

  • Milking a cow
  • Bottle feed the lambs
  • Feed the animals whilst wandering around the farm
  • Help with farm chores
  • Cuddle the guinea pigs
  • Play with the animals
  • Feed the chooks
  • Hunt for eggs
  • Relax and enjoy the great outdoors right in the heart of the suburbs

No 4 - Collingwood Town Hall

If you enjoy Art Deco you will love the Collingwood Town Hall in Melbourne Abbotsford.

The 19th Century Victorian Gold Rush inspired the interior decorations for the town hall which opened in 1887 and in 1938 the entrance foyer and the interior ballroom were renovated in the Art Deco style. 

Collingwood Town Hall compliments of https://www.flickr.com/photos/rexness/4669856197/Collingwood Town Hall compliments of https://www.flickr.com/photos/rexness/4669856197/

The Collingwood Town Hall in Hoddle Street has a clock now driven by an electric motor but was the last municipal wind-up clock in Australia.

Check out this link to some Abandoned Places for an amazing behind the scenes look at the Collingwood Town Hall's Clock Tower.

No 5 - Victoria Park

Victoria Park was opened in 1892 and is located in Abbotsford. It was specifically built to showcase Australian rules football and the game of cricket.

The park was the home ground for the Collingwood Football Club from 1892 to 1999. Collingwood played a total of 863 matches including 643 wins, 215 losses and five draws. Victoria Park was the third largest of the suburban VFL grounds after the MCG and Princes Park. It was also a temporary home ground for the Fitzroy Football Club for the 1985 and 1986 seasons.

A major redevelopment was launched in 2010 and the revitalised ground was opened in December 2011 during which time Collingwood returned to Victoria Park to play its VFL home matches. The ground is still considered to be the club's spiritual home.

Viator Small Walking Tour of Abbotsford

Your beyond Melbourne tour will first lead you to the original ticket gates of Victoria Park, Collingwood’s historic football grounds and once a place of escape from daily life and unemployment during the Great Depression.

Stroll along the Yarra River to Dights Falls, your guide will lead you down the river and show you some Indigenous art, while also explaining the history of the Wurundjeri people and the significance of the Yarra.

Stop at the Abbotsford convent and a wander through its landscaped gardens ...

No 6 - Dights Falls

The Dights Falls is actually a natural basalt bolders rock bar built in the 1840's. This provided water for the Ceres Flour Mill

The site also contains exposed bedding planes in the cliff cuttings, note the fault lines in the picture below. The fine grained sediments contain early marine fossils such as Graptolites

It is here where salt water meets the Yarra River's fresh water here and it is where the river's native fish migrate each year to breed.

Dights Falls in Abbotsford, Victoria - AustraliaDights Falls in Abbotsford, Victoria - Australia

The area has great significance to the aboriginal people as it is here where the Wurundjeri people camped before European settlement.

The Rapids at Dights Falls in AbbotsfordRiding the Rapids at Dights Falls in Abbotsford

No 7 - Studley Park Boathouse

Built in 1863 and now fully restored the Studley Park Boathouse is proudly known as the oldest public boathouse on the Yarra.

The boathouse offers visitors the opportunity to dine in the restaurant, relax over a lighter meal in the indoor/outdoor café or pick up a light snack from the kiosk.

Coffee at the Studley Park Boat HouseCoffee at the Studley Park Boat House in Abbotsford Victoria Australia compliments of https://www.flickr.com/photos/mystic-venus/2861420108/

Opening Hours

Open for breakfast 9.00 am -11.00 am on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.

Also open for afternoon teas and lunches daily from 12.00 pm.

Studley Park Boat House compliments of https://flic.kr/p/dGwU2nStudley Park Boat House on the banks of the Yarra River in Abbotsford compliments of https://www.flickr.com/photos/markhoneyman/8334969423/

You can also hire a rowboat, canoe or kayak every day (apart from Christmas Day).  All water crafts are hired with life vests, oars & paddles.

No 8 - Carlton Brewhouse In Melbourne Abbotsford

Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) is one of the most iconic beer companies in Australia, its history dating back to 1832.

In 1907, because of the economic recession in Australia, the Foster's Brewing Company and Carlton Brewery joined with four other breweries to form Carlton and United Breweries (CUB).

Carlton Brewhouse Abbotsford compliments of https://flic.kr/p/6Y1tYECarlton Brewhouse Abbotsford compliments of https://flic.kr/p/6Y1tYE

Carlton Brewery itself was founded in 1903 and in 2003 the business was renamed Carlton and United Beverages. 

The Carlton Brewhouse overlooks Australia's largest brewery that in this day and age produces some of the best known and loved beverages including Carlton Draught, Carlton Dry and Victoria Bitter, it's most successful.

If you are a beer fan then the tour below is just right for you as it includes a guided tour of the brewhouse and finishes with a 'beut' beer tasting.

Viator Brewhouse Tour

#link_2931261Enjoy a brewery tour with beer tasting on your visit to Melbourne. Taste some of Australia’s favorite beers, including Carlton Draught, VB and Crown Lager brewed behind the Abbotsford Brewery doors. 

Learn the secrets of the iconic Abbotsford brewery, the Carlton Brewery Tour and Beer Tasting is one not to miss.

Go on a beer expedition, following the River of Beer through which 150,000 liters of fresh beer flows each day.

You’ll be guided through 150 years of brewing history & knowledge as you experience the sheer scale of this iconic facility on the banks of the Yarra.

Return to the Brewhouse to sample your favorite brewery fresh beers.

No 9 - Melbourne Abbotsford Street Art - Beautifying Social Space

Street Art - it's not ugly graffiti, more commonly known as 'tagging' you see rudely scrawled on houses and billboards. These are some truly inspired art pieces that add some colour and soul to our city.

Inner Pressure City Street Art compliments of https://flic.kr/p/e3QmLwInner Pressure City Street Art painted in Abbotsford compliments of https://flic.kr/p/e3QmLw

Throughout the streets and laneways and avenues of Melbourne Abbotsford you will find Street Art works that are truly amazing. From small pieces to gigantic murals, I am sure you will have a ball exploring Abbotsford's Street Art. 

Visiting some of the northern Melbourne Abbotsford locations will require a bit of walking as they are some distance from one another and from transport, so pack yourself plenty of water ans munchies for what will prove to be an awe inspiring adventure.

Perhaps you might prefer a personal guided tour of the Street Art in Melbourne Abbotsford . Check out the tour below and if this interests you then click on the 'MORE INFO' button.

Viator Fitzroy Street Art Tour image

The Fitzroy Street Art tour departs from outside 'Easey's', 48 Easey Street, Collingwood (underneath the three trains, look up!) The tour cover all the main laneways and street art walls in Fitzroy and Collingwood.

The street artist tour guide will take you on a journey to discover the endless array of street art that adorns the walls of Melbourne’s trendiest suburbs; from huge commissioned murals to hidden painted alleys and lane-ways, the Fitzroy tour is the perfect way to delve even deeper into Melbourne's unique street art culture.

The tour finishes at the Rose Street Artist Markets and includes a coffee/tea or softdrink. 

Australian Artist, David ‘Meggs’ Hooke has partnered with Good Hood and not-for-profit food rescue organisation, FareShare on a mural for Australia’s largest charity kitchen.

Meggs Paints FareShare from Good Hood on Vimeo.

Wear comfy shoes for this next activity!

There's nothing that escapes the paint in Melbourne's laneways so watch out, you just might get tagged as well! Even the rubbish bins become works of art.

Walking through the laneways and exploring the unique Melbourne Street Art culture is mind boggling. The colors, the talent and the visual overload is amazing. Some of these works of art or in some cases graffiti are supplied by world renowned Street Artists such as Banksy, GhostpatrolRegan Tamanui

Check out how you can get your very own piece of Melbourne's unique street art to carry around with you as you explore more things to do in Melbourne. Some of this art is no longer displayed as it has been covered over - something that happens on a regular basis.

You have to be quick with your camera if you want to record your memories. This, in itself, makes wandering the streets and laneways of melbourne in search of street art an ongoing activity to be enjoyed not just once but over and over again.

Melbourne street artAn amazing example of street art that can be found in the laneways and streets of Melbourne, Australia

No 10 - Skipping Girl Vinegar Sign

The Skipping Girl Vinegar sign in Victoria Street in Melbourne Abbotsford is a Melbourne icon. She’s Victorian Heritage Registered, and one of the State’s most significant landmarks. Officially declared a Victorian Heritage Icon by the National Trust in 2007, the Skipping Girl Sign is also included on the Victorian Heritage Register

Little Audrey, better known as the Skipping Girl Vinegar Sign, was the first animated sequence neon sign to be used in Australia.

It was due to be demolished however public outcry saw the sign saved and it was taken down in 2009 from its original position to be lovingly restored.

The Skipping Girl Vinegar SignThe Skipping Girl Vinegar sign was the first animated sequence neon sign in Australia

The restoration works were completed by Delta Neon, the sign was placed back up on 10 June of the same year. Power is now being paid for by AGL Energy using run on power generated by 27 solar panels.

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