Melton – A boom town in the making

Train arriving at Melton station

Train arriving at Melton station

Melton is located 42km northwest of Melbourne CBD via the M8 Western Freeway. The suburb is divided into Melton South, Melton West and Melton. These suburb lies on a volcanic basalt plain and two extinct volcanoes can still be seen on the horizon. To the north-east is Mt Kororoit and to the south is Mt Cottrell. The latter, although only 200 metres high, spreads southwards from its summit for 10 km. It is the largest of the cones on the Werribee Plains.

Public transport is serviced by buses and Melton train station located on Brooklyn road in Melton South. The local amenities are centred around the Woodgrove Shopping Centre which is located at the corner of Coburns and High streets. There are plans for an upgrade and revamp of this complex to cater to the growing population within the area.

Recent investments into Melton include the purchase by listed property developer Devine Limited of a 21.45 hectare land parcel in Brookfield, a large, undeveloped residential housing area 1km west of Melton train station. This $6.9 million acquisition will have an estimated end value of $80 million once approved and fully developed. The purchase reinforces the company’s aggressive acquisition strategy in Victoria, where it has purchased 7 land parcels over the past 12 months totalling more than $117 million.

The Brookfield site is strategically located in an area which has become the focus of a $15 billion urban investment strategy initiative by the Melton Shire Council. Backed by the Victorian Government’s Melbourne 2030 strategy, the initiative has identified Melton as a major new investment location for Victoria – a commitment that will create a new city of up to 100,000 people over the next 20 years.

A new highway by-pass scheduled to be completed by 2009 will also reduce commuting  from Melton to Melbourne CBD by at least 15 minutes. Local amenities include the following major schools, hospitals and parks:

  1. Melton Secondary College, Coburns road
  2. Mowbray College, Centenary Avenue
  3. Kurunjang Secondary College, Centenary Avenue
  4. Melton Christian College, Brooklyn road, Melton South
  5. Staughton College, Wilson road, Melton South
  6. Coburn Primary, Richard road, Melton South
  7. Navan Park, corner of Centenary Avenue and Coburns road
  8. Hannah Watts Park, High street
  9. Melton South Royal Childrens Hospital, Pinnacle Crescent, Melton South

Existing houses in Melton are typically brick veneer single storey dwellings.

Vital statistics

Suburb Median house price $ Weekly advertised median rent $ Gross yield $ 3-year growth % 5-year growth % Average annual growth %
Melton 220,000 230 5.4 22.2 29.0 9.5
Melton South 208,000 220 5.5 18.9 22.4 9.7
Melton West 245,000 240 5.1 11.4 16.7 8.0

Source: RP Data & Your Investment Property, December 2009

Suburb Median house price $ Weekly advertised median rent $ Gross yield $ 3-year growth % 5-year growth % Average annual growth %
Melton 225,000 240 5.6 23.6 32.3 9.5
Melton South 230,000 230 5.2 31.4 35.3 10.0
Melton West 265,000 245 4.8 17.8 26.8 8.4

Source: RP Data & Your Investment Property, September 2010

Things to see and do in Melton:

  • Tourist Information Local tourist information can be obtained from the Melton Visitor Information Centre at the Old Court House, 323 High St, tel: (03) 9746 7290.
  • Historic Buildings Christ Church is an exemplary Gothic Revival structure built of random-coursed bluestone in 1864 for the Anglicans. The chancel was added in 1903. It is located in Unitt St. The courthouse, at the corner of High and Palmerston Sts, dates from 1892.
  • Pluperfect Antiques Pluperfect Antiques sell collectable Australiana – prints, china, pens, linen, fully restored furniture etc. They are open weekdays from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. (closed Wednesdays) and Saturday from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and are located at Factory 1, 8-10 Norton Drive, tel: (03) 9747 0808.
  • Hannah Watts Recreation Reserve Located in High St, this attractive recreation reserve is adjacent Toolern Creek. There are plenty of birds among the river red gums and a walking track and cycling trail, along with picnic, barbecue, toilets and playground facilities.
  • The Honey Shack Also in High St (at no. 237) is The Honey Shack, situated within historic Raglan Cottage. This is essentially a bee farm where visitors can learn about beekeeping and purchase honey and bee-related products, including bulk and gourmet honeys, hand creams and a variety of gifts products and Aboriginal art, tel: (03) 9747 3277.
  • Melton Waves Leisure Centre This indoor wave pool has a “rapid river”, a “waterfall”, “geysers”, a 25-metre pool, a toddlers’ pool, a spa and a hydrotherapy pool. It is located in Coburns Rd, tel: (03) 9743 5311.
  • Toolern Creek Heritage Trail The pleasant environs of Toolern Creek are traversed by a self-guided heritage trail which is intended to convey a sense of how Melton was in the past. It takes in the former sites of the racecourse, the original townsite, Pennyroyal Creek Station and other establishments. A related pamphlet is available from the information centre, tel: (03) 9746 7290.
  • The Willows Historical Park Located in Reserve Rd, on the east bank of Toolern Creek, ‘The Willows’ is an historic stuccoed stone-rubble residence which now houses historic memorabilia. The front section is the original homestead. It was probably built in the 1850s. The larger section is thought to date from the 1860s. Although this is essentially an unpretentious vernacular building it has been lavishly ornamented with quoins, keystones, voussoirs and chimneys with buttresses and dentils. It is open on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and Sundays from 2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m., tel: (03) 9746 7290.
  • Warrensbrook Faire This precinct occupies 240 acres to the east of Melton. It incorporates several commercial ventures such as the Gamekeepers Secret Country Inn (tel: 03 9747 1000) and the Windmill Gardens Restaurant, which features the largest windmill in the Southern Hemisphere set amidst scenic gardens, water features and a traditional Dutch-style village, tel: (03) 9747 1100. To get there head east along the Melton Highway for 6 km to the intersection with Leakes Rd.
  • Witchmount Estate Winery Also at Warrensbrook Faire (557 Leakes Rd) is Witchmount Estate Winery , established in 1991,which produces chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz. The cellar door and restaurant are open from 11.00 a.m. to 11.30 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday (book for wine tours) and public holidays from 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m., tel: (03) 9747 1155.
  • Galli Estate Winery Warrensbrook Faire also boasts Galli Estate Winery which is open weekdays from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and weekends from 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. The adjoining restaurant is open Wednesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner, tel: (03) 9747 1433.
  • Mt Atkinson Olive and Nut Grove Mt Atkinson Olive and Nut Grove produces cold-pressed olive oil and marinated table olives. Fresh olive bread is available at the cafe. It is currently open weekends from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and will soon be open daily. Mid-week group bookings are currently available. They are located at 261 Griegs Rd, Rockbank, tel: (03) 9747 1170.
  • Melton Reservoir Melton Reservoir, on the Werribee River, is signposted from town. The access road runs off Exford Rd which heads due south of the city. It is a popular fishing spot and is home of the Melbourne Speedboat and Runabout Club. There are picnic, barbecue, playground, parking and toilet facilities. It is open daily from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m., tel: (03) 9746 7290.
  • Parwan Estate Winery This newly-established winery, situated on the banks of Melton Reservoir, is currently only open by appointment, tel: (0417) 008 617.
  • Long Forest Flora Reserve This is the only naturally occurring patch of mallee south of the Great Dividing Range. At one time mallee scrub was common in the area but as the climate cooled most of it was supplanted by eucalypt forest. However, this reserve rests on a bed of shale and sandstone which is not conducive to eucalypts.

More information can be obtained from Western Melbourne Tourism.

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