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Ten things you might not have known about Mickleham

Mickleham is changing fast. Where once it was better known as the name of an arterial road connecting the airport to Melbourne’s outer northern suburbs, today it’s a fully-fledged, rapidly-growing suburb.

There’s all sorts of interesting stuff happening in the area now, although not all of it is getting the attention it probably deserves. We’ve done some digging and come across ten things you may not have known about this not-very-new-at-all (as it turns out) suburb.

1. A NEW ‘LOCAL’ HAS OPENED

As a Botanical resident, you won’t just be surrounded by natural beauty; you’ll also have a magnificent new winery, wedding venue, brewery and farmer’s market just minutes up the road. It’s called Marnong Estate and it opened in March 2018. It blends 19th century history – old buildings on the property have been lovingly restored - with an ultra-modern 250-seat restaurant. The views of the Macedon Ranges alone are spectacular. Location: 2335 Mickleham Rd, Mickleham, 3064

Take in spectacular views at Marnong Estate

2. BOTANICAL BY NAME…

We chose the name “Botanical” for our Mickleham community because the area boasts some beautiful native flora, and perhaps most notably its river red gums. These enormous trees have been known to live for as many as a thousand years (there are living specimens in the Royal Botanic Gardens that pre-date European settlement by centuries). You can see grand examples of the species all throughout Mickleham – and within our community. 

3. A SEAT NAMED AFTER A POLITICAL ACE

Mickleham is in the federal electorate of McEwen, named after Sir John “Black Jack” McEwen. Before he was knighted, he retired as the fourth-longest serving member of the Australian Country Party (now the National Party). He was also Australia’s third-shortest serving prime minister, taking over as caretaker after Harold Holt disappeared at Cheviot Beach in 1967. (Thirty-eight days later, John Gorton became leader of the Liberal Party, and so the new head of the coalition government.)

4. AN AWARD-WINNING LIBRARY

Craigieburn Library isn’t just a modern and well-resourced community hub for lovers of literature. It’s also an architectural masterpiece. Within two years of being built (in 2012) it had won the prestigious International Public Library of the Year Award (for design) ahead of libraries in England, Denmark and the Netherlands. It’s the closest library to Botanical, less than ten minutes by car. Location: 75-95 Central Park Avenue, Craigieburn, 3064

Craigieburn Library won the prestigious International Public Library of the Year Award (for design)

5. THAI TO DIE FOR

You could easily miss it if you weren’t looking for it, but Rich Chilli Thai, tucked away in a little group of shops not far from Malcolm Creek parkland, is by reputation one of the best suburban Thai restaurants in Melbourne. It currently has a 4-star rating on the notoriously tough Zomato online review website, and glowing write-ups on Google, Trip Advisor and Facebook. Only a matter of time before it hits the press, we reckon. Location: 1 Mareeba Way, Craigieburn, 3064

6. A NORTHERN REST STOP

If you’ve ever lived in or even visited Melbourne’s north you’ll know it’s a place where people from all different cultures come together. Just one of many examples is the Buddhist Temple in Yuroke (south of Mickleham) called Daham Niketanaya. Niketanaya roughly translates to “reststop” and the resident monks invite anyone interested in “peace and restoration” to come along. Location: 1690 Mickleham Rd, Yuroke, 3063 Check in with the temple on Facebook

7. YOU HAVE RIGHTS, YOU KNOW…

Mickleham is in the City of Hume, which in 2004 became the first local council in Australia to adopt a Bill of Rights for its citizens. Among ten “inalienable rights” acknowledged in a Social Justice Charter are the right to rest and leisure; the right to adequate food, clothing, housing and medical care; the right to social security and the right to information. 

8. A NOT SO CHEESY SUBURB HISTORY

It’s easy to imagine Mickleham as a relatively new suburb of Melbourne, but it has a long and interesting history. There was a post office established in the area (and given the name Mickleham) in 1862 and even before that, in the midst of the gold rush, there was a bluestone factory producing cheese not far from Mickleham Road. We know because it still stands to this day – in fact it’s now protected by a heritage overlay (it’s the oldest known cheese factory in the state), and the property on which it sits was recently sold for almost $1.5 million.

Mickleham is home to the oldest known cheese factory in Victoria

9. WHILE WE’RE ON THE SUBJECT OF CHEESE…

Bordering Mickleham to the east is Donnybrook, home of the Monteleone Restaurant. It’s a family business, run by the Monteleones who have been making cheese for five generations, first in southern Italy and then in Victoria, where they moved in the 1960s. In addition to hand-made cheese, the restaurant specialises in woodfired pizza (cooked in a traditional dome oven and with fresh, garden-grown herbs). Location: 915 Donnybrook Rd, Donnybrook, 3064 

10. (WELL) ABOVE AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE GROWTH

The Victorian Valuer-General recently released figures that suggest the value of Mickleham property is growing fast. Median house prices increased by 18% over a period of 12 months between December 2015 and December 2016. To put that figure in some context, over the same period the median house price in Victoria’s residential property market increased by 4.6% overall.

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