Ever wondered where you could find a tree-lined village that seems away from the hustle and bustle, but is still close to the city? What if it had a beach too? Seems like an impossible wish list, right? Wrong! Elwood is the place of your dreams, and it even has a canal!
Mosey on down to the Elwood Shopping Village on Ormond Road, where you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to coffee, lunch, or just somewhere to sit and watch the world go by. Grab something to go and head down any of the charming side streets towards the beach, where you’ll find beach boxes and food trucks set against the great expanse of Port Phillip Bay. If in doubt about directions or recommendations – ask a local. Elwoodians are super friendly and always happy to wax lyrical about their hidden oasis.
There's something for everyone at Elwood Village. The café culture is strong but the pace is more relaxed than neighbouring St Kilda. Not just the young and beautiful, Elwood attracts all age groups and all lifestyles. Mums with toddlers in strollers alongside businessmen and bohemian artists, everyone has a place in Elwood Village.
Visiting for the day?
- Elwood Beach
- Elwood Canal - great for a walk or cycle
- Elwood Shopping Village (Ormond Road) for a food and drink refuel stop and a spot of shopping
- Point Ormond - a top spot to watch the sunset
Ramble through Ripponlea
The neighbourhood is well served by the Ripponlea shopping area in Glen Eira Road and the Glen Huntly Road and Ormond Road centres in Elwood. The eastern part of the neighbourhood is served by Ripponlea station on the Sandringham rail line. There's a small supermarket in Ripponlea, but no banks, no chain stores, not even any fast-food outlets. Ripponlea prides itself on its unique character and unusual retail offerings.
Concentrated in a small strip of beautifully maintained heritage buildings, Ripponlea focuses firmly on fine foods. There's the delicatessen specialising in European delicacies and kosher foods, Kleins restaurant offering quality gourmet food to take-away, Attica restaurant serving Middle Eastern flavours in a refitted former bank building, and Bala da Dhaba - one of Melbourne's best Indian/Nepalese restaurants.
There are also some amazing discoveries for anyone looking for the unusual, the unique and the ubiquitous. Window-shopping along this quaint retail strip will reveal home wares, gifts, collectables and antiques just waiting for the discerning shopper.
Visiting for the day?
- Rippon Lea Estate, a National Trust property, just over the other side of Hotham Street in Elsternwick. City of Port Phillip residents can enjoy free entry to the gardens. Simply fill out the form.
- Exploring the unique shops along Glen Huntly Road shopping village
Bus routes: 246 & 600
Tram routes: 67
Bus routes: 220 & 623
Train: Sandringham line - Ripponlea Station
For timetables and information visit Public Transport Victoria.
Geography of the area
The Elwood and Ripponlea neighbourhoods are bounded by Hotham and St Kilda streets to the east, Glen Huntly Road and Head Street to the south, the foreshore to the west and Dickens, Southey Street, Byron Street, Brighton Road, Maryville Street and Elm Grove to the north.
Area: 3 km2
2016 population: 15,070
2011 population: 14,440
Average annual growth rate (2011-2016): 4.3%
(Source: ABS National Census. 2011 and 2016)
A bayside suburb, Elwood is south of St Kilda and 8 km south of Melbourne. Its name is believed to have come from the Quaker historian and poet, Thomas Elwood, a friend of the poet Milton. Lieutenant Governor La Trobe, who had influence in the naming of places, had a high regard for Quakers. Ripponlea takes its name from the large home and estate of Frederick Sargood, a parliamentarian in 1868-9, that is in the area.
A large number of 25-34-year olds live in these neighbourhoods. The proportion of older residents in Elwood and Ripponlea is quite low. But there is a high number of children aged under ten. The area has a relatively low proportion of low income households. There is a high proportion of middle income households, as well as a very high level of tertiary education.
Elwood and Ripponlea's housing stock is a mixture of styles. There are larger houses from the Victorian and Edwardian eras around Ripponlea. There is a lot of of flats and apartments from the turn of the century onwards in the Elwood area. The neighbourhood is one of the more densely settled within the City of Port Phillip.
The pace of development has dramatically increased in Elwood over the past few years and the face of Ormond Road has changed. Retail stores now sit alongside modern apartments and the lines between retail and residential have blurred. Elwood Village is a model for the future. A place where people live, work and play within a multi-purpose community, developed out of a need for convenience, choice and close proximity to everyday essentials.