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A suburb of the massive city of Melbourne, Blackburn is a historical city, just 11 miles east of Australia’s second largest city, and a major shopping hub for the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. It has much more to offer than just shopping, however, with the beautiful Blackburn Lake Sanctuary, Blackburn’s biggest draw, in the southeast part of town. Blackburn is in the City of Whitehouse, which is also home to Box Hill, Forest Hill, Nunawading and Mitcham, providing plenty of opportunities for daytrips. Blackburn is also halfway between Port Phillip Bay and the Dandenong Ranges, offering even more great things to see and do within a short distance.. Car hire is, therefore, the best option for discovering the area.
Who to Book With
International car rental firms, such as Avis, Thrifty and Europcar, have offices in Blackburn along Whitehorse Road, right in the town centre. Booking car hire on the internet in advance is advised to ensure the vehicle of your liking is available.
Best time to go
Due to the pleasant climate, Autumn and spring are the best times to visit Blackburn and explore its surrounding area. Still, many travellers enjoy Blackburn in the summer, as it is hot and sunny with little humidity, great for enjoying the nearby beaches.
Need to Know Essentials
When collecting your vehicle, you will need the following documents:
- A valid UK driving licence
- Identification such as a passport
- The credit car that was used to make car rental booking
- Printed confirmation
Although Blackburn is fairly small, a car is needed to not only get around the town but also to explore its surroundings. Traffic is rarely a problem outside of common rush hours when commuters are making their way in and out of Melbourne, and parking is easy to find. There are paid car parks, free car parks and on-street pay and display spaces throughout the town.
Blackburn is easily walkable, but many prefer to get around by car. There are public buses, although these are predominately to link the town to others in the City of Whitehorse. The Melbourne Metro also makes a stop here on route to Belgrave and Lilydale.
There are two railway stations in Blackburn served by Public Transport Victoria. Both have stops along the Metro’s Belgrave and Lilydale lines. These connect Blackburn to Melbourne’s city centre as well as to other suburbs along the way. The Blackburn Railway station is in the city centre, while the Laburnum Railway station is in the western end of town.
Reputable taxi firms, such as Silver Top Taxi, offer services throughout the town as well as to other surrounding areas, including Central Melbourne and Melbourne Airport. These taxis work on fixed rates and can be organised through your hotel.
Local Public Transport Victoria buses pass through Blackburn, linking it to nearby destinations. Bus 703 connects the town to Middle Brighton, bus 736 links to Mitcham and bus 765 runs to Box Hill and Mitcham. These routes all stop at the Blackburn Railway station, as does bus 286, which runs between Box Hill and the Pines Shopping Centre.
Blackburn is not a highly visited city, although it is a great place to use as a base for exploring the area. Central Melbourne is just a short distance away, as are the rest of its suburbs. There are numerous places within an hour’s drive of the town, including lovely beaches and stunning mountain tops, offering visitors a wealth of opportunities for daily excursions.
Dandenong Ranges National Park - This is one of Australia’s protected areas (pictured above), known for its hills, wildlife and picturesque valleys. It is just shy of 16 miles from Blackburn and, once here, you can hike the 1,000 step Kokoda Memorial Track, ride the historical Puffing Billy steam train and drive to the summit of Mount Dandenong for some spectacular views.
Yarra Valley - This is home to 160 wineries, some lovely towns and the Healesville Sanctuary, among other things. It is less than one hour by car from Blackburn, and is a great place to wine and dine among stunning scenery.
Mornington Peninsula - Located on Port Phillip Bay, this is a great place to relax for a day, enjoying the beaches, hot springs and fashionable shops. It is around an hour’s drive south of Blackburn, with plenty of places to stop and enjoy the scenery along the way.